I know I haven't recapped my last BIG race. I'm still writing that novel.
I debated all week as to whether or not I would do this race. Which is totally not like me.
Monday night (two days post marathon) I went out for an easy 2 mile run. Short and slow, just to get those tight quads moving again.
The good news is that my legs felt amazing. Other than that tightness in the quads, and a knee reminding me that it still wanted to be treated very nicely, everything felt great! All those little spots that I'd fought with over the past few months all not only survived St George but also felt great in the aftermath.
I ran into only one problem on Monday night.....I couldn't breathe.
Ok, well technically I *could* breathe, otherwise I'd be dead. But man, it hurt!
I don't know if it was that cold that I was pretending I didn't have (that walloped me on Sunday) or if I'd somehow just pushed my lungs harder than I thought on Saturday? I don't know. Either way it wasn't pretty. I struggled through the second mile.
Though I had hoped to also squeeze in a couple of easy miles on Wednesday and Thursday this week, that didn't happen so I really wasn't sure what my body was going to do in a hilly 10k.
Then the cold snap hit. Like highs in the low 40s cold. I really don't mind running in the cold and actually prefer it to running in high heat, but it's been raining too. Truthfully I kind of like running in the rain as well, but the cold plus the rain plus the tired body with a cold stacked up for a nice line of excuses to not run this one.
I was supposed to pick up my race packet on Friday afternoon, but didn't feel like dragging the kids out, so I skipped it realizing that if I had to pickup before the race I was going to actually get myself to the race. I made arrangements with a friend from my neighborhood to drive together as well, knowing that I wouldn't leave someone else hanging.
I was committed.
This morning was cold. It was raining again.
I rolled out of bed, killed 20 minutes standing in a warm shower then got dressed, did the wheat toast with almond butter (no strawberries today, we're out. darn.), and bolted out the door. I picked up Heather and then Yvonne and was so glad to have company! Races are much more fun with other people that you know.
We drove to Thanksgiving Point where we sat in the car for a bit before finally venturing out to pick up our things. And after pickup we headed right back to the car where we spent the next half hour killing time and staying warm.
It was so cold that the windows were all fogged.
Thankfully they didn't complain about the smell when I Biofreezed my knee.
The rain tapered off just in time for the run to begin. Yay!
We didn't get out of the car until about 15 minutes before our start, at which time it had warmed up a few degrees (yay again!) to a comfortably cool temperature. Yes it was comfortable because I had long sleeves, a jacket and gloves, I was prepared. And Yes, I still wore a skirt. The legs warm up quickly.
We watched the 6k walk/run start (it's a little longer than 5k so that their course winds through the gardens as well) which was 10 minutes before our start, and we chatted for a bit about goals. Since I didn't know what to expect I really was going to be happy with anything that beat last year's finish. Granted that wasn't a very lofty goal since last year I when I ran this one I had had the stomach flu for two days and Sam was 8 or 9 weeks old. I ran fueled on half a banana, some gatorade and Immodium, which was the most I'd kept in me for those two days. Prime racing conditions! My previous official finish time was 1:05:51.
I really wanted to just clear the one hour mark, and would be thrilled to hit anywhere under 55 minutes, even though I knew I should have been able to easily hit 50-52 minutes based on what I was running my 6-8 mile runs at over the past few months. Sub 50min was a little lofty for me in current conditions, but it will definitely be my next 10k goal.
The run was fabulous.
Everything worked out perfectly and I'm so very glad that I didn't bail!
I started out comfortably and after mile one decided to crank it up a bit and go with it.
Not only did my legs cooperate, but it didn't hurt to breathe. Well, not till the side stitch the last tenth of a mile, but that's doable.
This run is always so beautiful! It winds around the Thanksgiving Point grounds and then through the paths of the gardens. Though obviously there isn't a ton of color left in the gardens at this point (there was snow here this week), it is still beautiful. It is a little like winding through a maze as they thread you through the different areas of the garden, and there is a lot of hill running involved, but I have learned over the past few months that I love hills.
And the perfect song hit right as I was winding through the gardens approaching the first-and biggest-hill.
(do yourself a favor and listen to and watch the whole thing. This guy is incredible!!)
Running the beat on this song allows me to keep a nice 8:30ish min/mile pace. It was fitting accompaniment to running through the gardens as well. I just kept this one on repeat because I knew it could help me keep pace through the second half of this run.
Being able to keep that pace through garden mileage and up the hills let me pass dozens of people and I realized that there weren't that many runners in front of me, it was mostly walkers who hadn't finished the 6k yet. I kicked it in just a touch more to average an 8:13 pace for the last mile, I wish I could have pushed it just a bit more but much of the end is uphill and I was running out of oomph as my legs reminded me that they were still recovering.
I ended up clocking an official finish of 51:47.
Not only did I clear my acceptable goal, I cleared my happy goal and landed in my "I wish I was up for it today" zone!
Good enough for 6th (of 93) in Age Group
and 18th overall finish!
(10/10 update: I was just emailed the official finish list...they missed someone on this print out apparently, so I was actually 19th overall, but out of 281 people, I'll take it!)
WOW! That totally made my day!
I've kind of ruined myself because I know how my speedy friends run and I know that if women who ran like them had been there today that I would have been significantly further down the list, but oh well, that's just details! This time I will revel in the fact that I was up there towards the top! And bask in knowing that a sub-50min 10k is in my future.
The friends that I went with both finished extremely well too, which just made the morning that much more fun.
(gosh I look ridiculously tired)
We were all smiles, even though it got pretty darn cold once we finished running and the wind started making all the sweaty spots freeze.
I had the same photo issue with this race as I had last year, that issue being that despite the photographers being at the finish, there isn't one of me. Not that race photos are ever any good anyway, but still. It's the principle of the matter. I don't have a finish photo to mock. I did take a step up in the ranks though, whereas last time it was a bunch of pictures of my friend Ashely who was running next to me the whole time-and my arm (because they cut out all of me but my arm), this year all of me made it into the background of someone else's finish photo. I'll let it go since it was some lady who had unloaded her kids from her jogging stroller and the kids were crossing the finish line. Definitely a cute photo for them. And I do look good in their background. (But I do have to add-a little dangerous for the small kids who are in the path of the runners sprinting in to the finish!)
(of course my last highlight had to do with food! If that surprises you in any way, shape or form, you need to get to know me a little better!)
Happy, smiley, and loving my legs more every day....