Friday, October 3, 2014

On the Run: Run Wild for the Detroit Zoo 10K - 2014

Hot damn!  I'm so excited to write this post!  September 14th was a special day for me.  Not only did I get to run my favorite race for the 7th consecutive time AND celebrate my 7-year racing anniversary, but I also WON said favorite race!  How awesome is that?!  

I did NOT expect to win this year!  I had a great race the previous week but I'm still having hamstring pain and am not in top racing form.  I trained hard all week, running 20 miles the day before this race.  My goal was to go out and give it my best shot, definitely beating last year's time of 43:17 but I knew I wouldn't hit a PR.  Top 3 would be nice but I would have to see who showed up that morning.

I arrived at the race early as usual.  I needed to eat my banana, pick up my bib and shirt, do a mile warm-up, and use the port-a-potties before the lines were too long.  The weather was perfect - sunny and low 50's.  (Although looking around at some of the other runners' outfits - hats, gloves, tights - you'd have thought it was winter!)  I debated about the arm warmers but kept them in the end, figuring I could roll them down mid-race if I got too warm.  

My timing was perfect as I lined up at the start with about 5 minutes to go.  I scanned the front of the crowd, which consisted of mostly men and a smattering of women, none of whom looked too serious about the race.  With 30 seconds to go, however, one woman stepped up ahead of me and I knew I had competition.  She had beat me by 48 seconds at Back to the Beach in May, after I took a wrong turn and added on extra distance.  After racing this course 6 times, however, I wasn't about to make any mistakes today!

My strategy for a 10K is to not go too hard out of the gate, knowing I will pick up the pace as I go.  First place was ahead but I was okay with that because I was steadily closing the gap.  By the first mile marker I caught up to and passed her.  I didn't look back but continued to race as if she was right behind me, just in case.  I didn't want to let this one go!  I steadily increased my pace for the first three miles but around mile 4 my legs were starting to feel the long run from the day before.  I kept pushing but with an inconsistent pace for the remainder of the race.  

This is a lovely neighborhood course - shady, tree-lined streets with gorgeous homes.  There are a lot of turns on the course so there's always something new to look at.  Considering it's a smaller race it has a lot of neighborhood support and plenty of volunteers.  The course and the people were nice distractions to keep me going when I wanted to slow down!  Running down the final stretch into the zoo, I was so excited to be finishing first female.  I heard someone shout out, "Girl power!" and that made me laugh.  I felt strong running across the finish line.

After the race I was interviewed on camera by Michigan Runner about my win.  My part isn't until the end but there are a few shots of me running earlier in the video.  I'm not comfortable being interviewed but it turned out ok.  You can view it here.  I even got to brag about RUNdetroit and the women's racing team when asked about my jersey!

I was excited to see my friend and fellow RUNdetroit Flight Club member Megan finish her race and then we did our mile cool-down together.  She's such an amazing person!  I love that I always have friends at races now!

Then I went to the awards ceremony where I received one of the better awards from a race - a 90-minute massage (either deep tissue or sports) from Massage Envy.  Talk about a useful award!  All top finishers and age-group winners also got medals.  I was so excited to run a great race, have fun, and support the zoo all at the same time.  

Best day EVER!!





Fever/ The Black Keys
Bring Me Your Loves / St. Vincent
Animal / Langhorne Slim & The Law 
Happy / Pharrell Williams
Gotta Get Away / The Black Keys
Violent Shiver / Benjamin Booker
Animal / Pearl Jam
Move Like You Stole It / ZZ Ward
50 Ways to Say Goodbye / Train
Dancing Shoes / Arctic Monkeys
Get in My Way / Robin Thicke
The Walker / Fitz & the Tantrums
Man / Neko Case


  1. Congrats on your win! Very impressive. I can only imagine what even greater times you'd have if you didn't train through some of these races. Twenty miles the day before a race-Are you training for a marathon?


    1. Thanks, Ken! Yes, fresh legs would make a difference, I'm sure! I'm training for the Detroit Free Press Marathon. It's coming up - October 19th! I'm looking forward to it but also to the break after it's over. My hamstring really needs a rest. :( Looking forward to faster times if I can get that healed.