The morning of the race I wasn't feeling 100% and was actually worried. I felt confident I would PR but I wasn't sure I would have an awesome race. We didn't eat great the night before and I even had yummy beer and shared dessert with Keith. The important thing was we had fun so if that meant the run had to hurt a bit, so be it. We were there on vacation after all!
I did a quick warm up and immediately learned the race would have more hills than what was advertised. They said flat but this wasn't flat like we're used to. That being said, none of the hills were very bad...more just like steady inclines. I've been running more hills at home lately so I wasn't worried. Before I knew it, the time to lineup had come and so I gave Keith a kiss and headed to the start line. This race had somewhere around 3,200 people and seems to be a pretty popular July 4th run. There were lots of military folks running. There was also a large group of dudes running in Speedos....I hope they applied the Glide liberally before they got there.
I took off and just told myself to run hard and keep the gas on. My fastest mile was mile 2 which clocked in at a 8:07 pace. Holy crap. I was so pumped. Every time I looked down at my Garmin, my pace was under 9 minute miles. Ok, I like this. I hit the 5k mark at about 26 minutes (Garmin time) and quite please as that would be a 5k PR if this had been a 5k. I would find people in front of me I wanted to catch and that's how I kept myself motivated. When I hit the 5 mile mark, I was so excited. I felt great, knew I was on my way to a solid PR and also knew I could push the last 1.2 miles with no problem.
I think my favorite part of the run was when we crossed the dam with probably about a mile to go and it was lined with American flags. I looked to my right and the valley was so pretty. Gosh, what a great photo op...if I wasn't racing! I refocused and took off. My Garmin would later tell me that my last .3 miles was done at a 7:44 pace. :) The race finished on a downhill into Hoyt Park and I am here to tell you that running downhill is not easy! I kept focusing on my form and trying not to flail about. I saw Keith and could hardly suppress my happiness. He was cheering loudly too as he knew I was going to hit my goal. I was definitely coming in under 55 minutes and looked to be coming in under 53 even. Seriously? I hit the gas one last time just as I hit grass and crossed the finish. Official chip time was 52:44 good for 28th in my division (out of 119). I was also the 118th female (not sure how many raced) and 652 overall (out of approximately 3,200). I think that's the number I was most proud of next to my finish time. My Garmin would say my avg pace was 8:25/mile but that's based on going 6.27. Good enough for me!
My first race post-Ironman was a success and was so much fun! I think I was on cloud 9 the rest of the morning. Keith & I agreed to meet at Starbucks post race which was on the way back to the car. Somehow, I managed to beat him there and was dying for him to arrive so I could jump up & down with someone present (jumping around when you're alone is just kind of weird). He also had my phone and I NEEDED to call Ana ASAP to let her know how the race went. Ana has kicked my butt into someone who believes in themselves and I couldn't wait to tell her how I did. She screeched with delight when she heard my time & pace! I was soooooo excited! I have worked so hard with her and the first several races I had were not always the races we wanted but we didn't give up and just kept with it and kept working.
So yeah, I'm still thrilled and so, so, so proud of my time. I looked at Keith after the race and was like, "I'm really a runner"!!!
So there you have it. The 10k is done and now it's time to refocus. I have a race a week from today....Shadow Creek Ranch Sprint Triathlon and I'm ready to get out there and swim bike run my way to another PR!
Happy training (and racing)!