The 10K was great. We had what I consider to be ideal running conditions: it was cool and misty, even a bit rainy at times. As I've always found to the be case, I was motivated by having a friend to run with, an event to run in, and no stroller to push. My friend and I ran the whole way and finished the race in just over an hour, at a pace of just over 10 min/mile. I could not have asked for more.
It was incredibly inspiring to run a race for women only. There were over 7,000 women registered to run, and the people-watching before the race was fantastic. I saw moms running with daughters, a high-school cross-country team, women easily old enough to be grandmothers, and women pushing their babies. I saw women in full makeup and women who looked like they'd just rolled out of bed. There were women of all races and sizes. Many of the runners thanked the volunteers who handed us water, and thanked the spectators who cheered us on. I've never heard that before in a race. It was so nice.
I passed a women wearing a T-shirt that said, "Four Months Past Baby." I said to her, "You're awesome. It took me a year and four months to get out here!"
There were a few men running, some wearing numbers that were clearly pirated from the kids' 1K fun-run. (The kids' numbers all started with 7, so they were easy to spot.) I was surprised by how irritated I felt to see men on the course. It seemed to rude and disrespectful of them. Come on, guys! How hard is it to find your own 10K to run? Let us women keep this one for ourselves.
I was also surprised by how emotional the start of the race made me. We were asked to raise our hands and cheer if it was our first race, if we were moms, etc. All of the cheering and pep talking and group dynamic totally set me off. There were tears running down my face for the first half mile, at least.
I need to keep running races. The races make all the training—all of the running with no other adult to talk to and a stroller to push—worth it. After having been in a running rut, this was just the inspiration I needed.