Waking up Sunday morning was a mixture of excitement and nervousness. This can only ever mean one thing: Race Day.
Compared to some of the other races I’ve done, I’ve never been as calm as I was on Sunday. Usually, I get so nervous I can’t eat but this time, I was able to eat, drink and avoid that icky nervous sweat that makes my deodorant fail before I even hit the start line. I checked outside and it was fantastic. Sunny, no wind and a chilly 43 degrees out.
Perfect running conditions.
After the babysitter arrived, hubby and I headed out to the course which was coincidentally located right across the street from my office and the route would be the one that I take whenever I run during my work day. It’s a beautiful course with lots of small rolling hills. Ones that fresh legs don’t notice but tired ones do (remember…I live in the flat lands so I use the term “hills” very, very loosely). Hubby was signed up for the 10km race and started 30 minutes before my 10 mile heat was set to start so off he went while I waited and tried to stay warm.
When it was finally our turn to start, my hands were frozen solid. I don’t think they warmed up until mile 3. I knew I was ready to run but for some reason, my legs felt funny for most of the race. I can’t explain the feeling but they felt off. Almost tingly. It was kind of strange but eventually the fatigue of the running took over and I didn’t notice it anymore.
The route was fabulous and I enjoyed it very much. That said, I didn’t have the best race. Mentally, I really struggled. I didn’t feel as strong as I knew I was. I felt very tired and worn out even though I knew the pace I was running was comfortable because I wasn’t struggling for breath and my form was solid. I wish I could put it into words but even after a few days of reflection, I’m still a bit baffled.
I checked my time at the 6 mile mark to see if I could determine how I was doing for time as I had set a goal finish of 1:45 for myself. I was just under an hour, which is about 5 minutes faster than I usually run that distance. I kept my pace where it was and kept going. By mile 8 I was really feeling it. Even though I had run this distance the last two weekends as part of my half marathon training, I was feeling the unevenness of this course and mentally kicking myself for not adding in a bit more variety of terrain into my training. My knees were feeling great and for the most part, my blistered feet were safe and securely taped up.
I owe the last 2 miles to a lovely lady I had been taking turns passing and being passed by for most of the race. I was just coming up off a walk break when she remarked that she was going to keep pace with me for a bit because she liked my pace. We ended up talking a bit for the next mile and a half and then I needed a quick few seconds to walk and she kept going (she finished a few seconds ahead of me).
The best part of the race was crossing the finish line, not just because I was done but because I finished when I spent a good few miles wanting to give up and stop running. My hubby was waiting for me, cheering me on and filming my final sprint for the food table…er…finish line. I was even more elated that I crossed at 1:41:41 (officially), beating my goal time by over 3 minutes!
All in all, this was a tough, tough race. I have more to say about it but that’s for another day.