1. I PR'ed just two days prior on a training run...duh.
2. I knew the course was flat flat flat.
3. I knew I was due a PR.
So, with that I went into this race completely and utterly not nervous. Which sortof scared me. And made me have this weird sensation of reverse-nervousness. I wasn't nervous about running...I was nervous about NOT being nervous.
Geez, I often wonder if I need to be medicated.
At any rate, just so you know, reverse-nervousness causes the same agony that real nervousness does: loss of sleep, stomach issues, grouchyness, etc. I was a basket case getting to the race (running late didn't help either); I made Troy make one pit stop at a convenient store on the way there (dreaded stomach issues); and I'm sure my attitude yesterday morning was less-than-pleasant.
Thankfully, when we arrived The Best Husband Ever (that's Troy) offered to go register us while I ran a couple of warm up miles. I decided on the loop around the mall where the race starts and ends. Because I've run 12 miles around that mall before (marathon training trying to get a long run in before a race a couple of years ago), I knew that the loop around the mall was exactly 1 mile. During that first mile, I had successfully convinced myself:
- To not be nervous about not being nervous
- To have fun because, duh, this is a hobby not a job
- To be thankful for those two Grasshopper legs God blessed me with
Wow, I was a new woman by the time I got through with that first mile!
After my warm-up I was minding my own business (actually, I'm not really sure what I was doing) when two very bubbly runners approached me. Carey* Ann and Beth...introduced themselves (for real) as my very own Blog Stalkers...actually I think one of them even said "I hope you don't think we are stalkers or anything..." For a brief second, their bubbliness made me feel like a rock star! They seemed so excited to meet me, that well, I felt like maybe I should have given them my autograph or something. We spoke for a second and then wished each other well in the race....little did I know that it would take Carey Ann and Beth to get me through those last few minutes of the race!
My brother showed up with the rugrats in tow, and we were ready to begin the race.
Mile .00001 almost looked like a disaster. I was trying to break free from the pack and noticed something out of the corner of my eye. A girl fell and got trampled over. Do I stop? Do I keep going? I noticed some others stopping so (shamefully) I kept on going....
At a 7:30ish pace...but I felt great so I figured I'd just keep at it. We made the one very tiny climb out of the mall parking lot and I was still feeling great. I kept chanting to myself over and over again "this is fun. this is fun. this is fun." Up ahead I noticed local runner Andi and I knew she was about the pace that I'd like to run so I cruised behind her for a mile or so. She broke off to the 10k and I wondered if I'd be able to keep this up on my own. I was moving into that dreaded mile 2 and hoping that I hadn't burned too much during mile 1.
My Garmin was all over the place...I was 7:30 one second, and the next 7:50. I knew I just needed to keep it a 7:50 for a PR, or 7:42 for a sub-24 minute 5k. I passed Troy who was running out with my nephew and gave them the "thumbs up...keep on going" signal.
As we hit the 2 mile mark, this annoying little twit who had been running in front of me decided to stop. Or make a sudden decrease in his pace. RIGHT-IN-FRONT-OF-ME. I tripped over him, he tried to get up, tripping back over me...it was a mess. And I was aggravated! I was certain that he had slowed me down by 10 or 15 seconds at the least! A couple of seconds went by and then he decided to run beside me, apologizing, trying to carry on a conversation! Are you serious? We are running a 7:45 pace, you trip me, AND NOW...now, you are going to try and talk to me? I think I may have blown a snot rocket on him. He jumps in front of me, catches up with a kid in front of us, slows down to START CARRYING ON A CONVERSATION with that guy! Really? Are you kidding me? This is not social hour! If I had one ounce of breath to talk I would have told him "kid, if you can talk you are not running fast enough!" But I didn't...so I blew another snot rocket on him as I passed him...he played the "run around me, catch up to someone else, start talking to them, slow down so that I have to pass him" game for the entire last mile. I really wanted to hurt him.
The only thing that stopped me was the fact that I passed my brother and his daughter on that last mile and I knew they could still see me...Auntie Amy wouldn't look like a very good role model if she kicked a teenager in the shin.
In addition to finding a new found hate for that kid on the last mile, I was also dying. I just wanted to stop and walk. I was hot. I was tired. And I was sure that I wasn't going to PR. I knew there was a running club friend behind me (he told me he was going to use me to pace himself), and I couldn't let him pass me. I also went back to my favorite Blog Stalkers: Carey Ann and Beth. If I stopped and walked, how would I explain that to them? Would they really want to read a blog post that started and ended with: "I suck because I had to walk"? If I had a craptastic race that ended with me bonking, would they decide to stalk someone else's blog?
My rock star ego just wouldn't let it happen!
So, for you, Carey Ann and Beth, I kept on going!
After I hit the mile 3 mark, I just went into autopilot. I knew it was downhill and that I had put in a good effort. I rounded the corner just to see the clock tick over to "23 minutes..."
Are you kidding me????
I saw RC at the finish, yelling to "GO GRASSHOPPER! GO!" I started pumping my fists in the air (something I've never done before) and crossed the finish line in....
23 minutes and 35 seconds.
I also scored some hardware...fair and square, I got 1st place in my age group! Sweet!
A race to remember...a race to inspire...a race to prove to myself that I can do this running thing!
Pictures will be up soon!
Have a great Sunday!
*I had no idea how to spell Carey...I'm sure that wasn't right and I apologize.