To start, hats off to JT on her first half ironman. What a fantastic performance!!! It was totally not a surprise given all of your dedication that you really rocked out there in Cali!
The 5K this weekend was called Jog into Spring, and the night before the race I sat making up my Itunes playlist for the race. I burned a copy of it out for my car and one for my cousin who will be running Chicago marathon. I called it Sprint into Spring as it was packed with fast, up-tempo tunes which were sure to get your feet moving!
Saturday, I left bright and early to head out for the race after a restless nights sleep. I think I have started to overthink races these days and get excited yet very nervous the night before and then I have trouble sleeping. This makes sense to me as it is really the only time I have ANY trouble sleeping!
I arrived early to pick up my stuff. It was a cloudy cool morning that should be great for a race. After seeing some familiar faces, my ladies, Mel & B and I headed off for a 10 minute warmup before the start. With the gun, I was off to run my own race. Sometimes I think I get caught up in trying to pace with others and I had decided the night before I was not going to get caught up in that. We headed out down the road, hung a right by the the track which had a slight incline and I could already feel my chest and lungs tightening up as I went up. I kept moving my feet to the beat and kept making turns and approached Mile One-6:22. Another turn, another incline and I felt like I was working hard. To my surprise, I was thinking that I had not seen any females in front of me so I kept thinking that I was going to have to keep pushing to stay in front. Mile two 6:38. "Gosh, I am really sucking air it seems. Is it cold, am I sick, or is it just think pace that is hurting me?" A guy passes me, but unfortunately he does not seem to be going any faster than me. I was bothered as he seemed to always run where I wanted to run. Every corner he would cut in where I wanted to go and for some reason it felt like it was messing up my rhythm. I could not get around him so I just fell in behind him because I did not want to burn out before the end. I did not get the Mile 3 time as I had enough of the guy in front and decided it was time to sprint it in. Final time 20:29 (6:35 pace). Another PR!! The best thing about it was this course had 4 small inclines and lots of turns, so it was not even one of the courses that I would call fast....not that it was really hilly or slow, but just not super fast.
I was not sure if I was correct but I was thinking, "Holy cow, was I actually the first female?" The awards confirmed it and I took home my FIRST first place overall female plaque ever. Woohoo, that doesn't happen everyday so I will enjoy it! I finished 1/127 females and 25/287 overall.
On to Sunday...another long run with the running pals. 18 miles came and went. I thought we were in for a really rainy morning but it ended up being a pretty nice morning for running. It was actually fairly warm and at some points the rain even felt refreshing as I had worked up a decent sweat. We were pretty consistently hitting the mile markers at 8:30 - 8:45 pace and I felt good the whole way. Between being in better shape and the tremendous company I have had this year, I have come to really enjoy and look forward to my long runs in a way that I did not know was possible before.
Saturday night, my sweetie of a cousin was in town from Chicago and we had a family get together. My cousin has recently started running on a regular basis and is looking forward to her first marathon in October-Chicago. Guess what cousin can't wait to go out there and run Chicago too??? Needless to say, the icing on the cake of a good running weekend, is getting to talk running to an excited running family member!!!