Whew - it has been a big build up but I finished my last scheduled race today! This was the Run for Recovery. I guess it's not the ideal to run another race just a few days after running a half, but this race is near and dear to my heart as it supports recovery from addictions. It also is organized by one of my good friends, Sal, and benefits a great cause.
Marc was also running the 10K and that was fantastic. Even though we didn't plan to actually run the race together as I am a bit faster then him, it is so much more fun for me when he is running and we get to the event, sign-in, hang out and line up together and everything.
Marc and I before leaving for the race.
I am thrilled to report that I kicked ass and took names in this race. Because it is a cause that close to my heart AND I won it last year so there was pressure AND 2 years ago I ran the 5K and it was my first race ever, I really wanted to win. So I was smart this time and lined up near the front.
It was really cool (extremely overcast and low 60's) today and the pre-race announcements and national anthem and a couple of speeches seemed to take FOREVER as I stood there shivering. I had been bouncing around trying to keep warm, but at the buzzer we took off and my legs felt stiff and like lead. But it didn't take long for me to warm up.
My Achilles was a little achy but generally good today, so I decided to just go for it. I made no effort whatsoever to pace myself. I wasn't running as fast as I could, but I was cruising. The 1.5 mile turnaround for the walkers and 5K racers seemed to pop up FAST. I ran by it and could still see the guys running in the front of the pack of the 10K.
Then - guess what? I saw PONYTAIL GIRL! You know - the bitch - I mean great racer who kicked my ass in my first 1/2 marathon in May!!! She was right ahead of me keeping pace with another girl. I said in my head "Well, looks like I'll be taking 2nd or 3rd this year." Then I thought "FUCK THAT! I'm going to try to catch her!!" So, I turned it up a notch and, sure enough, right before the 3.1 mile turnaround I passed her.
I ran around that sign and headed back. I was soon gassed though and was sure we had passed 4 miles. I looked at my Garmin and it said 3.66 - oh shit. I was sure that Ponytail Girl was right behind me just ready to pounce, but I was afraid if I looked back I would trip and fall. So I told myself to "Run, Bitch, Run!"
I looked at my pace and was running about a 7:23 minute mile - that's WAY faster then I normally run, but fortunately mile 4-5 was an easy, slightly downhill run. At just over mile 5, I saw one of my favorite clients who just graduated the program - he is an AWESOME guy now that he is clean and sober. He was standing there with a shit-eating grin on his face and holding up his forefinger for #1.
I was still scared that Ponytail Girl or the girl she was running with was right behind me, but I was also too scared to look back. At this point I ran into a HUGE pack of walkers and had to weave and dodge my way around them. A couple of turns and then the finish line was in sight. As I made that last turn and my heart surged with relief as I threw a look back and saw no one close behind me. I was going to take first!!
I then saw the red numbers and it was 44 minutes and counting! I put on a last burst of speed and took a leap over the pods that record your time.
So I took first and scored a PR (personal record).
- 86 10K racers
- 15th overall
- First place female
- Finish time 44:59
Ponytail Girl finished just behind me (by 9 seconds!!) and the other girl right behind her. We spent some time chatting and she confessed that she was desperately trying to catch me but could not. I confessed that I had called her a bitch on my blog. She took that with amazing humor.
Marc finished in 50:30 and took 31st place. I think that's pretty awesome for someone who doesn't run much. He also wore his new kicks - Brooks PureConnect 2 -and said that they felt great the whole race which I was thrilled about, because his feet have been really bothering him on long races. I never thought that Marc would wear minimalist shoes - maybe I'll post about that more in another post. But anyway, it was great!
We then went in the nearby building to eat and to wait for the awards. I got a lot of congrats from various people. I am now starting to recognize and be recognized by runners who regularly run these races. Because this was an addiction recovery race, there were also lots of active and ex-clients who came over to talk with me. It was pretty awesome.
I was announced as being in first place, and as an added bonus, the Judge that I work with was handing out the awards, so I got a big hug and a trophy. I have to admit - I'm pretty proud of this one...
So there you have it. There may be other races this fall, but I'm not currently signed up for any. I am on vacation next week. I need to rest my Achilles and it will be a mental break for me as well.
I'm not sure that I will be able to make any posts where we're going because internet might be spotty at best, so you readers get a break from my ramblings as well!