Saturday, February 16, 2013

Snowman Stampede

I was nervous for this race.

A little over a week ago, I tweaked both of my calf muscles, so it's been a painful week.  At times, it hurt to walk.  Now I have to run 5 miles.  Great...

I woke up wondering how it was going to go.  The pain in my right leg was gone.  The pain that has been lingering in my left leg... I couldn't feel it, but my calf was tight.  Really tight.

I went into the race not knowing how I wanted to take it - slow and steady to save the legs.  Push it because I've been a week behind on my training and need to catch up.  Is my goal to just run a pain-free race, or is it to go for time?  No way to know until I would be well underway in the race.

I checked in, got my packet, put on my bib and chip, and headed over to the Team in Training tent.  TNT had a booth at the expo, so I met the people staffing it and had a fun chat about the TNT program.  I stashed all my stuff with them and headed to the start line, trying to loosen my legs up.

The race started and I tried to take it a little easy in the first mile just to test it.  No pain.  Mile 2 was more of the same, but I knew I could really get into a good rhythm and just hope the rest of the race went ok.  If you run races and you're competitive, you do something in every race: scope out the people/person you HAVE to beat.  For whatever reason someone becomes your target.  Just before mile 2, I found mine.  There was an older woman who stopped to walk and started running again abruptly, and managed to cut off 3-4 runners in the process.  I saw the near-collision, and for some reason it irked me.  Game on, lady!  She and her husband took off and were going at a slightly faster pace than me.  Patience...  Mile 3 was great.  I didn't really think about my time much, but I knew if I could maintain my pace, I'd be happy.  I passed my target at about 3.5 when she started walking, and was a little disappointed she didn't make it more of a challenge.  Oh well!  Mile 4 I started getting tired. The legs felt ok, but were wearing because I haven't been able to run in over a week and I was pushing pretty hard.  But I was so close that there's only one option for me: finish strong!  Mile 5 was one of those just put your head down and power through miles.  I started to feel a little bit like I was going to throw up.  My legs were aching.  My breathing was getting pretty heavy.  Home stretch.  I rounded the final corner, sprinted across the finish line, and was happy to be done.

I knew a couple people running the race, so it was fun to cheer them across the finish line and chat for a few minutes!

Official Time: 46:35

When I saw my time, I was excited, but I didn't really put it all together until about an hour after.  The two things I realized:

-This is the first race that I have ever ran a second year.  I did this same race in 2012, and my 2012 time was 51:10 - I beat last year's time by almost 5 minutes

-My 5 mile race PR was set last March in Moab, UT.  That time was 47:47.  I PRed by over a minute :)

Overall 188/447  Age group 9/13

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