Race recap: 2018 Gazelle Girl 10k

I am so overjoyed right now, so I’ll be starting with results first and then doing a run thorough of the day ๐Ÿ˜‚. After working towards this seriously since last year, I finally broke a 9-min mile for a 10k! ๐Ÿ™Œ Official time was: 53:10.07 (8:33 pace). It was such an unbelievable feeling crossing the finish line knowing I smashed my goals! My main goal was the sub-9 min. mile, and I also set a 54:40 goal time.

I went to the ‘Expotique’ with my mom, who also ran the 10k, on Saturday. It was a fun day! We picked up our race packets and I did a little shopping at the Gazelle Sports merchandise area…ended up breaking my “nothing new on race day” rule and got two new items that I wore for the race. The good news is that they were comfortable and I didn’t have any wardrobe issues. ๐Ÿ‘

I ended up doing an Instagram takeover for Gazelle Sports, so that started at 5:30am with my alarm! I had my alarm set to play The Champion by Carrie Underwood ๐Ÿ˜‚. It’s my “get pumped” song ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ.

This was my race day gear all ready to go! (Except my ProCompression low socks, and Michigan headband).

I shared this on the Gazelle Sports Instagram Stories, but my usual go-to after a hard run is this BCAA plant based protein smoothie below. I have to limit these and use organic hemp protein powder instead occasionally to give my stomach a break (it has legumes, which often give me trouble). But, these are such an easy and quick way to refuel in that 30-min post-run window before I get a chance to have my real meal.

We got downtown at a little after 7am. My dad dropped my mom and I off and then went to park.

I joined my local running club for a photo at 7:40. It’s been a while since I joined them, but it was cool to see them and cheer them on to new PR’s!

The half started at 8:00, the 10k at 8:20, and the 5k at 8:40. We stood around chatting before it was time to go…I was absolutely freezing!

I regret the shorts big time. It was 37 degrees at the start this year (41 last year – those few degrees made a huge difference!). I couldn’t stop shaking! My dad was so nice and gave me his coat to try to keep warm. My mom let me use her gloves too since she had a coat she gave him just before we made it out into the starting area.

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I only took a picture right at the beginning of the race on my GoPro because I didn’t want to risk dropping it and having to go back for it like I did last year ๐Ÿ˜‚. Oops!

I felt pretty good until the hill around 5.15 miles in. It really slowed me down. But, I was grinning ear to ear when I saw my time at mile 5 and I realized I was going to beat my goal! That was enough for me to keep pushing! As far as hills go, there was 2 big-ish hills and one smaller one right at the end before you turn left to the finish line. But, overall gain was pretty low. So, it’s a great place for a PR! The other thing that could pose a challenge is towards the end when the 5k and 10k courses joined. It got a little congested. I was admittedly frustrated having to weave around small kids. I wish there was a way to avoid that. I don’t remember congestion being an issue in the half, so this was a bummer. But, I still beat my goal…so I can’t be too disappointed!

I was talking strategy with my mom before the race and I said, “I still don’t know if I should run conservatively the first half, then kick it up the last half?”. Her response made me ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚. She suggested that I just run “balls out”. ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ Well, I’m glad I took her advice, despite how the splits turned out.

Here’s my splits:

My dad got a video of me coming around the last corner before crossing the finish line.

I knew I was going to make it after I looked at my watch at mile 5, but I still couldn’t believe I was going to do it. I had been dreaming of it, visualizing it, and working my butt off for it for so long that it was overwhelming at the finish line!

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Always have to do the post run watch shot!

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Here’s the official stats:

Being that I’ve done the half and the 10k at this event, you know I’m curious how I’d do at the 5k! Hmmm….maybe next year.

Race recap: Gazelle Girl Half Marathonย 

The Gazelle Girl Half Marathon in Grand Rapids, Michigan was this past Sunday, and it was a fantastic morning!

Saturday was packet pick-up at the JW Marriott in Grand Rapids. My husband drove me down there so I could get comfortable with finding the parking lot I’d be parking in before the race.We didn’t spend much time at the expo, but I did get to finally meet fellow Michigander Jessicaย there. It’s so fun getting to meet other Instagram friends in person!

And I got to meet up with Kaitlyn, who I planned to start the race with in the 9:30 corral. We ran into eachnother (not literally haha!) on the Grand Rapids Marathon course last year. So, it was fun to see each other again for a different race.

As always, I gathered all my race-day items and set them out to make sure I wasn’t forgetting anything. My hydration pack had some pitted dates in a sandwich bag that I used as my running fuel, and my mylar blanket for pre-race warmth.

The weather was pretty darn perfect for the race. A little chilly at the start, but not terrible.

There was almost no wind, so that’s what kept me from freezing my behind off! I love it when it’s a calm day for a race.

The race started at 8am, and the local running club had a group photo at 7:40 by the Calder plaza sculpture. I miss running with them, but hope to do more group runs after Nashville since I won’t be so focused on a set training schedule. And my husbands work schedule should lighten a bit soon so that means possibly some weekend group runs! ๐Ÿ™‚

I found Kaitlyn in the 9:30 pace corral just minutes before the race started. It’s like finding a needle in a hay stack with so many runners! haha I knew she would be a bit faster than me, but I figured we could start together. I think I lost her between mile 2-3 (she ended up finishing 2 minutes before me — Go Kaitlyn!!). It probably wasn’t the smartest choice starting with that group, or rather wasn’t smart speeding past them (the first two miles were in the upper 8’s for pace…oops!). I started with them but ended up being ahead of them for the first 9 or so miles before they caught up to me.

When the 9:30 pace group caught me, I told myself I could’t let them get away from me. So I fought until the end to stick with them. I literally cried at one point during those last 3 miles because I wasn’t sure if I could do it.img_8204Around mile 10-ish there was a crowd of people cheering and playing Kelly Clarkson’s song “Stronger” (…what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger)ย and that’s when I lost my cool. Complete breakdown…cried while running for a bit haha! ๐Ÿ˜‚ The race got ‘real’ at this point so I am actually not surprised at all that I cried here.

The last mile I could feel myself fading a bit. The three pacers ended up finishing 14 or 15 seconds ahead of me (their avg. pace ended up being a 9:27), so I’d consider that a win!

At the finish line I took a few steps and fell down crying because of how overwhelmed I felt getting that big PR and knowing I had given it my all!My official time was 2:04:06 with an avg. pace of 9:28 (different from watch since I actually covered 13.25 miles since it’s pretty impossible to run the course tangents.) Funny enough, I’m pretty sure this is the first time my watch time and the official time were the exact same because I actually remembered to turn it off at the finish haha!After I got up off the ground, I made my way to the food tent and grabbed one of the Gluten Free Bars (made in MICHIGAN!) and started the mile walk back to my car. I don’t know how far into my walk I got when I realized I never got a medal! haha So of course I turned around and found the tent and got one and ran/walked back to my car.

I had to quickly shower and get ready to go after I got home because we had a 2 hour drive north to make it to a performing arts thing that my Grandpa was being honored at. I unfortunately started feeling sick that afternoon and ended up with a migraine headache for the rest of the day. It was awful! I hadn’t had one that bad before. I had one after my first half marathon but this was pretty unexpected since I thought I had my nutrition and hydration in check. Who knows why it happened…over exertion? Not sure. But I felt better by the next morning :). All I know is Nashville half will be a slow and steady climb to the finish because I want to feel good the rest of the day.

The official race photos were of course all doozies ๐Ÿ˜œ.

Has anyone else gotten sick after a race? What do you think caused you to feel that way?