The day of the Coach Bubba 20K, my first at that distance, finally arrived this morning! It was a chilly, but pretty morning, cold enough for half-way leggings and a long sleeve shirt, but not cold enough for me to bother with a hat and gloves.
It was fun running into some people I knew before the race, including Susan from the Junior League and Rey from previous races, and George ran into Jack from the Cary library. During the race, I chatted with a retired Duke political science professor, and passed Cindy from blogging/Facebook/Twitter on the trail.
I really enjoyed the course, though the first part of it had some hills. We started in downtown Durham, then went through the Forest Hills neighborhood before hitting the American Tobacco Trail. Once I got on the ATT, I felt like I was on my home playing field.
I only had to make one pit stop this race, which was a relief! During the half marathon I ran in November, I had to stop at every porta-john, and I knew I needed to work on my food intake during race week! It worked, with only the one stop this time--yay! I also worked on drinking plenty of water this past week, and got to bed early the past three nights. All of this worked in my favor.
Even still, I was the last person in the field for most of the race, with the police car hovering behind me for most of the course that was on the streets. Once I got over being irritated at hearing the police car so close by, I was resigned to the fact that I might come in last, and that I'd be okay with it. (Not thrilled, but okay!) It wasn't until the last three quarters of a mile that I passed a couple of people, and that just happened by plugging along. It wasn't a race at that point, but a run to finish, a goal to complete.
At one of the street crossovers while I was still at the back, I told the police officer holding traffic that I was it, and he replied, "You may be it, but you're an inspiration." That was a nice little lift for this back-of-the-packer.
I'd definitely recommend this race to others! Kudos to the Carolina Godiva Track Club and all the volunteers! I'll update with an official time later.
UPDATE: My official time was 3:02:31. I came in 453 out of 455 runners, 12 out of 12 in my age group, and 200 out of 201 female finishers. One of the most telling stats for me, though, was my average pace of 14:43 minutes per mile. In the last longer distance race I ran, the City of Oaks Half Marathon in November of last year, my average pace was 15:13 minutes per mile. I'm thrilled to have made a 30 second improvement in that average over a 10+ mile race!