The night before started out how so many race nights do. Late going to bed and then I couldn’t fall asleep right away because of nerves (see why here). Of course, we were running a little behind the next morning, but not nearly as bad as some race days. When I walked out the front door, Jason was already running up and down our street trying to warm up since it was obvious that we wouldn’t have time to when we got there. I decided that my warm up would probably have to be the trip from our vehicle to the table where we pick up our packets. (It was.) Adding to the
stress excitement of the morning, that same gentleman who was at the Run for the Roses 5k in Prentiss (see my blog about that race here) and was announcing the whole time on a megaphone was there….on his megaphone again, lol. He certainly knows how to put me into high gear. There’s nothing like hearing how much time you don’t have to really get your heart rate going. I finally got lined up and ready to go with about a minute to spare. I didn’t get as close to the front as I had envisioned that I would be but it was good enough. One of my concerns was racing with my new Nike GPS watch. I think I must have looked at it five thousand times during the race! (I promise to do a review soon!)
The weather was really pleasant that morning, which was something we’d all been praying for (at least I know I had!). I started out a little faster than I should have but once I looked down and saw my pace, I reigned myself back in a bit because I knew I needed lots of energy until the end. This particular race course is no cake walk. It has lots of hills, some that are long, gradual ones that can wear you out if you aren’t ready for them. I actually felt like I handled the hills better that day than any other race that’s had hills before. I kept telling myself that my goals were this: 1. Finish 2. Beat my time from last year 3.Try and finish under 30 mins. I decided that if I could obtain even 2 of those goals, I could go home saying it had been a good race.
Lots of people passed me at first. I expected it but it still bothers me. I just kept telling myself to keep a steady pace and keep chugging along. By the time we were 2 km into it, I noticed that some of the people who had passed me early on were slowing down a little and now I was passing them. When I made it to the park, which was close to the half way point, I’d finally pulled away and didn’t have anyone immediately beside or behind me anymore (of course, I can’t be positive about the behind me part because I refused to look but I didn’t see anyone when I turned the curve, lol). I used that time to slow down for just a minute and take some deep breaths to get ready for the next really big hill that was waiting for us when we exited out of the park. I was dreading it but I knew that the sooner I could get up it, the sooner it would be behind me! Before I knew it, I was over the hill and on the last leg of the race. I was feeling a little tired but had no idea if I had someone gaining on me and because of that, I was afraid to slow down. I also was watching my time closely and knew that I had a good chance of finishing under 30 minutes. (In the back of my mind I was wondering if I’d made a mistake when I slowed down some in the park….)
As I turned on to the street and topped the hill, I saw the clock and it was still under 30. I saw my parents cheering, I saw Jason’s mouth yelling (couldn’t hear what because my music was too loud) while he was frantically trying to take pictures of me. It was going to be close. I ran as hard as I think I’ve ever run in my whole life. The clock seemed to be ticking away so fast!!! One last look up as I approached the finish line and I saw 29:58. That was all I needed to see as I ran under the clock. I threw my arms up in the air. I’d made it!!
I have 2 pictures from that moment:
One from Jason here –
One from my mom –
Jason finished in 22:27 and won first place in his age group!
Several members of our family participated that day. Our son Tyler ran it in 28:01, Jason’s sister, Donna ran with a finish time of 31:02, his brother’s wife, Delana ran and finished in 27:45 (winning 1st in her age group too!) and his mom walked it in 43:37 (winning 1st in her age group!).
I was very happy that several in our family participated and lots of our friends did too.
I was super excited that my parents were there to watch me!
After being a bundle of nerves and not sleeping much the night before, and running behind that morning, I have to say that this year’s race was a drastic improvement over last year’s. Not being in pain is the biggest thing I’m thankful for but I’m also grateful that I’m a little bit faster too..or maybe just a little less slow!
First goal: Finish – CHECK
Second goal: Beat my old time – CHECK
Third goal: Finish in under 30 – Almost – My official race time was listed as 30:01, even though I initially thought it was under 30. It’s ok though and you want to know why? Because I won my FIRST TROPHY with that time anyway!!
Two out of 3, plus a trophy isn’t a bad day at all in my opinion!!
Last but not least, here’s a picture of the girl I beat on Saturday:
“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.” – George Sheehan
P.S. Look who I ran into after the race, talk about my lucky day!