I can now say I have officially run a road race of some sort in four different states: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Illinois and now Hawaii. :) Not gonna lie, it was extra motivation to get up and sign up for the Honolulu Turkey Trot on November 24. The website I found said the run was just $5 so I was not sure what it would actually include, but I definitely got more than I bargained for.
I had no idea how registration would go (since it was only day of) so I was up at 5:30 even though the run started 5-7 minutes from the hotel. I had my clothes, iPhone holder, headphones and sneakers laid out the night before like usual. :)
I jumped out of bed and headed to register. I had my normal pre-race butterflies, especially since I was out of my comfort zone, but I was ready!
As I approached the sign-up area, I heard my name being called. It was my old coworker Hiro! RAN-DOM! I had no idea he was in Hawaii let alone running in the same race as me. Yay! I had someone to hang with before the run. He had two friends with him to so it was nice to meet new people.
While we waited around for registration to open at 6:30am sharp, I found out that the race was put on my the Honolulu Marathon Clinic group. It is a group that helps people train for the Honolulu Marathon - open to all levels of runners.
On Thanksgiving, the 10-mile run is part of their training and used to work on pacing. As a result, people aren't allowed any technology on the run - no iPhones, Garmins, Runkeepers, watches, etc. It is geared to help you work on your pace for the full marathon - listen to your body.
Wow! I was not prepared for that. Thankfully Hiro drove to the race so I was able to stash my iPhone in his car.
The other kicker of the run - since it was designed to work on pace - had no chip times or numbers, but a tongue depresser. On the depresser, you wrote your predicted finishing time for the race. I wrote 1:38.35 since that is what I ran 10 miles in in Chicago on November 15.
When you crossed the finished line, there would be someone there to write your "actual" time next to your predicted time.
How did they determine the winners? Whoever's actual time was closest to their predicted time won. Well, I figured I had to be spot on since I had just done the same run about a week earlier. I liked my chances.
At 7am, they finally had us head over to the start line. I felt so naked without my iPhone - I do EVER run with it. But, I was up for this challenge.
I started out in the back and quickly did my bob and weaving, ending up next to Hiro's two friends for the first part of the run.
I felt great. Without music or my Runkeeper updates, I really just took in the surroundings, I was able to listen to my body and could feel my feet hitting the pavement.
The views were breathtaking. The only reason I wanted my iPhone was to snap photos. I was wicked jealous of the people who brought disposable cameras. Had I known I wouldn't have my phone - I would've bought one.
I also didn't know there would be two HUGE hills on this run. Wow! I really had to thank Spinning for giving me the muscles and concentration to power up the hills with ease.
It was oddly refreshing to have no idea how long or how far I had been running. But, I was still curious. I finally found a couple guys who decided to "cheat" and had GPS watches on. They let me know we were halfway through. Okay I thought, feeling good.
Then I realized how hot it was getting. Man that sun/heat really snuck up on me ;)
The houses in the neighborhood we ran through were gorgeous. I can't imagine how much they cost ... but definitely out of my price range. :P
I overheard someone saying that the last mile or so was completely downhill. As I ran up the second hill, I figured we had to be getting close. As I started the downward portion, I caught up to another gentleman who looked like he had done this before. :)
He told me we were about 9 miles in and getting close to the finish. He asked me what my estimated time was, I said 1:38 and he let me know his pace was 1:30 so I was ahead of schedule and could take it easy if I wanted. Yeah, not my MO. ;) I knew I wanted to push myself since I was not working on my pace time for the marathon.
I kept up with the gentleman for the remainder of the run. He was originally from Chicago so we had a lot to chat about.
Not going to lie - the final mile felt like it would NEVER end. I wanted to stop. I wanted to walk. But, I couldn't.
I crossed the line at 1:31.04. A 9:06 minute/mile pace. Whhaaa?? Despite the heat and being out of my element, I cut about seven minutes off my time. I was PSYCHED. (Note: the time is as official as they could do since it probably took me at least 30 seconds to get to the start line)
Overall, it was a wicked cool experience. I am so happy I did it. I proved to myself that I could power through a run with two hills, no music and an unfamiliar route.
Of course I made Hiro (who finished in 1:05, fast I know) take a pic with me after the run to prove to everyone that I really saw him :P
Next official race is the Santa Hustle 5k in Chicago on December 3! :)