Here I am at the expo. I LOVE being with runners! Only my kids, husband, friends, ice cream and a race can get a smile like this out of me.
Isn't it awesome having friends that run! We did all but one of our long runs together. I only listened to music on that one solo run. The rest of the runs were spent talking with these great women. I don't get a lot of nights out with friends with a seven month old at home, so my Saturday morning runs have been awesome.
Back to the race...we settled into the cottage we rented for the weekend, went to the expo and grocery store, and then had a wonderful pasta dinner. I was under the covers earlier than usual with all my gear laid out. We got up at 4am. I ate my usual pre-run breakfast of english muffin and PB and some water. We were out the door at 5:15 and at the race by 5:45. It was a wonderful 56 degrees when we arrived.
Before I knew it, the race was about to start. There is nothing like the bang of a gun to get your blood flowing. My plan was to run with J's for as long as she wanted. It was her first half and her birthday. She was so excited and kept me calm in a way since I had run beside her for so many long runs.
Miles 1-3 went by so fast. We were hanging around a 10:12 pace. Coats were off to H's mom at mile 3 and we were in tanks. The weather was amazing and the bacon at Shoney's smelled scrumptious. This is were I first saw the man running with a Krispy Kreme box..not the smaller rectangular box but the flat big box. Took some coordination. I saw him at the end and mentioned the box, and he said they were warm when he first got them. No gu for this man...pure Krispy Kreme.
Miles 4-7 were nice. These are always my favorite miles. My body is warmed up and not tired yet. We talked and people watched. I saw a girl dressed as a sun, a guy with a hot dog hat, a blind runner with his guide (so inspiring), an angry woman who told her friend she thought it was horrible that people were eating outside when she couldn't. Lady it was the beach strip and not everyone was running a race that day. There were lots of older runners with huge groups of supporters on the sidewalk cheering them on. I want to be that runner at 65.
Miles 8 and 9 were quiet. We were keeping a faster pace than J expected to do. We hovered right around 10 and she thought she would be closer to 11. At the end of 9, J gave me the go ahead to go faster. I was amazed at the speed I was able to pick up. I stayed between 8 and 9 the rest of the race, including when the HOOTER girls waved the halfers one way the the fulls another. Really...Hooters in lifeguard chairs in the middle of the road. The finishing chute was long but ohhhhh so fun. My last half (OBX) had a horrible ending that weaved its way through neighborhoods to the waterfront. There were so many turns with no sign of the finish. This one was NICE.
This was not a PR but definitely my most enjoyable race. My goal for this race was so up in the air. I didn't think I could get a PR. I just had a baby and did not train for a PR. I trained to get back to running. So I guess I did achieve my goal. I loved getting my legs back post baby. I just got teased with the PR since I got so much closer than I expected.
Lesson learned: I am stronger than I give myself credit. If I have that much speed at the end of a race, I have not run the pace I should at the beginning. I want to stop being scared that I will hit a wall. I want to be wiped at the finish knowing I have given it everything. I have not done that yet.
Cherry Blossom 10-miler!
I always go through some post race blues. I'm sad a training cycle is over. It is not that I don't feel satisfied with the run...I am. I just want another. So, I'll race the 10-miler with a wonderful neighbor and friend, Amy W. who just ran her first marathon. I can't wait to learn from her for my first next March. After the 10-miler, I'm on to my Sprint Tri. I pick up my bike tomorrow! Yeah!