Goal accomplished and thank goodness it's over!
The race went just like I imagined, despite the early rain that fell just minutes before the starting gun. A friend and I managed to find a dry spot in a local hotel, use their potties, and warm up under their carport. Perfect. I easily found the 1:35 pace group at the start and worked with them until mile 6. At that point we entered a midway park that had a lot of rolling hills. The pace group began to spread out, but I stayed with them, would fall back a little, and then reel them back in again. We were at mile 8 when we exited the park and I was feeling it. I am not a very strong hill runner and hadn't been doing much (if any) hill training. Yikes! I was also feeling like the pace we were going was one I couldn't maintain. Then I looked down at my watch--6:47min/mi pace!! Double yikes! I was supposed to be running an average of 7:15's and knew I had to slow it down. I let the pacer go and started running right around 7:15 and much to my relief, I felt an immediate difference and SO much better. Whew!
At that point I was at mile 10 and felt empowered that I was going to run the race MY way and probably do a better job than the pacer. That idea gave me spirit and it was a great mile… which I then paid for during mile 11. :) By mile 12 I knew how close I was to finishing and knew I just needed to hang on as fast as I could. And by the end, a sloping downhill carried my tired body into the finish. Awesome! I knew I was done and my legs were totally shot. They gave me a fleece blanket and a medal and immediately I saw my sweet family there to greet me--never a sweeter sight! I had tears in my eyes seeing my babies and so grateful for a successful race, goals accomplished, and a family who supported me so. Thank you, dear ones! It was a euphoric high for the rest of the day...
|At mile 12.5|
|12.5--my friend took me by surprise and brought a smile to my face!|
|My wonderful groupies--best husband ever and 5 charitable children, who came out in the rain to cheer on their mama (even if it was slightly begrudgingly so, I appreciate it!)|
My legs were beyond sore on Sunday, but the satisfaction of good race kept the smile on my face! Now maybe a marathon in the spring?? We shall see. I need to make sure GG is on board. ;)
Thanks for your support!