We got off work a half hour early to come home, change into running gear, and then head out the door to make it to the start of the O’ktoberfest 10k/5k Run Polka Beer race. We made it down with about twenty minutes to spare. We were excited to run this race on a Friday evening as our scheduled run for the weekend was only six miles. Perfect! We thought as we having been wanting to sleep in on a Saturday for months. Not that we would have to get up too crazy early to run six miles, but it was nice to have a morning break. The race started at 5:30 p.m. when it was about 80 degrees outside. Too hot for me. As we were waiting for the race to start, I noticed people in long sleeve shirts and running tights. I could not believe it. Here I was in shorts and a tank top already too hot.
The race started at 5:30 sharp and we were off. Brent hung out with me for a moment while we were in the beginning of the crowd. There were 212 10k runners and 178 5k runners. We all started in one pack and took off down the narrow roads as we made our way toward part of the Bozeman trail system. It took a little while for the race to thin down enough were you could run your pace instead of being blocked by several others. Brent broke off just before the 1 mile mark but still stayed fairly close as I could see him throughout most of the race. We went through a nice shaded park and then into some open air where I could feel the heat. Around mile 2 there was a water station with some nice ice cold water. Usually ice cold water is not very friendly when running, but it sure did cool me down. I loved it. Around mile 3, we hit another water station where I also took the chance to cool myself down. After that, the sun started to go behind the clouds and the hills. The rest of the race was glorious. We ran up to the top of the trail system which lead us up and down some hills. Eventually we hit a long climb and then and even longer steeper climb back up to the top of the hill. Then it was all downhill from there.
The first few miles were a little slow because of the crowd of people and the heat. I picked my pace back up after it cooled off and strangely enough, when I hit those long climbs. I am used to the last climb as it is one we would tend to incorporate in our long runs. It would end up somewhere in the middle or towards the end of the run. It was towards the last two miles of this race, so it was perfect. Something that we had already been training for. It almost seems to revive us on the long runs giving us a boost of energy in the middle. Running down the long hill back onto the street was a great spot to pick up pace once again. Plus it feels really good after the climb. I felt really good throughout this race. I was not pushing myself as I did not want to have any injuries for the marathon next Sunday. I ran how I felt and I felt good. Almost like the Bozeman Half Marathon. It felt good and normal to run that pace and the pace I was running on this hilly course.
I made it to the finish line at about 50:22. (Approx. as the race results are not posted yet). Which put me at another PR for this year! The second year of running has been great. Being in better shape and training for the marathon has improved my fitness and running. It will be nice to run a 10k to push myself a little harder not having a marathon to worry about. I am excited to say that I WILL PR next weekend as well. This is an easy thing to be sure of since I have never ran a marathon before. I cannot wait. One easy week of training and then it will be here.