September 6th, I woke up early, as is usual for me in these days of marathon training. What was on tap for that morning, you ask. 6.2 miles. A 10K. More specifically, the Frozen Hot Chocolate 10K. I was excited to run this race because it was in a place that not only had I never ran before, but I’d never been there at all. That morning, after gathering up my prerace food and the gear I would need for the race and headed down the toll road to…drum roll, please…the Circuit of the Americas F1 race track!!! How exciting is that?!?!?!
Since I’m running this race solo (as usual), I stay in the car so as not to fatigue my legs by unnecessary walking and standing before the race. I eat my banana and my Einstein’s Bros power bagel “loaf.” The 10K was set to start at 8:10am, 25 minutes after the 5K would kick off. As the time gets closer, I get out of the car and get all my stuff situated on myself and then go to find the port-a-potty.They said why but I was too far away from the speakers so I didn’t hear what it was. So, the 10K also started 10 minutes late. They did the 10K in 2 waves…90 seconds apart. I was in the second wave. The air horn goes off the second time and off goes my wave. We exit the parking lot and make our way around the west side of the track on the access road. There is a small hill almost immediately. Then we turn left and change from asphalt to well packed gravel and run around one of the parking areas. I have to watch my step here because one misstep on a large piece of gravel could mean disaster for me. Going around the parking area involves another hill, then we reconnect with the access road and take it out to one of the main roads where we do a u-turn. Before the u-turn, it was a downhill so guess what happened after we u-turned? Yep, up a hill again.
At this point, we’re at about mile 3.5. I’m surprised to realize that only me and like one or two other people were even trying to run. Everyone else was walking!
Then we go around another parking area, so more gravel. After another parking area loop, we’re on the perimeter road for the race track. Right after we got on the perimeter road, guess what? UPHILL! A lady running next to me remarked that it was cruel to put such a big hill in the latter half of a 10K. I didn’t let the hill win and kept on trucking right up it. It leveled out and even went downhill for a little bit. Then, guess what? Yep! Another hill! This one bigger than the last. What’s crueler than a big hill in mile 4? A bigger hill in mile 5. Ugh. But I keep going, I don’t stop. I thought about walking more than just the water stops but I chose not to. Why? Because while this was a race, it was also a training run for my marathon. If I stop and walk, what good is that going to do for my marathon training? None. So I kept running, no matter that mile 5 was slower than 13 min/mi, I kept running. As we rounded the final corner to make our descent to the finish line, we were blessed with a huge downhill. YAY!!!! I found enough energy to give it a final kick across the finish line and finished strong.
Overall, my impression of this race is that it was a challenging one and, since it was a 10K that actually awarded bling, I feel that I definitely EARNED that bling! Hahaha! And it’s pretty sweet bling, if I do say so myself!
After I got my bling, I made my way to the finisher’s mug tent and got my finisher’s mug with chocolate fondue and dipables in it. I was disappointed. I thought the mug would be basically a bowl with a finger loop handle. It was, however, it wasn’t a “true” bowl because it had compartments. So, it’s not like I could pour cereal in it and eat it. So, after I had my fill of the marshmallow and banana dipped in the liquid chocolate, I tossed it. Well, after I took pictures of it, of course.
I would probably do this race again next year if it happens again. I will be mentally prepared for the hills next time…hahaha!