i recently came across a great quote from Gatorade: "You have a choice. You can throw in the towel, or you can use it to wipe the sweat off of your face."
that pretty much sums up saturdays race, #6 in my 12 in 2010 quest. although the weather was not all that hot or sunny, the air was very humid and heavy, which made for a sweat fest within the first mile. we had a very scenic and beautiful place to run though, right along the water and through backwoods along the coast of freeport (home of LLBean for those of you non mainers).
the race started off running into the park through dirt roads and back out onto the entrance road. heres a shot ty snapped of me going back past him out of the park (and please note how freaking cute baby tyler is down in the corner! thats our friend marisa and johns son. mmmm hands taste so good)
i havent raced a 10k since last august so of course i went out too fast. i kept my nike+ set to "pace" to try to keep a steady 8:00 pace, but i was well under for the first two miles never seeing over 7:54. throw in about a mile and a half of steep uphills and i was a hurtin unit by the time we took a turn into a relatively flat residential neighborhood. i thought this would help me to maintain my pace but over the next mile i felt like i slowed significantly, and was keeping my pace about 8:12-8:20. at one point along this stretch i looked ahead of me and saw about 7 or 8 women right ahead of me. when i looked behind me i saw no one. was i last?! ugh. not a feeling you want to have (especially in a small race as this one was).
right about mile three we came upon a dead end with a cone where we had to run around it and turn back to where we came from. this brought me some relief because i was able to see that i was not in fact going to come in last place (phew!). i dont really think i actually believed i was last, but it was weird to turn around and have absolutely no one behind you for as far as you can see. after this turn around we headed into the woods for some trail running. i have not once trained on trails. ive heard great things about it, and was pre-warned to just make sure i am watching my feet (which i dont really like), but let me tell you, that was some truly great advice (thanks, Brendan!!... although i would like to think i would be smart enough to figure this out, but ya never know. the humidity was really getting to me at that point). tree roots, rocks, and uneven ground throughout the whole thing. and it had recently rained so they had put down wood planks with traction tape along places where there were puddles and mud. it was a mess back there, but i kept a 7:49 pace through it cuz i just wanted out!!
once back out on the road again i looked at my distance, hoping i was almost done. i had little to no desire to continue running. i was a sweat show. i couldnt get my breathing under control. my hip was starting to scream. lucky for me we only slightly over the halfway point! fail. i thought to myself awesome, if i had just done the 5k i would be done now (and my time at that point showing 25:10 would prove later on to be another reason i should have done it...). here is marisa finishing her 5k. quite a nice little hometown race, huh? not quite sure whats up with the yellow fire truck.
anyway, i kept dragging along. luckily we headed back onto the road we had started on, so those uphills were now down! at one point my pace said 6:58. sloooooooooooooow down!! i just really wanted to be done and i knew we were close to the finish line, but when i looked at my distance and discovered we still had a over a mile left, i was confused. i was unaware that once we got back into the park we got to do another sweet trail run before the finish. yay! (booooo). as poorly as my body actually felt, i knew i was still keeping pretty good time (not a PR but still ok) and i wanted to finish strong. we ran past everyone waiting for us at the finish line (note to race directors: dont have a race that runs past the finish line with a mile left to go. seriously. not cool) and off into the woods again. this was much better prepared than the first woods section, laid with wood chips throughout. it had a soft, cushioning feel to it which was a nice change from the pavement. but i still wasnt used to running on it so i had to continuously look down and brace myself. as you can see....
right as we got off the trails and onto the road again, i stopped. there was a volunteer with a flag (so jealous! i heart volunteers) making sure we turned left and not right, and i just stopped right in front of him. i let out a heavy sigh and thought ok, this is it, and took off again.
i could see the finish line up ahead amongst all the trailers and stepped it up a notch. marisa, holding her daughter addison up by the 5mph sign cheered me in to the finish line.
and ty got this pic right before i crossed. looks like the very same form i had at the beginning (or it might be my "im hot and sweaty and miserable" form... thats funny. thats the same way i felt at the beginning...)
so back to that 5k time i was talking about.... when i saw the results yesterday, the F20-29 winner ran it in 23:23. the second place F20-29 ran 31:05. i could have gotten a pie.
my next two races are 10k as well- LLBean fourth of july 10k (where i PR'd last year- 49:00). its a really hilly course (and sarah threw up after she finished! hehe xoxo). i registered early enough to be one of the first 400 and will be getting a free pair of new balance running shoes! best.race.schwag.ever!! (did you see your most recent runners world? page 104, bottom left).
and august 7th is the world reknowned/most difficult race to enter td banknorth beach to beacon 10k, started by 1984 olympic marathon gold medal winner joan benoit samuelson (i broke my PR from the llbean race by over a minute, 47:50). if sitting at the computer for over an hour pressing refresh refresh refresh is your idea of a saturday morning in march, good luck! this race sells out in less than a half hour. its pretty sweet (and i have extra love for it since its in the town i grew up in).
halfway done. almost cant believe it.