Friday, November 29, 2013
Race #13 of 2013 = Success!
Here in the 11th month of 2013, I've just completed my 13th race of the year. 13 in '13. I didn't even plan that! Thanksgiving morning, I joined Caitlin & Hannah for the GE Run Thru the Woods here in The Woodlands. This was their first 5 mile race (they're training for the Houston Half Marathon). Once again, Keith was our awesome sherpa as he was asked to carry gear for not one, but three ladies.
Race morning we were greeted with temps below 40 degrees. This is COLD for Texas folks. The night before the race I decided to have some wine & pizza with Keith and just figured I would see what happened. I felt fine race morning....not hungover but not super speedy.
We headed to the race site at 7am following a stop at Starbucks for Keith. The race packed said to arrive by like 6:45am but I made that mistake a few years ago when Emily ran this race and we ended up standing around very cold for way too long. Nope, this year we would be rebels and show up after the recommended time.
We had no issue finding a sweet parking spot right off Lake Robbins and then walked the very short distance to Market Street. We were bundled up and wanted to wait until the last second to ditch our clothes. We watched the 1 mile race start....all the kiddos. Oh my gosh. They were too cute! Maybe I will sign my niece and nephew up next year. :)
Before we knew it, the call for the 5 milers to line up came. We toyed with putting ourselves on the front line but decided it was best no to get run over. Lol. Keith headed over near the 1 mile marker so he could get pictures of us heading out.
The plan for the three of us was the same....run hard but not quite sprinting. Push and see what happens. I was confident we were all going to be happy with the outcome of our races.
I've done this race twice before and forgot how much I liked it. It's funny because I used to think it was hilly but after doing the New York City Marathon, this seemed flat as a pancake...which it pretty much is with the exception of an overpass. I remember feeling like I was going slow between mile 1 & 2 and glanced at my trusty Garmin to see I was hitting an 8:15 min/mile pace. Huh? I didn't feel like I was running that fast. Just another reason you can't always go by feel.
At mile 4 I slowed a tiny bit but nothing to be concerned by. After having the first 3 miles be so fast, there was no doubt I would have a PR. The only question now was how big of one. Oh how I love those kinds of questions. Going into the race, I knew best case scenario would be me finishing in under 43 minutes. But now I found myself wondering how close to 41 minutes could I get. I pushed the gas a tiny bit more after grabbing water at the last aid station and made the left turn on to Six Pines. I could see Keith once I passed Market Street and just tried to push a little more. My final time was 41:58 which was good for an 8:24min/mile average. YES!!!!!!! I was absolutely thrilled with this time. Coming off a marathon and having been only running for fitness since just before my Birthday, I wasn't sure I could run like that. Maybe pizza and wine should be my new pre race meal?
I made my way through the crowd to Keith after running into my friend Lynn. It was time to cheer Caitlin & Hannah in. Before we knew it, Caitlin was making her way to the turn for the finish and was right on pace with where we thought she would be. A few minutes later, Hannah was making her turn! Caitlin & Hannah posted very respectable 5 mile times and it was so fun to see how proud they were. The additional bonus for Hannah was getting a nice little medal as we didn't think this run gave them out. Now we could all enjoy our Turkey dinner knowing we got our workout for the day done & done!
I don't have any more races on the schedule for the rest of the year but am definitely toying with fining a 5k as I would really like to PR that distance. My best time is 27:44 (I think) and I would LOVE to post something in the 25 minute neighborhood (well really, I'd love 24 and change but i don't want to be greedy).
2013 has turned out to be a truly awesome year for me. I've had one solid race after another and I've finally got some confidence that I really lacked before. I know I'm not the fastest at anything and that's totally fine by me. I just love the fact that I've improved so much and I'm not afraid to hurt a little bit. I'm going to need to remember this on 11/16/14. :)