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