At approximately 6:00am on Saturday, I woke up and wasn’t exactly sure where my 20k race (12.4 m) race would take me. My initial goal was to break 90 minutes. It seemed reasonable-my fastest half marathon official race was at 7:20 pace and I had a wee bit more training under my belt. It’s hard to think the most training I’ve ever had is now and it’s 3 months of solid running. Though this race was on trails, but there were lots of hills at that half marathon race in May.
Anyways a 7:15 pace seemed like a good goal to me.
The race itself didn’t start until 8:30 but it took 45 minutes to get there, dad and I wanted to get a good parking space and frankly I hadn’t packed the night before so I needed sometime to do that and eat. So 5:55 am wake up call it was.
Followed by 6:05 pancake eating. I need 2 hours for it to fully digest. 2.5 hours for safe measure.
When we got there, dad and I warmed up for about 10 minutes and then went to the starting. The fact that I warmed up for any amount of minutes for a 12 mile race is an accomplishment for me. Then e discovered there were literally 4 bathrooms for 300 people. What. The line was like 10000 people long (who are these extra people?). Good thing I took backpacking as a gym class.
Right when I got to the starting line and one of my dailymile friends, immediately spotted me and chatted me up and before we knew it…people had started the race. I’m sorry, but I’m sorry, that I don’t have a running zone and will talk to people while I run. Something I never did in swimming, you couldn’t talk to me within 30 minutes of a swim race.
That was just the beginning of my chatting. At 8:31, when we started I still didn’t know where this race would take me.
Not too much went through my mind for the first mile or two. Lots of people shouting go to each other, lots of chatting and some random guy who was whining about his legs not being warmed up when I passed him. Right then, I passed mile 1 at 6:52. Since my original goal was a 7:15 pace I wasn’t quite sure what to do but just kept going with flow. I figured if I died, I’d have a little bit of bank. Mainly 50 seconds for a different mile.
I hit the 5k and first turn point at 21:05. I literally was like dear god, that is 35 seconds slower than the 5k I did last week. Neato. The volunteer looked at me like I was a toolbag.
Then it was off to the next 3.1 miles. The good thing about this race was that each 5k was marked off. It was easy to see where you were and mile markers were also present.
At the 10k mark, I looked at my watch and saw 42:20, it was an out and back course and there was also a 10k that some people were doing instead of the 20k. The people thought at first I was doing the 10k and then I was like no 20k for me. They chuckled and told me I was 7th overall and first female which is where I stayed the entire race.
The next 5k was pretty rough, I was going into the wind and it was a bit hilly, but I saw so many people that motivated me (including my dad who also ran an age group best!). Some of the race walkers (roughly 80 years old) told me I was the cutest little thing they had ever seen and so perky. Nevermind that I’m 5’7 and have the running facial expression that I just killed someone and am running from the police. I’m still the cutest little thing. Apparently.
At 15k (which I didn’t remember to look at my watch), I said okay only 3.1 to go. I gave myself a mini pep talk consisting of “You eat 5ks for breakfast and it’s almost lunch time”.
I honestly, didn’t really have any sort of “kick” at the end. I think I ran the entire thing at the exact same pace. I thought immediately when I took out the race that quickly that I would die and alas that never happened. I still cannot get over how supportive and cheerful everyone was in the race. I haven’t felt like I have really lived up to my running potential in the 7 months of actually racing I’ve done but I think this was my best race yet. I think 2012 will be a breakout running year for me.
Incase you are curious of my DM writeup/splits: Here ya go:
Question for you: What are you “breaking out” in 2012?
Running and furthering my pancake cookbook.