Starting To Race Again

This past Saturday was a local 3.7 mile race, it runs 1 loop around a lake giving it the weird distance. I have run this 2 or 3 times in the past, most recently 4 years ago when I finished 2nd in my AG with a time of 28:00. I rarely race anything under a half marathon. Let's be honest, I hate the feeling of pushing so hard you hurt! I'd rather suffer to a little less extent for a longer time!

Earlier in the week the weather was perfect for running, 60s and cloudy, but come Saturday the heat wave returned, hot humid ad heat index reaching 100+, yuck! Friday evening Cooper startled when someone came to the door and used my foot/ankle as a launching pad resulting in multiple scratches and a deeper cut right on the top of my foot where my laces hit! I had no idea if this would cause me pain to run.

We got there with a little time to spare, I took an easy warm up run to adjust the laces to not rub then met up with some MRTT friends. We complained about the heat and got ready to run.

I lined up just behind the high school boys, not wanting to lose time being further back. The race is a gun start but chip timed at finish. My goal start slower and speed up through the middle miles to allow a slower last 1/2 mile on this nasty uphill! I also wanted to beat my previous time and place in my AG.
I started behind a few other women knowing I couldn't get caught up in the start. After about 1/2 mile I knew I could pick up from the 7:25 pace I was running but may have taken it a little too far as I hit 1 mile 6:58, oops! I had just passed 3 women and had no idea who was ahead of me. I told myself to slow a light to not crash and burn after 2 miles.
About 1.75 there was a water stop, normally on this distance I would skip but the heat was coming and there was no more shade on the course so I drank a little and dumped. With the plastic cups I had to walk to do this. Mile 2 7:17 Over half way I realize I can easily beat my 28:00 and probably even 27:00!
Mile 3 7:09 but the mile 3 marker was no where to be seen! All the previous had been early. The guy I was running near said he was seeing the same, we were guessing it was marked from the finish. Okay good, I wasn't going to be happy if I had extra to run! About 3.25 I passed a group of spectators (some of the few on the course) and was informed that I was the 1st woman! 3.5 here is the nasty hill, steep and short, just get up this hill and the end is downhill. I reach the top of the hill and pick up the pace through the finish line as I pass my friend Sara who is the RD. 26:40!! 1st woman. Official time 26:43 thanks to gun start. The best (or worst) part is I feel like I could have pushed more, had more to leave on the course. But I am thrilled that my body cooperated and ran that well.

Mentally this was the race I needed, I had moments where I doubted myself and wanted to slow but I convinced myself to keep pushing. I picked out runners as my targets. I felt strong. It was great to come up the hill and see O cheering for me and knowing her mom had just won. The foot was a little sore and had broke open in a small spot, not a smart idea to wear white socks!

MRTT had a strong presence Jess, Amy and I placed 1st, 3rd, 4th overall women! I have already set my goal for next year to run under 26:30! O also wants to run it next year.

After the awards I finished my 6 mile run and ran 2 miles to where the kids run was. Arriving just in time to see them start. O ran with a friend and they met their goal of beating her friend's older brother! Way to go girls!


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