>6.2 mi/10K – half of a half marathon ;)

>I had a great time this morning at the Morton Pumpkin Festival 10K with my friend Gabriela. I picked her up at 6:15, and we headed over to the race site. We had to pick up our shirts and bibs since we didn’t get them last night. We went to the gas station, had some coffee, stretched, and the race started at 7:30.

I did my first mile in about 10:20, which is a great race pace for me for longer distances. I was even focusing on holding back for at least the first four miles. I felt great the entire time. I had no pain or side stitches. I focused too on my form and kept my upper body loose. I finished the fifth mile at 51:59, I think, from what the person at the mile post said.

The weather was beautiful, and there was a portion of the race where we were running in the country. With the angle of the sun, pattern of the clouds, and the fields harvested, it made for a perfect way to start the day. One of my favorite parts was when I heard a few seconds of silence in between songs on my playlist and all I heard were the light steps of shoes on the pavement.

At the fourth mile, I knew I was going to finish strong. About the last half mile I really pushed myself, and I sprinted the last two-tenths of the race. I didn’t use my upper body so much to propel myself, but my legs. It’s almost impossible to not have an adrenaline rush with all the people gathered around the finish line and the time clock in sight.

It was such a great experience. Afterwards, Gabriela and her family and I walked over to McDonald’s for breakfast. Yesterday I had stayed hydrated and ate well. This morning I had a banana and two pieces of turkey bacon for breakfast, and even a little coffee on my way there.

Here are a couple pics taken by Petr:

 After finishing strong : 1:03:51, 10:17 pace!

Gabriela met me at the finish line! She did an awesome job.

I think we may do some long runs together in preparation for a marathon next spring. I’m planning on running in Korea, she in Urbana.

I’m telling you, once you start, you get hooked. It’s an incredible mix of the adrenaline, belonging to something greater than yourself, fun at races (including shirts! haha), doing something great for your body and just the sense of accomplishment.

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