Arbutus Firecracker 10k Recap

My Fourth of July weekend started with the Arbutus Firecracker 10k which I wrote about briefly here. Leading up to the race I was a mixture of nervous and excited. I was excited to get out and run again after a brief hiatus, but I was nervous about how the race would go since I hadn’t trained at all.

To begin with, it was the first time I had done this race, it was a really fun and well put together race. I loved the shirt that I got for participating and had I been better prepared to run 6.2 miles it would have been the perfect way to kick off Independence Day. I definitely will be doing this race in years to come.

Having said that, the race was ROUGH. I hadn’t properly prepared  and I was recovering from an injury. While I knew that I would have to stop and walk at times it didn’t make it any easier. Before I even started the race my ankle was hurting. The ankle I sprained is the same ankle that I broke back in 2005 and it loves to act up before and after storms. As luck would have it Maryland was having several storms up to the morning of the race.

I was able to run the first mile and a half pretty easily and I was feeling good, but I finally had to give in and walk. That’s when things started going downhill. Right before I reached the third mile marker all I really felt like doing was collapsing and crying. I don’t know if it was the exhaustion, the fact that my ankle was bothering me, the adrenaline pumping through me, or the fact that I simply didn’t want to keep running (or all of it combined) but I’ve never felt so emotional during a run before.

If the race had been a 5k I think it would have been perfect, unfortunately for me, I had to keep going. by the fifth mile my ankle was really acting up and I resigned myself to having to walk the rest of the race until the finish line, save a final push so I would at least cross the finish while running. I was convinced that with the amount of walking I did my time would be somewhere around 1:30 or 1:40. But when I crossed the finish line the timer read 1:14:33. I confess I did a double take. I figured I read it wrong and it actually said 2:14:33. I’m actually extremely happy with the time, it’s only a little slower than my regular time and the fact that I’m able to stay so close to it is a very good feeling.

I have to say, as difficult as the race was the only thing getting me through it was the encouragement throughout the race. For most of the race there were very few runners surrounding me so it’s easy to get discouraged. The race ran through the residential community of Arbutus and there were so many people in lawn chairs outside of their houses cheering on the runners as they went by. I don’t know that it was any more encouragement than I’ve gotten at other races, but I definitely needed it more than I have at other races.

After the race my boyfriend and I went to Baltimore to see the fireworks on a friend’s rooftop deck. I sat as long as possible (my legs were killing me!) and I enjoyed a slice of the key lime pie I made for the party as well as so much other food. It was delicious and so worth it. All in all I don’t know that I could have asked for a better fourth of July weekend!

Fireworks over the Baltimore Harbor
Fireworks over the Baltimore Harbor

How was your Fourth? Share it in the comments below!