On Sunday morning I had my last race of the season. I feel like I JUST started racing again and poof — it’s over. I’m jealous of the rest of the country who is now beginning their race season. I felt like it was fitting that my race season started AND ended at UCF.
In any case, I didn’t even know that this race existed until a few weeks ago when Paula demanded that I sign up for it. I checked the dates (I was very excited to see that it was on a Sunday so my family could cheer me on!) and immediately forked over $40. A 10-miler is something I had never raced before and we all know I am ALL about the instant PRs.
The race started at 7:30, but we decided to try to leave by 6:30 so we had time to pick up our bibs and find parking. Paula picked me up – so I got to sleep in (aka sleeping until 5:45 on race day). We arrived all of 10 minutes later and got all confused about where the parking garage was located. We ended up asking the race packet people — and killed two birds with one stone by picking UP our bibs and shirts. It’s the little things. We finally found the garage and as we parked the car we found our new racing BFF, Tyler. Paula and I had convinced him to sign up, so we actually KNEW he has going to be there this time but didn’t expect to find him right away.
No idea why I’m posing like this, but obviously it was so I could post it in the middle of this amazing blog post.
We all thought that there would be a bigger race crowd. Instead there were less than 250.
After fighting the crowds at the Winter Park Road Race, I am definitely not complaining about running in a small race. I actually thought it was pretty awesome!
We started a few minutes past 7:30 and I just went with it. I actually RAN last week (10 miles on Sunday, 5 miles on Tuesday, and 4 miles on Thursday), so my legs were feeling happy, but not over trained. The weather had changed overnight – it was horrible, humid, and rainy on Saturday – and crisp, cool (low 50s), and windy on Sunday. It was perfect racing weather (maybe minus the wind) so those first two miles were FAST (for me).
And then at Mile 3 I had a moment of clarity and thought “What the hell am I doing??” and slowed it down a little. Actually, I saw Kat (who is fast, passed her, and then thought – OMG, I am really going to fast). I also realized that I hadn’t eaten breakfast (DERP) and took a Clif Shot because I figured I would need it (I was right).
Somewhere between Mile 3-4, I saw a familiar shadow behind me. Yep, it was Tyler. He said he felt really sluggish (yet, he still managed to catch up to me – that boy), but was going to try to stick with me. I told him I was trying to stay under a 9:00 min/mile pace – but I didn’t want to kill myself before the end. So we just ran and talked and tried to avoid looking at our watches.
This was the first race where I actually tried to push myself AND talk at the same time (not including when I was pregnant) — and you know what? I kinda liked it. I truly didn’t think I could keep the pace and constantly ramble about myself, but I’ve been surprising myself a lot lately.
Because I was
talking rambling, most of the race just flew by. Every time my watch beeped, Tyler and I would look to see the pace and he would say “We’re still doing good!” We saw Paula 3 times and each time I was SO happy to see that she was only a few minutes behind us. We also screamed GO PAULA – WOO! every time we saw her. She is pretty much the closest thing I know to a celebrity.
Around Mile 7, I hit my usual wall. The wind that hit us at one of the turnarounds DID NOT help. I took a gel though and sucked it up. I’m pretty sure that at that point Tyler COULD have gone on without me – but he didn’t, instead he pushed me along and I appreciated EVERY second of it. I got another little wind with about a mile to go and we started pushing the pace. I passed Kat again, who like me was NOT appreciating the wind.
The end of the race was really fun – we ran around BrightHouse Stadium and down one of the side streets. I started my finish line sprint a little TOO soon (I actually shouted to Tyler “I think I’m going to die.”), but it was worth it.
My official time is a little confusing (they gave me the wrong chip – which I had to put on my shoe). At first it was listed as 1:27:58, but since Tyler came in at 1:25:59 we knew that was WRONG. Later, it was listed online as 1:26:00. My Garmin said 1:26:03, so we’ll go with 1:26:00. By the way, Tyler BEAT ME by 1 second. That little minx.
As for my time? My A goal was 1:30 — so I guess you can say I smoked it and I’m pretty freaking happy! Plus I came in 5th in my age group. I don’t think I’ve ever been below 10 before, even in a small race. Woo!
Of course, the best part of the race is seeing my family cheering me on. Even if L told Dan that I was wearing a pink shirt and black shorts (she woke up as I was getting ready), so he had NO idea it was me coming in for the finish.
Nope, not even close.
I also caught Paula speeding into the finish just a few minutes later with a massive PR.
Overall, I think we were all pretty happy on how the race was run! The course showed up short on my Garmin, BUT it’s short everywhere. I don’t think it registers turnarounds very well — and there were quite a few of them.
Obviously, we celebrated by taking pictures. Next year I expect more people I know at this race… and more people in general.
And then we ate at IHOP.
This was L’s — I had a veggie omelette, pancakes, and hash browns, in case you thought I was going with a lame after-race meal.
Tyler joined my crazy, crazy family and they, of course, loved him.
I think we are going to adopt him.
And just like that, my 2013-2014 race season is OVER.
Up next?? THE CHICAGO MARATHON!!! And lots, and lots of running. Lots of it.