Tuesday, September 18, 2012

South Fairfax Chamber Challenge 10k: Race Recap

On Sunday morning, I kicked off my fall race season with my first 10k! This was also the first race that Suzann and I ran together – we finally decided to put all our Sunday morning runs to good use and actually race! I’m glad we did, too, because this turned out to be awesome. Good find, Suz – we will definitely have to do it again.

South Fairfax Chamber Challenge 10k – Lorton, VA

The South Fairfax Chamber Challenge is a relatively small, local race, in its 4th year. There is a 10k and a 5k, and between the two, I’d say there were a couple hundred people out running. Not so few that Suzann and I came in at the top (by any means), but small enough that we were nowhere near the back, either. The 5k started 10 minutes after the 10k, and I thought that timing was great – it really split the running group nicely and allowed everyone to have some breathing room. Definitely a bonus.

We got to South County High School around 7:30 AM, and the race was set to start at 8. We found the bathrooms, which were the actual bathrooms by the football field, and they were clean and nice – definitely a welcome change the from usual line of porta-pottys! A local Boy Scout troop presented the colors and the DJ played the National Anthem, which I thought was a nice touch. Before we knew it, it was time to head to the starting line. We were off!

Pre-race pic! Yes, we are #s 9 & 10 - signed up early, apparently!
BTW - yes, we are matching, and we are proud of it. As a pre-race treat, we went to Lucy last weekend, and got new outfits! We've been working hard, running together since March or April, and were pretty excited to do our first race together. We loved our new tops - so comfortable and breathable, and they even have pockets on the back! I stuck sports beans and chapstick in mine, but never used either during the race. Nice to have the option, though! It was fun to hear people yell out "let's go, twins! You can do it!" While we ran.

We had been worried about this race a few weeks back because, at the beginning of September, it was still blazing hot and humid. We strugggggled through a few of our practice runs because the weather was just unbearable. We were both crossing our fingers for it to cool off a bit, and last weekend, we got just what we wanted – a cold front moved through, kicked out the humidity, and left temps in the 70s or so for the past week. It held out for us through Sunday morning, and we had perfect racing weather. I honestly don’t think we could have asked for it to be any better! The sun was out, it was cool but not cold at all, and the humidity was gone. There was a slight breeze as we ran – so amazing! Pure chance, with that, but we lucked out.

As for the race itself, I thought it was great. A friend of Suzann’s had warned her that this race was pretty hilly, and we were a little nervous, but it turned out to be no big deal – I think our regular runs are hillier than this was! We trained appropriately I guess, because we paced ourselves just fine and definitely weren’t the people flying down and panting up the hills. We felt great! The race started and ended at a high school, and the course was the roads and neighborhoods surrounding the school. The Fairfax County police did a great job of blocking the roads and keeping the runners safe from cars, and Suz and I made sure to say hi and thank you to everyone we passed. There were lots of volunteers out shouting encouragement and watching the roads, and there were three water stations, one that even had a porta-potty! We didn’t stop to use it, obvi, but it would have been a great find in case of emergency.

The course went a little long – Suzann’s Nike app said she did 10.4k, and my MapMyRun app said I did 6.64 miles – but it wasn’t unbearable, and measurements are tricky, anyway. The race was timed with chips we laced through our shoelaces. This wasn’t my favorite method – I didn’t like having to unlace my shoes because I’d already gotten them nice and tight – but I didn’t notice the chip while I was running like I thought I would. Non-issue.  There were lots of refreshments after the race – water, bananas, bagels, and such, and open access to the bathrooms still. We stretched out a little and then headed to Panera to meet the boys (Suzann’s husband and son + C) for breakfast!

Our goal for this race was to finish in under an hour. We figured that would set a nice, easy pace, which would be good for our first race together. Turns out, that was absolutely not a problem. Official finishing time: 56:27. We were so pleased! We sprinted the last straight away, probably the last .2 miles, and were out of breath at the end, but neither of us felt like dying. I think we could have kept on running! Excellent, because our next race together will be our first half marathon in December... we are so ready. Our splits aren't exactly even or anything, but we stayed pretty solid - and a guy came up to us after the race and thanked us for maintaining our speed, because he was pacing himself off us the whole race. So funny!

This was a great race to kick off the fall racing season, and a fun one to do for my first race with Suzann. I had a blast, and felt great the whole day afterwards. Definite runner's high! I made sure to stay away from my computer for a while, though - pretty sure I would have been signing up for races left and right after this one. It was nice to just revel in the joy of a good race, positive results, and the happiness I got from finishing my first 10k - which, if you'd told me a year ago I'd be doing today, would have had me on the ground laughing, I'm pretty sure. People sure do change!



passionandlaughter said...

I recently found out (this may be a rumor, not sure) that when the organizers map the races -- they choose the quickest path possible. If you stay to the outside, don't weave in between people or move around on the course you should be okay. Not sure if you two did any of that, but it could explain why you went a little over. Every step counts :)

Congrats on your first 10K!

Jill said...

Congratulations on your 10k! What a great accomplishment!

Caitlin said...

I second what the first commenter said--weaving does add on distance. Something I am so guilty of! At the Richmond Half, my watch told me I ran 13.72 miles... UMMMMM not ok! :) You guys look great and I am all for the twin outfits :) Lucy is awesome too.. i love their Perfect Core crops :). Never tried their tops yet... my bank account will be sorry soon! :) Great job on the 10k--that's a time to definitely be proud of. You guys are awesome!

Anna said...

Great job!! I joined a running group to train for the 8k I'm doing in November as a halfway point to my February half--our first run is today so this was great inspiration to get goin'!

Lindsay said...

That definitely makes sense - I've never really though about how much I weave or move around, but it probably does make up the difference. Good call!

Lindsay said...

Thank you!! :)

Lindsay said...

I got two different pairs of crops from Lucy - the Hatha & the X-training knee pant. I am in LOVE with both of them. Still love my Under Armours, but these are really great. Bad for my wallet!! haha :) & thank you!!

Lindsay said...

A running group is such a great idea!! We have a local runners' club, but the times they meet don't exactly work for me, and I'm afraid if I join, I'll never actually be able to make it. Hope you like it, and hope your run was good!!

Brigid said...

Congrats! Man, you guys are fast! That's an awesome pace to set...and too funny about the guy who came up to you after!

And I love the matching outfits. Seeing what other people wear is one the highlights of doing these races = )

alison said...

Hi Lindsay. I stumbled upon your blog through Suzann's facebook link; I go to Golds in Lorton. Anyhow, I just wanted to say congrats on a great race! I ran this 10k last year and it was challenging, but loads of fun, as well. There's something really nice about small local races. I had hoped to run it last Sunday, but, without thinking, I signed up for a different race. Oh well. Anyway, I just thought I'd say hello; I'm always on the lookout for new blogs to follow.
I'm glad you two had a fun time at your 10k. Here's to many more races! It sure is addicting.