Well folks, Sunday was race day. As of Saturday night I said I was 99.9% certain I was going to toss my race chip and run the 5k instead of the 12k.
I was still struggling with a touch of Achilles pain and I hadn’t run in the last week to try and help recovery. On top of that I was possibly staring at over an hour in the rain if it held up to the next day. This combination was not leaving me feeling too positive about the run. I was playing board games with friends and they said it would be acceptable to run the 5k instead of the 12k due to circumstances. I left board game night feeling that this was going to the route.
Once home I mulled the idea over while I was planning out race day with items to pack and when I’d want to leave home. When I woke in the morning I still was uncertain on the situation. The best remedy to figure it out… get out the door and to the race site.
Upon arriving at the race start, within minutes I knew I was going to take my chances at the 12k. Maybe it’s the race day mentality and excitement, or maybe it was not wanting to back out on something I said I would do. Either way, I gathered in the 8:01-10:00 minute corral and waited for the start.
Once the race started I was pleased I made the choice to run the 12k. The weather was surprisingly mild, mid 50’s, and the rain held off the entire race.
The start of the race immediately saw an uphill climb. I’m convinced this is a funny joke by the race coordinators to see how much you really want to run. [Yes, I know this is not true, but it’s a funny concept.]
When I got over the hill I found two people who I ended up falling in line behind. While running behind these ladies I was thinking to myself, “This isn’t so hard after all, I feel pretty great right now.”
Well, the reason it felt SO easy is because when we reached the 3 mile marker (the first marker) I realized how slow we were running. I reached that marker around 33-35 minutes. No wonder the pace felt easy, I was running much slower than what I wanted for myself (9-10/mile).
Once I figured out that I wasn’t running per my standards I now had to make up some time.
As I worked on my speed this is when I started to realize how ridiculously hot I was. I was wearing a Nike Pro (winter) top with a light jacket (mesh back) to keep the rain off the front just in case. Typically in December this would not be an issue at all in terms of overheating, but today it absolutely was. I ended up peeling off my lightweight gloves, my headband for ear warmers, and opening up my jacket. Within 5 minutes I was feeling a whole lot better, but I still couldn’t believe I was that hot during a race in December.
After I got the heat issue worked out I was still determined to work on my time a bit. To do this I made a commitment to pass anybody I was running comfortably behind. I wanted to get away from them just in case the pace was slower than what I was looking for. This ended up working out quite well as I got to a pocket where I had space to myself, which means I only had my comfort level to judge.
Finally I came around to the 7-mile marker and realized I could make it in under 1:20 (my goal was 1:15) as long as I pushed it a bit more.
As for my finish time at mile 7.5… 1:18:47
I’m actually quite please with myself because this means I made up quite a bit of the time once I realized I was going too slow at the 3 mile mark – and that’s with taking 5 minutes of walk time. The only problem is, I’m now obsessing about what a better job I could have done if I had a properly working distance watch. That’s definitely going on my Christmas list. (This is the one I want)
After the race I met up with my cousin (she finished 10 minutes before me – very cool) and Aunt. We relaxed some muscles, had something to drink, and then took a picture with the creepy Santa they had in the picture area… because why wouldn’t we! 🙂 Later on we also found out my other cousin had finished the Seattle Marathon in 3:09. We were all a bit slower than what we wanted, but the point is we finished.
When my cousin and I decided we were too cold and it was time to get inside, I ended up going to a friend’s house to watch a movie, have some lunch, and continue to relax my tired muscles. It turns out that once I was fed and had been off my feet for a bit I found myself planning my race.
Can you say, “Half Marathon!” My feet hurt just thinking about it… but I can’t wait!
(P.S. for those of you thinking “What about her Achilles?” Don’t worry, I will be taking the month of December off from running just for that reason. Best not to push my luck too much.)