My first time!!!
I am so excited! Today I had a race and I actually placed 3rd in my age group! It was an 8K VERY hilly race. The race was built into my mileage for my marathon training. I had to run 2 miles warm-up before the race, race, then 3 miles after to total 10 miles.
I knew I was going to have a good run when I woke up. I felt good and rested, ready for the challenge. The first two miles were good and I ran them at a nice slow pace with a couple of other girls. It was a good way to get started… I never thought I would be one of those people that ran BEFORE a race! I guess I am now! It was great to get the legs warmed-up.
After the warm-up we headed up the hill to the starting line. I was with a few of my friends and I was very relaxed. I really wasn’t worried at all about anything – I was just there to run my plan. Since my friends are in the same age group I am in we had fun strategizing in how we were going to take out our competition. It was fun! We had all sorts of ways to trip them or bump them off… we were also going to work as a team to sling each other up the hills and around the curves… perform “The Whip” (think roller derby!).
The race started and we charged down the hill to meet one of the hardest parts of the course… “Grunt Hill” a very steep hill right at the beginning of the course. It is painful and I have never made it up without walking…. until today. I was strong. I was focused on form all the way. Funny… it worked.
The course is a 5 mile loop with a lot of steep hills. I have never counted but I have heard about 7 or so. I ran up all of them until the last couple when I had to walk just a few feet. I didn’t want to. I was holding a good, strong pace but my legs were getting fatigued. I made a mistake.. I didn’t fuel. I should have taken a gel after my warm-up miles then again about 20 minutes into the race. I didn’t and I could feel it.
I pushed on. I would walk for just a few seconds and hear John’s voice… don’t hold back… this is a race! I also ran smart and followed the “lines” – it is a very curvy course so I didn’t want to take the long way around a curve – you have to make it straight (another one of John’s tips).
I had a nemisis that I wanted to beat. She caught me a about a mile before the finish when I was feeling weak. She beat me by about 30 seconds. I should never have let her by but she caught me on one of my brief walk breaks at the end.
My directions for this race were to keep my heart rate between 155-165 for the first 4 miles and 170 for the last mile. This meant that I really had to bust it out for the last mile. I got to mile 4 and dread came over me… that is when I was really getting tired but I knew I had to push it. I had to go faster. I did. I am obedient if nothing else.
I crossed the finish line and took a few minutes to catch my breath before heading out for my last 3 miles of cool down. I didn’t stick around for the awards ceremony because 1) I had to get my run done and 2) I never win any ways.
Go figure! I got third in my age group. No small feat! I have found that these 40 year old woman are tough!
I have yet to see my award in person but I have seen pictures. I cannot wait to display it prominently!
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