There wasn’t really any question in my mind whether or not I would run the Toad Suck 10k this year. It was the 8th race in the Arkansas Grand Prix series so ready or not I was going to do what I could. Once again my older two joined me so we left for Conway a little after 6 am Saturday morning.
My first experience with the Toad Suck races in Conway, AR was back in 2010 when I ran the 5k. This was back when I hated 10k’s and would always pick the 5k option. I won the 5k that year in 20:04. (The 10k has a more competitive racing field.) This race was right around the time I found out I was pregnant with baby #4. I ran the 5k again in 2012 (19:19) and decided I’d give the 10k a shot in 2013. It turned out to be a big breakthrough race for me and I finished in 38:41. (2013 was just a good running year for me in general. Oh to be 34 again!) In 2014 I was gunning for sub 38 but couldn’t quite make it. I ran a 38:08 which would be my 10k PR for the next 2.5 years. (Finally went sub 38 in November, 2017.) In 2015 I ran 38:44 and in 2016 Toad Suck was not on the Grand Prix schedule.
My main goal for 2017 was to go sub 38. I knew the course was flat, weather would be decent and I hoped I was recovered enough from Boston (3 weeks prior) to pull it off.
Mile 1- 6:07. I was hoping for just under 6:10 so this was right on target. I hoped this would be my slowest mile. (It wasn’t.)
Mile 2- 6:07. Still on track and I was running with a good pack but it wasn’t feeling easy by any means.
Mile 3- 6:09. Trying to stay in the mile but I was already working for it.
Mile 4- 6:16. This was the toughest mile. The only major incline of the race was in this mile, as well as a random dirt path connecting the trail with a road. I was determined not to let this send me in a downward spiral but it took a lot of will power.
Mile 5- 6:09. I was counting down laps on the track in my head and focused on keeping it sub 6:10.
Mile 6- 6:10. Holding on and ready to be done!
Mile 6.13- 5:29 average pace around the track. – (Race measured short on my watch)
Official Finish Time- 37:38 (1st Female OA).
Technically this would be a new 10k PR for me and although course was recently certified it did measure short on my watch so I have a hard time counting it. I know we did run under a tunnel, off road, and around a track so maybe these things affected GPS??
As soon as I finished I started my jog back for the kids. I saw Abi looking strong. She ended up finishing in 46:44 (PR by a few seconds) and placed 2nd in her AG.
I jogged in to the finish with Anthony. He ran a big PR by several minutes and finished in 50:45 (4th in his AG). Our ladies finished 1, 2, 3, & 4th so we were able to win the overall women’s team division as well. Go Searcy Rush!
On Monday the race website posted race pictures so when I went to pull them up I noticed the links to other race years were posted. Then I got sucked into a black hole of past race pics… Running is definitely a journey!
Until next time Toad Suck…