Monday, July 13, 2009

Skyland Mountain Run

This was going to be my 2nd ever 10K and once again I was doing it with my husband and my step-son.  One big difference was going to be that this time, my husband had been training and he wasn't going to hang back and 'walk' with me.

The drive down to Los Gatos was nice.  It was already shaping up to be a BEAUTIFUL day.  Although this was touted as a 'fun run' ran by a local church, from the moment we arrived on site it was apparent it was very well organized.  There were folks visable immediately; directing traffic and making sure people parked correctly.  There was other person at the entrance to the 'staging area' directing people to exactly which table they needed to be at to pick up our numbers and shirts.  The bathrooms were well marked, and there was water set out for people to use before the race.  

We lounged around, warmed up and stretched as we waited for the race to start.  Near 8:30 (race start time) they called everyone to the starting line.  And I mean everyone -- all the races were starting at the same time the 10K, the 5K and the 5K walk.  Somehow everyone managed to arrange themselves appropriately as they gave a brief explanation of the course and then... we were off!

One thing I can say about this course - it is BEAUTIFUL!  Nice enough that I didn't even notice (much) the rolling hills, and boy were there hills!

I started out middle of the pack.  I knew I didn't want to have to weave my way through the walkers, and I also knew I didn't want to be in the way of all the speed demons that were crowding toward the front.  

When the gun went off, I started at a nice comfortable pace.  I had set my watch to 'ding' after a mile, then count down a 1 minute rest interval, and then ding so I could run another mile.  I was really surprised to find that in that first mile I passed a LOT of people.  I was managing the slight incline ok, and didn't feel like I was going to die!  I could actually FEEL all the work that I've been doing to improve my fitness - and the 40 lbs I've dropped.  I finished the first mile in less then 11 minutes!  (don't have my exact times because somehow my watch lost my run during the download process - AGAIN!! *sob*)

Of course, when I started walking, a few of the people I passed, passed me - but I was really happy to know that I could maintain a reasonable 'middle of the pack' pace now!

The rest of the run went pretty much the same.  I would run for a mile, sometimes pass someone, and then walk for a minute and get passed myself.  I didn't mind, it was great to just feel like I had the 'gas' to get through the long run!   At 1.5 miles the people who were doing the 5K turned around and those of us who were doing the 10K kept going. I had to walk sometimes during my 'run' interval because the hills were too much, but I ran for as long as I could each time and started back up as soon as I could.  

My biggest goal for this race was to beat the time of my last 10K - the Old Mill Run that I did on April 18th -where I finished in 1:39. The way I set my watch I couldn't really see what my overall time was, but I as I finished each mile it was apparent to me that I was doing better then I had in April.  Still, as I got closer to the finish line I started pushing it a little.  By the time I got to the final stretch I was pretty much sprinting. It was pretty cool to hear so many people cheering and shouting "Great finish!"  and I certainly crossed the line with a smile on my face.

Even better was stopping my watch and finding out that my total time was 1:14!  I shaved 25 minutes off my 10K time in three months!  I need to schedule another 10K in three more months and see how much better I can get! :)

Oh, and the after party for this event - GREAT!  A fantastic pancake breakfast with eggs and sausage, a raffle, a band and really nice friendly people!  I would certainly do this one again.

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