I had wanted to do the race - but William was on call. Doing anything when William was on call is just plain tough...unless I take all three kids with me! So I didn't register. Then my dear friend posted on Facebook that her organization (Volunteer Kansas) was sponsoring the event and she'd be there. Again that tugging occurred...and but I still didn't register. Then she posted she had some free registrations due to her organizations participation - and wanted to know if anyone was interested.
Free? Really? I couldn't pass that up. So I checked with William...he said as long as I could get a babysitter.
So I asked my mom. Miraculously, she was free and arrangements were made.
Then my dear friend told me that no one else had responded - and if I knew anyone else interested there were a total of 10 of them! "Oh I'll probably be by myself" I thought...but sent a few inquiries out.
Boy was I shocked when not only did I get a response...but FOUR friends responded!
|L->R: Me, Amy, Ashley and Lacey. Amber wasn't there yet... :)|
My friend Amy and I car pooled. As we pulled in the parking lot I said something about the 5K...and she said "5K? I thought this was a 2K!!!" Noo...I assured her she would be fine...it wasn't really all that far.
We got ourselves registered (which honestly could have gone bad if it weren't for the fact a lady took me at my word -- they had no idea who we were) and settled. Amy was pretty nervous and it took me back to my first GOTR race. I recalled so very clearly how nervous I was and how my friend Janette took the time to encourage me.
It was a few minutes until race start, so we got in the starting line. We stood around in the crowd - and I knew...I just knew we were waaaaay too close. But the other three were faster runners (9-10 min mile pacers) so it was probably OK for them. I determined in my head that I would pace Amy and myself slower. I knew it would be a challenge, but I felt like I could do it. (I didn't want to scoot back because we were all having fun chatting.)
We started off and I was keeping up with Amber, my marathon-running friend (who says she will never do it again haha). I looked back and Amy was trailing. I was going to stick with Amy because I had convinced her to even come - I wasn't about to abandon her! So I slowed up.
And I forgot to tell Amber I was slowing up.
And Amber didn't notice.
And Amber had wanted to run with us.
Ugh. I felt terrible when I realized (after the race) that she hadn't seen me. I also felt terrible when thinking about the fact that it is just MORE FUN running with friends than by yourself - no matter what pace! And it didn't help when I really thought about it - and knew that Amber really knows this. (Not all folks believe this same way.) So - I sort of felt like I really messed up there. I am still feeling a little guilty about it - but that is my personality. It takes me awhile to forgive.
Anyway - I checked my phone and told Amy we needed to slow down some. We were running a 11:30 pace...I knew that was unsustainable. So we slowed down to about a 12:30-13:00 min pace. (Why yes...I do rely on my phone heavily. It also helps me to get my get-up-and-go on when I'm lolly gagging...as I do tend to do.)
We hit the first hill and I mentioned I wondered if my friend Ashely - who hates hills - was complaining about the hill. Amy said "But it is downhill! I could do this all day!" I laughed and said "Yes...but we will have to run back up this hill!" It was a rather "steep" one (come on - we live in FLATLAND...give me a break! It is all in what you are used too!).
We jogged and talked and jogged and talked. I was sure to tell her what a great job she was doing and encourage her as much as I could. I had asked what her previous pace was and she had told me she usually ran a mile in 16 or 17 minutes. I said "Well - you've already done better than that today!" We were about 1.3 miles in when we hit the 16 minute mark.
I let Amy walk whenever she felt she needed too - but prodded her to run after 2 minutes. I have a 2 minute walk rule. If I stop - I always walk for at least 2 minutes. It helps keep me from taking too many - 2 minutes is enough time to sufficiently rest. It also helps keep me from taking too long of a walk break if I happen to be an lolly gag overdrive. Hey - it happens.
We used land markers and attempted to run the downhills. Actually - this ended up being an important strategy in convincing her to run towards the end. "Look - it is downhill. Downhill really isn't so bad...let's just go to that mailbox..."
The last mile came and she said she was done. I remember this feeling - you are so tired you just don't feel like you can go anymore. In fact, I had purposed in my heart to walk to the finish line at my first GOTR race. But Janette had prodded me to run it in. So I told Amy we could walk until close to the end - but we were running across the finish line. ;-) THEN I noticed a rather large downhill streak. "You know - that is all downhill. How about we just run to that mailbox right there..." It wasn't very far. She reluctantly agreed. We started jogging...and then she kept on going. I decided to not ask and just keep going with it. :)
She ran all the way to the bottom of the next larger hill - almost to the end. We walked it up.
The finish line was also up another hill - so I gave her some hill running tips I had read. "Take small steps! Swing your arms for momentum! It is the only time you are supposed to use your arms! Oh yeah - these are all theory because I don't do much hill running!" She laughed and up we went.
We finished strong and I was so very proud of her for doing it. And...we beat my May time by 37 seconds. our official time for this race was 43:15. My official time for the May race was 43:52. (I don't think my original blog post had it correct - I hadn't looked up the official time.)
Mile 1: 12:29
Mile 2: 13:50
Mile 3: 14:15
Avg Pace: 13:33
I'm so glad my friend Amy joined me and I'm hoping she'll start running with me. :-) And I feel so blessed I even got to participate in this particular race.
Up next? I am considering the Turkey Trot or the Jingle Bell run...both are well known races - but I'm only going to do them if I am running with someone. (I have potentials for each - but we'll see if they back out!) Racing can be fun by yourself - but I'm ready to do some social running!