I ran my first race this morning in over a year and the first race that I actually trained for in almost two and a half years. I ran an 8K, which is also the longest distance I have ever raced.
The day did not start with the amazing, euphoric feelings of race day. The day started with rain. Hard rain. Rain that just didn't want to stop. As I got closer to the Oceanfront, I could see a gorgeous sun peeking through the clouds. I got a little excited. But, the rain didn't stop. I begged it to stop. I pleaded with it to stop. It didn't stop. I found my parking spot (by found, I mean paid $10 for) and laced up my running shoes. Then I did something that is COMPLETELY out of character for me. I willingly got out of the car and stood out in the rain -so I could run almost 5 miles on a Saturday morning. A lot of other fools did the same thing. Runners are obviously not smart enough to come in out of the rain.
The good thing about standing around in the rain (or hiding from it under an awning like I was doing), is that you can make friends. This morning I met a man named Kyle. He's new to this running thing too. I also got to see an old friend from my pre-kids days. Susan started running 6-7 years ago when we first met. Now she is lightning fast and has qualified for her 4th (yep, that says 4th!) Boston Marathon.
The 5K was first, so after watching the winner finish in just over 17 minutes, we got to wait a little longer and then finally make our way to the starting line. Susan made her way to the front of the pack and I found my way to the back.
There is nothing like a starting line. Watching hundreds (or thousands) of heads bobbing up and down in front of you as soon as the gun goes off and knowing that you are part of this wave of people is an amazing feeling. (Fast people probably have never had this feeling. You have to start at the back to see it happen!)
The gun went off and we started moving. I started my timer to try and guess my finish time at the end. I didn't start my intervals right away. There were too many people at the start to navigate. It didn't take long for the crowd to thin out. After about a half mile, everyone found their happy pace and I started the interval watch.
The run felt good. It never really stopped raining. Sometimes the rain slowed down a little and sometimes it was just a drizzle, but it pretty much rained for 4.96 miles. You know what....I didn't hate it. It was annoying and I was wet, but I wasn't miserable.
My goal for today was to finish in an hour. My big boys were supposed to play t-ball this morning and if I finished the race in 60 minutes, I could get to their game on time. My normal goals are to actually finish and to not finish dead last. I knew that I would finish. I also knew that I wasn't going to be last. So, I give myself a time goal. I finished my last 5 mile run in 1:07, so I knew that it would be close.
The race was sort of a circle, but it was only on one road. Once the leaders made the turns, we could see them running back towards us. I saw my friend Susan and my new friend Kyle. They were both way ahead of me. When I made the turn, I saw that there were a lot of people behind me. (That was a pretty great feeling.) Susan finished in about 35 minutes and walked back to run with me for the last quarter mile or so. It was nice to see her and even nicer that she joined me for the last little bit. She kept me running when the watched beeped so I finished at a "sprint". I crossed the finish line with a clock time of just seconds over an hour. My watch said 59:31. I am waiting for the official chip times. I met my goal! I finished in under an hour and I would have made it to t-ball on time. (Of course, the game got cancelled because of the weather.)
Today's run was a rockstar kind of run. I ran in the stupid rain and I posted a pretty decent time. It makes me really excited about the 10K at the end of October!!
4.97 miles (8K) in 59:31 (11.9 minute mile!)
Mile 1: 11.23
Mile 2: 12.04
Mile 3: 12.14
Mile 4: 12.13
Mile .97: 11.35
PS - Thanks to my wonderful husband for holding down the fort and being so supportive of this adventure.