Today was race day. And, it was for a great cause. Live 4 Evan is a foundation that helps out families and children with congenital heart disease. Each year they have a 5k run and fun festival to raise awareness and funds.
Tom woke me up at 7:15a by patting my face with our cat’s paw. Not a bad way to rise if you ask me. But, I am still not much of a morning person and went into robot mode of getting myself together and slowly becoming human. When we left the house to make it over to registration for 8:30a, I was just starting to feel like myself and the race jitters started to kick in.
As Tom and I walked toward the starting line area and then hung out stretching (Tom) and people watching (me), the jitters kicked in. What if I hit the wall on the hill at 2 miles? What if I pace myself to faster runners? What if my knee decides to tinge? What if….
At some point it didn’t matter anymore. Everyone lined up at their designated signs. Tom stepped up to the 8 min mile section while I hung towards the back of the 9 min mile group and closer to the walker group. I popped in my headphones, set my music to play, and readied my watch to track my run. The horn blew and the pack began to move, slowly at first, and then faster as we all started to cross the starting line.
It was a brief uphill from the park where we started to the main road. I felt strong and confident moving to the outside and easily passing some of the other runners in my group without over exerting myself. The first mile was a gradual downhill and I opened my stride and used the time to my advantage knowing mile two was going to s**k. I continued to move past more and more runners building my confidence even as other faster runners were also moving past me. Pace from my Apple Watch: 9:20
Mile two was the killer as I thought. The first part heading in was actually not too bad. I continued to move past a few other runners and saw some runners that over did it in mile 1 start to slow or walk. I found a couple women that seemed to be similar in pace to me and used them to push myself. But, it was a half mile into that stretch that the uphill started to kick in. My calves from my big run a couple days before began to remember that uphill isn’t always fun. I could feel myself starting to shorten my stride as my internal coach kept encouraging me to keep on running, keep on running, keep on running in Dorie’s (Ellen’s) voice. When I made it to the end, I could feel my legs get happy again and my heart and breath began to even out. Pace on my Apple Watch: 9:44
Pushing into mile 3 I felt like a runner again but clearly feeling a bit more sluggish after the uphill. I worked to open up my stride but my calves were tight. Even on a short downhill I couldn’t launch the way I had at the beginning of the race. I watched as two of the women I was running with through mile 2 moved ahead of me by about 20 feet and I ultimately tried to hold that distance to keep me going. Heading past a cross point, I caught sight of Tom with his red baseball cap which gave me a little more momentum. Pace from my Apple Watch: 9:48
Seeing the 3 mile marker was awesome. Coming around the bend and catching sight of the clock was even better. I was floored when I saw the number. There was no way it could be correct. I picked up my pace a bit and dashed through the finish line without slowing down.
I couldn’t be sure of my time. Was it really true? Rather than think about it I took a water, spotted Tom and we compared notes.
Finally, the waiting was over. Sitting in the local espresso bar having our coffee and breakfast, my phone had already notified me of our results.
I almost screamed. A personal best!
Overall time: 30:15
Female 40 – 49: 19/28
I shaved off 13 seconds on my pace and I’m pretty pleased that I’m in the middle of the pack overall, even if a bit slow for my age bracket. My other awesome sauce is that each mile, even during my awful uphill, was under a 10 min pace (although I can see my watch is a bit off). I’ve never done that before. I always creep back up to about 10:20 on the uphills.
Anyway, its 2 1/2 hours since the end of my race and I still have runners high. Maybe it is the results. Or, maybe it is the large iced Americano. Either way, I’m looking forward to the Wicked 5k on October 29. I just need to figure out what my costume will be…
Big shout out to my hubby, he had a personal best as well. At some point maybe I’ll catch up to him and we can run together. Here is his stats:
Overall time: 25:38
Male 40 – 49: 6/18
Tom and I basking in the glow of the after run: