Took the scenic route, aka an accident in the bridge-tunnel added ~3 hours to my drive, to Buena Vista, VA this past weekend to run the Fall Foliage Festival 10k in Waynesboro with my little sister and her friend(not running, just moral support).

Short version: Was cold as fuck. Was fun. PR'd by 2 minutes and 12 seconds, was 5th woman across the finish and 3rd place for women 20-29. Not bad for all the hills that area's got and all the hills my area hasn't got. Sis didn't get under an hour like she'd hoped(5 minutes over), but didn't seem too bummed. So, glad.



Woke up at 5:30am, the race starting at 8am and there being roughly an hour drive to get there, alas my sis and her friend refused to budge until 5:50am at the earliest, so I mostly just fussed about getting all hyped up.

Anticipating the cold due to the chill at my sis's place, added gloves and my under armour leggings to my normal running attire. Was one of the few who chose not to wear long sleeves and, despite whining at the start, by finish I feel that was a smart choice as I would have gotten overheated with them. Probably helped though that I wore my coat until a few minutes to start and spent 10-15 minutes beforehand jogging in place and bouncing up and down to warm up.

Being a small race there wasn't too much fanfare before we were off, didn't really check but seemed to be on time. Wished my sis luck and didn't see her next until finish, but that was pretty much agreed on what would happen.

For the breakdown, the time is what my clock was at when I hit that mile's marker...

Mile 1- 7:38, actually my second slowest mile. I'm always torn between the strategic advantage of a strong start, staying in the front of the pack, vs. holding off and passing people. Hope to figure out what works best for me, though I do want to know I'm fast without having to rely on others to motivate. Still, this time I stuck to the latter, being wary of the hills.

Mile 2- 15:16, little faster. Not too memorable. Scenery was pleasant enough, though mostly in neighborhood-type areas. The leaves around here never really get that impressive, so this was nice. Still holding back a little.

Mile 3- ~24:00, slowest. In trying to hold back from passing people until the 4th mile in kinda feel I slowed a little too much. Still, started working on my ~plan~ after the first water stop. That is, I'd push a little harder going up the hills so that I'd be passing people when they're likely not expecting it as much. Passed two right off the bat.

Mile 4- ~30:00, Started overtaking people. After the second mile no one passed me(least I soon retook them) and it was only me passing others. Ngl, kinda made it funner. I enjoy the feeling of "competing".

Mile 5- no clue, Having opted out of music for this race I started making up cadences in my head to get through the finish. Hills started to feel a little harder to manage than earlier though never really felt the 'gonna die' phase I've felt in other races. Might have been the cold, was soothing.

Mile 6- ditto, Had one more person I wanted to pass before finish, had been gaining ground on her since the start. Pulled ahead of her, then she kinda pushed back, but with ~.7 left to go I had it. Pleased, though after passing her it became hard to really figure who was with the 10k and who were slower people finishing up the 5k due to the shared finish line so just went along as well as I could.

Finish- 45:14(PR!), The final .2 and finish line itself felt kinda fast and not as much of a build up as other races. Like, I saw the 6 mile marker and next thing I knew I was at the finish and was all "oh shit, I'm supposed to be pushing it for the final bit! Go!" As a result, it kinda felt so-so and I felt like I could keep running at the end. Ah, well, got a medal.

Have a 5k this upcoming Saturday and then another 10k the weekend after that, it being on my, flat, home turf I hope to do even better. It's fun getting faster.
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