I think I've only run one race shorter than a marathon since 2004. Decided to do something a little different and ran the XTERRA North Carolina Trail 10K today.
It was held at Beatty Park, where we've been running 3 days a week all summer. Feels like I have every step memorized going clockwise. The race went counterclockwise but I still felt like I had a rhythm from knowing the course so well. Beatty Park is very rooty. My leg and elbow are healing from a fall there last week. It was almost funny running a 10K. I missed the first mile marker and looked at my watch at the 2 mile marker at 15:20. "How could that be? 7:40 miles on a trail? I'm already 1/3 done?" I almost laughed. In reality, I didn't run much faster than I do when I try to keep up with my top girls on hard days. I was a little conservative, not knowing exactly how to run this distance. Strategy was: decent pace for first 2 miles, barely slower middle 2, all out the last 2. I stuck to that. Felt very good. I don't know how to explain it, but my stride felt powerful and longer than usual. Easily flowed over the roots and rocks. The race was pretty uneventful and was over before I knew it. One person passed me early and I passed five the rest of the way. I passed one guy 1/2 mile from the finish. He seemed to be struggling a little, but not that bad. He finished 10 minutes later and they had to call an ambulance & fire truck for him.
I finished in 49:11. 16th overall out of 60? 80? I may have been able to run about 1:00-1:30 faster and risked puking and blowing up. Instead, I went hard but within my limits, finished strong and felt good. I'm happy with it.