Monday, February 18, 2013

Race Report: Taste of Athens 10K

 Taste of Athens 10K | Athens, GA | February 16, 2013

Sarah & I!
Last year, just a few weeks after my first half marathon, I ran the Taste 10K. And conveniently, just a few weeks (all of two) after my first full, Taste 10K was back. Last year, I ran the race with the tail-end of a cold. This year, I ran with the tail-end of my respiratory infection. Eerie enough, the weather was really similar to last year - albeit, we were forecasted to get snow flurries mid-morning, but both last year and this year were chilly, but broke out into a stunning morning.  Tradition in the making? I think so!

Trying to stay warm?
One of the graduate students who works in my office, Chandler, was running this as her first 10K ever. I picked her up Saturday morning bright 'n early just after 7 to get to downtown and the race start to pick up my packet since I never made it on Friday. One pleasant thing about running such great local races is easy parking, easy packet pick up - sure beats the hustle and bustle of big races sometimes! (I said ...sometimes!). We got settled, back to the car to drop off some stuff, and back to the start to get ready to roll. Once we were starting to gather around, I spotted a Facebook friend and blog reader (hiiiii Sarah!) - Sarah and I connected via her husband, who works in higher education as well. While we've been Facebook connected, she and I haven't gotten to meet in person - thanks for letting me creep up on you. ;) 

And soon enough, it was 8 am and start time. I promised HP and Cathryn that I wouldn't race - and I didn't, really. I was planning to run what I was capable of without making my lungs feel as though they were on fire, but that I would do what was manageable.
Look, there I am! [source]

Mind you, this was my first run, at all, since the full. Oops? Anyway, per usual, got caught up in the adrenaline and hustle of the race and ran the first mile in 9:09 - uh, yeah, oops. That was certainly not going to last me 5 more  miles. Just before the mile 3 marker and the series of rolling hills, I stopped to walk, take it easy, whatever. I really felt no pressure, just glad to be out enjoying my run and feeling like I could start getting back in the groove of things. 

The course is identical to last year's, and apparently the only USTA-certified 10K route in Athens. Up some more gradual hills, back down, back through some neighborhoods. Still beautiful. A quiet morning through the residential areas, but all in all, still a great race. I love that this year, the race coordinators established the Golden Fork award - given to the best cheer sections (identified by organization/business) along the race. Runners are given a plastic golden fork at the end to go vote on their favorite cheer squad. So great! 

Just after the mile 5 marker, I hit an emergency. You know the kind. Lucky for me, I still didn't really care about this race (you know that's all a lie) and ran across the street (yup) from the course and into the gas station. Yeah, it was that serious! Ha. Anyway, managed to get out in a decent amount of time, ran back across the street to the course, and came chugging along to the final hill. I knew I wasn't far enough and was super happy to cross the line at a 1:03:50. Hey, that's almost a 30-second course PR, and considering I was at the gas station for just under three minutes .. I call that a victory!

Race #3 for #13in2013!
My lungs didn't hate me, I felt surprisingly great, and am definitely happy I stuck with this even though I wasn't all that certain about my first run post-marathon being a race. Maybe this week I'll finally get my groove back and feel a sense of motivation in getting back into some kind of gym pattern. I feel no sense of motivation right now, and I suppose that's okay, but man. Training certainly holds me a lot more accountable than running just for the sake of it. Runner probs, fo sho.

Anyways. Happy race, decent time, happy lungs. Oh, and Chandler rocked her first 10K - her goal was under an hour and she killed it in 56:33! What a rockstar! Looking forward to more running adventures with this girl for sure. Way to rock, Chandler. So proud!

Did you race this weekend? How'd it go? And any post-marathon motivation tips? I'm struggling...


  1. Yay! Thanks Megan - I am so glad you were there to help me through my first 10k experience. And you were right, great race! I am already telling my friends to do it next year. Looking forward to our next running adventure

    1. I'm so glad I got to participate in your first 10K experience... even though you kicked my tail and were way ahead! Haha. Great race indeed and one to keep doing. Love local Athens races. There are SO many but so many great ones too!

  2. Congratulations on a PR even though you made a pit stop! I wish I could pull something off like that! Yes I ran this weekend as you know! The Pasadena Rock 'n' Roll Half which you have to do next year. Do it for a training run which was what I did and it will be a lot of fun!

    1. Thanks Sandy! I'm totally eye-balling RnR Pas. My dad's starting to train for his first 5K and I think eventually I can convince him of a half. ;) Maybe Pas will be it!

  3. Waaaaahoooo! You're first post marathon run. Way to deal with the mid race, uh, emergency and still PR. You're a beast, Megan!!