Sunday was a day I will never forget. I don’t have a better introduction to this post than that. Let’s jump right in.
I woke up at about 7AM and went for my pre-race shake out jog. I do this before every race because it helps prime my legs to run. I felt an odd sense of peace. Odd because my apartment building had a fire drill at 3AM that morning which made for a disrupted night of sleep. I got back from my jog and did my morning devotionals. The passage stuck out to me, Galatians 6:9 because it said essentially, to take comfort in the good you’ve done, because good is coming to you.
In my racing mindset I felt God was saying “You did the had work, today will be fun!” Again, I felt comforted and at peace.
I got to the start at about 9:15AM for the FLRTC ambassador picture. It was fun seeing the whole team together. The day could not have been more beautiful. It was about 50 degrees at the start of the race and worked it’s way up to 60 by the end.
Today was my sister’s first half marathon. She was nervous, but also anxious to do it. We laughed and talked with other runners at the start and I didn’t feel nerves. I just wanted to run.
The air horn went off at 10:00 and I decided to actually start with the faster paced runners. It helped that I got to the start line early, so I didn’t have anyone to push through. I began to run and get into my race pace. I felt great! Running up Tower Road and turning out towards Dodge RD I felt power in my legs and increased my pace reeling in the female racers. I caught the first woman at about mile three and led the rest of the way. Time to reel in the men!
The course was an out and back loop which coincidentally was the same route I run for my long 16 milers but backwards. I was comforted knowing where I was going and knew that I could push on uphill sections because the downhill was really close. There was one steep climb at around mile 10, but once I got over that I knew it was mostly a steady decline till the end. I dedicated the last mile to my sister, the wheels came on and I kicked it into gear.
The final stretch sticks out in my mind. I ran right next to a Cornell running club guy (who I met after) and we pushed each other till the end. I broke out in tears at the finish line because…
I WON THE RACE!
I was the first female finisher with a PR time of 1:24:28. I could not be more thrilled with that time and that accomplishment. I know it was a small town race, but it’s my town. I felt like I represented Ithaca and FLRTC like a pro!
My sister came in under 2 hours which was also a huge highlight of my day. I am so proud of all she’s accomplished in such a short period of time. She also crossed the finish line crying. It must run in the family!
The post race festivities were fun as well. I cheered everyone who came in, took pictures with the second place finisher (and my yoga instructor) and the 10K female winner (she’s a BEAST!)
The volunteers were AMAZING! To get up and cheer all day, hand out drinks, register people and just make the day go smoothly is really hard work. They did a great job! The children holding medals at the end were also the fastest way to put a smile on the face of even the most downtrodden runner at the end. The award ceremony was short, sweet and encouraging. I like it when things aren’t overblown but people are recognized. One elder gentleman even had a new age category made for him this year. I want to be running at that age too!
I am honestly still on a high from this race. I did not want yesterday to end.