I just love fall racing! The problem is that there are so many great races around, I always end up signing up for way too many things. Fortunately I've gotten pretty good at really "racing" only a few key races and using the others as workouts, so it hasn't been a problem.
After doing the Augusta 70.3 and Ragnar DC within a 7 day span, my back was really bothering me and I ended up skipping the 5k that was on the schedule for the weekend of October 12. Given everything else, I didn't feel that bad about it, and I think the forced break was probably a good thing. Thankfully by mid-week I was quite a bit better, just in time for the family race weekend that we'd been planning since the spring. First up was the Oktoberfest 8k in Raleigh. My goal was to run comfortably hard and hopefully win the glass boot for fastest in a dirndl.
The first mile was a bit fast, but then I settled into a more tempo-ish pace until picking it back up in the last mile in an effort to work on my (currently non-existent) finishing kick. Unfortunately the guy in front of me suddenly stopped dead in his tracks around mile 4.7, causing me to run into him and the guy behind me to run into me, creating a Kara-sandwich and some not-at-all happy runners. I was able to regroup and chase down a few more people, and it helped to have my dad, brother, and husband all out there cheering near the finish line. Despite the crash, the last mile split was 6:45, which is definitely the fastest last mile I've run in an 8k, and my final time was 35:22. Not a PR and not what I feel like I am capable of, but pretty close to what I was shooting for, so I was happy.
After the race, I collected my free beers and chatted with my family while waiting for the awards ceremony and brat eating contest. Though I think I would be victorious in endurance eating (say how many brats can you eat in an hour), it quickly became obvious (as seen in the video) that speed-consumption is not my forte! It was fun though :)
When I met up with him, he was doing GREAT, and the miles seemed to go by pretty easily. At each mile marker, I'd run ahead and take a photo as he went by, and even at mile 10 he was smiling and feeling good. The course is pretty tough, especially the climbs at the end, and as we passed a bunch of people who were walking up the hills I thought about how glad I was to not be racing that one. But despite the lack of hill training in Dallas, Adam was a trooper, finishing his first half marathon in under 2:30. Before January of this year, I don't think he'd run a mile in at least 10 years, so to take up running and finish a half marathon in such a short time is a big accomplishment. In fact, I was so happy and proud of him that crossing the finish line was just as exciting as running a PR for myself. I'm so proud of everyone, and so glad this was something we were able to do as a family. Next up for us: the Dallas Half Marathon in December!