Well, you know I won so that's no secret. So, how about I tell you the rest of the story?
This was the race I decided to pop into, just a few days prior to the race. I wasn't sure if I was going to be up to running a 10-mile race the morning after an evening wedding. Speaking of which, I clean up relatively well, no?
The wedding was fun but it was also early (4pm ceremony) so we were able to enjoy the whole reception and still get home in plenty of time for me to get a decent night's sleep. Or as decent as I get these days . . .
I woke at 7 and had my English muffin with peanut butter, coffee and water. Then I nursed the baby and took off to pick up Bridget, who was also running. We got to the race with plenty of time and met up with our pals Amanda, Tami, Elisa, Karen and another Amanda. Then we hung around and let ourselves get needlessly nervous. Or, at least that's what I did.
|With Bridget before the start of the race.|
I had a plan. Although I was just popping in and didn't plan to race race, I wanted to run well: I wanted to run between an 8:00 and 8:30 pace. I knew that there were some mega hills in the second half of the race so I planned to try to run around 8min/mile for the first 5 miles and then hang on and see what I could do. My thinking was (and still is) that if I could finish the race at a low-8 pace, I could have a good shot of running 8 minute miles for my half in September.
That was my plan.
We -- all 49 of us -- and, no, that isn't just my friends -- that was the whole field of runners -- lined up. And after a few minutes of delays, we were off.
|That's me in the funky blue argyle skirt!|
The race started in a residential neighborhood where it wound through nice shady streets. It was kind of cool because this is the town that my parents grew up in, and where many of my relatives still live. So I was feeling great in the beginning and felt that I could have run faster but I wisely reined myself in. I had a plan.
After we exited the residential area at about mile 3, we entered the country and it was nothing but lonely country roads for the next 5 miles. We passed the chicken farm where my dad worked as a teen and an old-timer cheered as we ran by. I thanked him. I did a lot of thanking during this race, come to think of it.
Anyway . . . country roads. Like this one:
|Thanks for the pic, Amanda!|
Looks lonely, doesn't it? Well, it was. For the first 3 miles I was running with a group of 5-6 runners and then some runners dropped off and I was running with one guy a little behind me and one guy a little ahead of me. Just past mile 5, I passed the guy who had been ahead of me and that was it. I ran alone, not seeing anyone ahead or behind me, for the last 4 miles.
Yep. I could have been out there doing a long run on my own. Instead, I was in a race and that was weird.
The course was great -- quite pretty. But, the hill just past the 10k mark was STEEP and hard. Then the hill at mile 9 was insane. I hated it. Seriously. I walked the last quarter mile or so of that evil hill and cursed just about every step.
And then I ran on.
When I got close to the finish line, I picked up the pace and was happy to see my time -- 1:21:05 -- when I was done. My friend, Debbie, who had run the 5K, told me I was the first female but I didn't believe her at first. Turns out, she was right.
Winning wasn't my plan. Running my own race, at my preferred pace, was. And I ran my own race, at my preferred pace and I consider that a win.
But, I have to tell you, being first female was kinda awesome.
Sure, it was a suuuuuuper small race. And my time was probably one of the slowest of the winning female times that they've ever had. But, whatever. I was the first female to cross the line. And I think that is pretty cool.
The award ceremony took way too long to get started because the computer broke down so I didn't get to stay to cheer for all of the runners who did well. I had a baby to get home to so I had to do what I had to do. But, the race director was nice and gave me my very cool trophy before I left.
It was a tough race but I ran well. I ran in the low 8s (8:07 pace) so I feel like I'm in good shape for the half. And, yeah, I plan to be back to run this one next year.
Sheesh! What a long race report. Thanks for stopping by, and making it all the way to the end! Enjoy your week.