Monday, November 7, 2011

Race Recap: Inspire Hope 8K

I know the race was two weeks ago.  And I hate doing the race recap so many details are lost when that happens!  But - that is life and where we are at.

This particular day ended up being rather warm for the season...high in the mid 80s.  I hadn't run in 80 degree weather in quite some time!  So I was already nervous about that.  I don't mind running in heat at all - it is just means changed expectations.

When I signed up for the race - my goal was to run the whole thing. But life got in the way and I didn't get to run 5 miles as often as I wanted.  (I had run the distance twice prior to the actual race.)  Then to top it off - for various reasons I actually did not run much the previous week.  (At this point - I can't remember exactly why...)

So really I was rather unprepared for this long distance race!

The plan was for me to go alone but William would join up at my expected finish time.  I was expecting to be done around an hour and some change.  The kids were napping when I left - so this actually worked perfectly in theory.

I arrived a bundle of nerves.  Looking around at all the people hopping around, stretching or taking warm up laps certainly didn't help.  This group of people seemed to all be professional athletes!  And here I was...I found it intimidating!

I gulped and texted William that I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  He replied I'd be fine!  I was also nervous about the heat.

It was finally time to line up.  I gathered with the crowd - and per my pre-race practice...I scooted back further.  This time, I actually think I ended up further back than I should have - in order to experience the beginning race hustle. ;-)  I walked up to the line and began my race.

I told myself not to start out too fast.  I couldn't help but notice immediately that somehow I was already trailing way behind the rest of the pack.  (This is why I think I started back too far.)  There were very few people around me.  I decided to not worry about it - and enjoy my run.  It was really hard though watching that group waaaaaay ahead of me!  Finishing last isn't a problem for me at all.  But - running the entire race pretty much by myself did seem to be a little bothersome.  (Not enough for me to quit.)

After the first bend in the race - about a half mile in when the gap had become painfully obvious - a person stood on the side of the road cheering me on.  He held a sign that said "HURRY!  They are going to pass you!"  I busted up laughing and told him not likely, but THANKS for the laugh!

I forced myself a mile before I ended up walking.  I was actually surprised I ended up walking so soon - and blamed it on the heat.  It was the first of many maaaany walk breaks.  A power walker and I were neck in neck...I commented to her at one point we seemed to be pretty even!  I said it with a smile on my face and a cheer in my tone.  She glared at me and replied that was true - then put some hurry into her walk.  I think I may have been frustrating her because I'd run ahead, walk...she'd catch up...then I'd run again.  Honestly I wasn't timing myself against her - that just happened to be how it worked out.  (If I choose to walk - I make myself take a 2 minute walking break and I time it.  I find doing this I take less walk breaks and I don't lolly gag TOO much.  It is just a strategy I've found to work.)

The entire course had people cheering at very regular intervals.  I actually enjoyed them thoroughly and smiled at all the signs they made.  On my last mile, I took one last walk break and determined I was going to run the rest of the way.  One gal said "YOU ARE ALMOST THERE!"  I smiled and said "THANK GOD!"  She ran out and gave me a high five.  I pulled out my phone and texted William that I was almost there.  He said he wasn't...a few snafu's and they weren't going to get there on time.  I was sad - but was going to finish strong.  I approached Ms. Power-walker.  She heard me, glanced back and began to sprint to the finish line.  At first I thought about speeding up to beat her - but I decided to finish strong without worrying about it.  After all - I was already proud of my accomplishment.  Beating a power walker wasn't going to make me more proud...but it might make a difference to her.  So I let her go.

I was so happy to be done.  This was the toughest race so far...and purely because I was so slow.  I've never been quite so far behind everyone before and so it was certainly GOOD for me to experience that psychologically.

William and the kids showed up about 10 minutes later.  Peter was disappointed he missed my BIG FINISH but was so happy to be there.  We hung out and enjoyed some food (part of the fundraiser - I bought everyone wristbands so they could participate).  It was definitely a great race and I'm going to be sure to do it again next year.  I loved the shirt.  It is my new favorite race shirt!

Total time: 1:06:46.  I beat a whopping 5 people. ;-)

Mile 1: 12:02
Mile 2: 13:01
Mile 3: 13:30
Mile 4: 14:23
Mile 5: 13:45
Avg Pace: 13:22

All in all not too shabby.  This was just about a minute longer than the last time I had run this distance.  Considering the heat and my plethora of walk breaks, I'm rather proud of that.

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