Good Afternoon (evening?) Everyone! I am still in a blissful running euphoria state. I just woke up from a nap and am not drinking a mango mate.
I also just found out that I CAN NOW GO TO DUNKIN’ DONUTS AGAIN! They are now offering Almond Breeze [for an up charge of course] in their pumpkin lattes. All they need now are vegan donuts!
Speaking of running, I had a race today!
The Ithaca 5 & 10 was today and I signed up (hesitantly due to my foot) for the ten mile option. I got up early to warm up with a few easy slow miles, ate breakfast and felt ready to race. I saw many folks I knew from other races and from Cornell. A couple people from the running club I was in were there and so I was able to catch up a bit. I felt a bit nervous at the start because there were a few people I recognized that beat me in other races. One woman is so good at trails that I made it a goal to stay within a distance that I could see her. Another woman is the Cornell women’s XC coach who had beat me three years ago when I ran it with the club. I tried hard to put her and the other Cornell runners out of my head and just have fun. It was the perfect day to do a race. The temperature was about 70 degrees and sunny with little wind. The course was flat and had people cheering at every corner. My friend’s dad directs the race, so I know we are all in good hands with regards to markers and support.
The air horn went off at 9:30 and I was ready. I paced myself at a good clip and slowly started reeling people in. I like to start off slower and gain speed to catch people. I’ve be told this is a good strategy and a morale booster for later in the race when I’m tired. The two women I spoke of earlier also took off and were ahead of me for the first couple miles. I did not let myself panic, but repeated a mantra thanking God for the day and for the ability to run. Slowly I started to catch the trail runner and passed her at about mile four. I got a small boost from that and tried to get back in touch with my pace. I thought I could go at a stronger clip, so I pushed it a bit. The other woman was still in front of me with the Cornell runners. I forgot about them and just ran. Soon I was at the five mile mark (the race is two loops of the same five miles) and the adrenaline kicked in; I wanted to race. I stepped up my pace and tried to find the girls in front of me but I could no longer see them. I was not derailed though because I felt good and strong and in the moment. My foot was starting to feel a bit worn but I trusted it to go on. The last two miles were around a lake and a straight away to the finish. I decided to try to pass one more guy and give it my all. I figured I had a couple weeks before my half marathon and will take it easy this week with more cross training and base building. I also heard the people on the course cheering for a woman named “Julianne” or something like that behind me. I did not want to get passed by another woman so close to the finish. On the straight away I began to sprint. I felt the burn in my chest and legs, but knew I could keep my pace and kill it.
When I crossed the finish line and the announcer said my name and great job I was thrilled and elated. I totally had given it my best shot so regardless of the placing or time, I felt satisfied. I turned around and looked at the clock and it said 1:08:50! I broke 1:10! I broke 1:09! I even broke 1:08:50 because my official time was 1:08:44. My average pace was 6:53 per mile, the best I have ever done! I accredit this to the mile repeats I have been doing at a level 9 on the treadmill the past month. That works out to about a 6:40 pace. Even better than this? I was second overall female and first in my age group! And the woman who was cheered on right behind me was the Cornell women’s coach! I had beaten the two women I remembered without even noticing it! The overall women winner was a woman in her forties. Her forties!! To me that is incredible. To be able to race that well as you age is unbelievable. I want to be like her as I age as well. I still do not know what she looks like though, she left before I could congratulate her. I bought a race tee shirt and received a metal for being the first in my age group. I’m feeling pretty snaptastic!
How was your Sunday?