It’s not often that you get to run a race on a weekday, but Esprit de She gives you the opportunity to do a 5K or 10K for “happy hour”. So last Thursday, I took a little 40 min drive down to Mesa Riverview Park to run the 10K.
I ran this race last year, the first year for the race, when it was in Tempe. When I first looked at signing up, the race still showed being in Tempe, however as we got closer to the race, maybe six weeks prior, they changed the location to Mesa.
I really enjoyed this race last year, even though the course was a bit short, so I had it on my schedule to run again for most of the year, although I did not sign up officially until last month, so I paid $50 plus the whatever the fee was, somewhere around $5 I think. Also, if you remember from earlier this year, I did my first duathlon with Esprit de She in Tempe as well, so I am familiar with and like the brand. You can read that recap here.
I had the opportunity to pick up my packet at the Athleta store at Kierland in Scottsdale on Tuesday, which was nice since, the actual race location is a bit far from my house. It was quick and easy, all I did was give my name and then they asked what size shirt I wanted and told me if I was going to use the drink coupons to bring my id and I was on my way. If you weren’t able to make it to the store, they did have a nice packet – pickup and gear check at the race.
The race bag included, a re-usable Athleta bag, an Esprit de She Tank, a Luna bar, a few chewable Smarty Pants vitamin packets & on the bib was a 20% off coupon for Athleta & 2 drink coupons for after the race.
Come race day, I had a nice lunch, of honey seared chicken with brown rice from Pei Wei and lots of water. Night races aren’t always the easiest to fuel for, but since I have been running more at night lately, I felt ok have a big lunch and then just ate half of a Go Macro cashew butter bar on my way to the race.
Like I said earlier, the actual race location was about 40 minutes from where I live. It’s not a horrible drive, but there is a lot of traffic on that route. With the race starting at 7pm, I left my house around 5:30/45 and got down there a little before 6:30ish just when I wanted to. I was a little nervous about the race, which is pretty common for me, but especially since it was a bit warmer than I would have liked.
When I got to the race location, I got in line to use the port-a-potties, the line wasn’t too too bad. Then I walked around just a bit to see the expo area & there was a pretty fountain near by too.
Then it was time to line up for the race. They started with the 10K runners at 7pm and then the 5K runners at 7:05. The race was one 5K loop that the 10k runners would do twice.
We listened to the national anthem & some announcements before starting the race. I had a fellow runner take my photo and then we were off!
Not too far after starting was a water station, which seemed a bit early in the race, but considering we were going to be running 2 loops it was a decent location. We never actually went out on the main roads, it all took place on the parking lot roads near the Cubs spring training stadium and then thru the park. In the first mile, we went out, did a turn around and then came back towards the start line, eventually hitting another area where you do a turn around before going onto the grass for a about a quarter mile. After the grassy section, we came back by the start/finish line, but not yet, we still had to go around a little lake and past the fountain before coming back around by the start/finish line.
Since I was doing the 10k, we had to do 2 loops, when I started my 2nd loop, I checked my watch as I passed thru and it showed 2.9 miles and around 24 or so minutes which was a bit disappointing. Last year the course was short too, I was hoping that this year it would be closer, but it wasn’t. 🙁
After starting the second loop, I had a Burnt Toast Moment when I started to get a little pain in my chest area. I could also tell my heart rate was a bit too high, so I walked for a little bit before starting back up again. I think that the Pei Wei, which I never eat before a run, was not the best choice for a pre fast race meal, giving me a little heart burn. Oops, lesson learned.
I slowed down a little bit, I had run the first 3 miles, really fast, for me – around 25 mins so I was ok with slowing a bit. I think I walked about 3 times total in the race, while I do run more straight, I still have the Galloway run/walk mentality and I really don’t mind taking a minute or two here and there to recover.
At races and really in general when I’m not running on the sidewalk or trail, I like to run on the curb, or on the painted line on the road, somehow it helps me to stay focused, maybe a throw back to my Galloway days, when I was trying to stay to the side so I didn’t disturb anyone when starting the walk interval. So I focused on staying on the curb and just starting passing people one by one. By this time those that I passed were mostly slower & walking 5k’ers which is always kinda weird. While I felt a little bad about passing the slower 5k run/walkers, it was nice having them out there so I did have people to pass and interact with.
I speeded up as I neared the finish line, crossing the finish line at 51:25, which if it had been the full course would have been a 2.5 min PR in this distance with a big 5k PR as well. After I crossed the finish line, they gave me a bottle of water and a bottle of Aspire sports drink but I seriously thought I was going to be sick so I took a few deep breaths and sat down just past the finish line to calm down. I hate feeling like I’m going to throw up and this is the second or third time I’ve felt like that after finishing a race, which apparently, according to my coach is how you are supposed to feel, because it means you ran hard. Not sure how I feel about that. Anyone who knows me well, knows, and I’m sure no one likes getting sick, but I have a huge phobia of it and can not even hear someone else getting sick or I feel like I am too, even if I felt perfect before. But anyways, I drank some water and rested for a minute before heading over to the post race festivities.
I really like the women’s races, specifically Esprit de She, for all the cool stuff that they do after the race. I wasn’t able to participate in a lot of the activities because I had a decent drive and an early morning the next day, but they had a pampering area, a DJ with a little area for dancing, lots of booths with wine and other types of alcoholic beverages, which I did not partake in, for several reasons, #1 – I don’t really drink when marathon training, #2 and most important – I do not drink and then drive and since I was by myself and had quite a drive, that wasn’t going to happen. I did get a plant from the plant station, which was really cool and some yogurt from Dannon. They also had a nice area with the Esprit de She logo’d product, which looked really nice and like something I would wear on a regular basis.
All in all this was a great race. I really enjoyed it and I’m glad that I did it again this year. My only complaint is that the course was .4 miles short. I know all about the tangent running and how most of the time you run long, but this was ridiculously short and I was not the only person who noticed. If I had been over, I wouldn’t have had an issue, because it is much more common to be a little over, but being almost a half mile short? I’m disappointed because it will now show up on athlinks as a PR but it’s not a real PR. I will look forward to actually achieving this time on a certified course :).
But even with that little burnt toast moment, I would totally do another Esprit de She event and I look forward to next year!