As a general rule I tend to avoid races with the words, “hot”, “fire”, or “Hell” in the name and for good reason. Well, I broke my own rule for this one.
The Race: Hot Pepper Nights 10k
Date: Saturday, August 15, 2015
Time: 6:30 pm
Location: Jonesboro, AR
Weather- HOT! Not the hottest race of the summer but any time heat index is over 90 I know pace adjustments need made!
John and I decided to make the trip without the kids because we knew it would be a late night for them. We dropped them off with my in-laws on our way to Jonesboro which is about an hour and twenty minutes away. We got there with plenty of time to spare. I was able to work in a nice 2-mile warm-up and some strides. I knew there was at least one recent college/track runner grad there and possibly others. This race offered prize money for the top three finishers so I really wanted to place well if possible.
Pace Plan- My initial plan was to shoot for 6:15-6:20. In better weather it would have been in the 6-6:10 goal range but I knew that would not be realistic. Even pushing a 6:20 was going to be tough.
According to an elevation map I’d seen it looked like the first half would be a little more challenging than the second half. I needed to make it to about 3.5 miles and then I’d be able to enjoy a little downhill. I just had to take it mile at a time.
Mile 1- 6:16. I knew I didn’t need to be going any faster than this but it felt so easy and effortless. I just had to remind myself that this pace would not seem so easy in a couple miles.
Mile 2- 6:22. Still feeling good and trying to feel out the competition. There were two other ladies running in a pack right with me. One was the college runner and the other was in her 20’s or 30’s? (I’m horrible with guessing ages!) Could they keep this pace? Could I?
Mile 3- 6:24. By the end of this mile I had moved into first place.
Mile 4- 6:19. Once I made it to 3.5 and over the last big hill I decided to push my pace a little. I wasn’t sure how close the two ladies were behind me so I wanted to stretch the lead I had.
Mile 5- 6:16. Holding steady.
Mile 6- 6:34. The first half (or longer?) of this mile has a long incline. I knew my pace was slowing and I was ready to be done. I wish I could have held onto my pace a little better on this mile. Oh well!
Mile 6.32- 6:12 avg. pace. I had hoped to make it in under 40 but when my watch was measuring ahead at every marker I knew it would be close. (Overall watch average- 6:21 pace.)
Official Finish Time- 40:14. 1st female/ 3rd overall. Official results can be found here.
After I finished I was able to get in a slow 4 mile cool-down while we waited on awards. It took me almost as long to run the 4 miles as it did the 10k! I was pretty tired but felt good about my race effort.
After the race John and I went to Outback for a late dinner. Kind of a race/ date combo. It was a really nice way to end the night.
I’m pretty sure I’m done with night racing for a while and I really hope I’m done with races in the 90’s! It’s been a tough summer training/ racing but every time I find myself wanting to complain I quickly remember being injured last summer. Running in the heat is better than not being able to run at all!
Coming soon: Wildcat Road Mile Race Report!