I didn’t get a trophy this year but I must say, I was really pleased with the race so let’s discuss….
I got real lucky that it didn’t rain during the race.
I say lucky because the drizzling on my windshield as I drove to the race suddenly reminded me that I completely forgot to bring my Lulu rain jacket which I specifically bought for running in the rain.
Who forgets their rain gear especially when the last minute registration for this race was mainly because I was monitoring the forecast which was calling for a good chance of rain/thunderstorms?
After I picked up my number (and t-shirt) I headed to the slippery boardwalk for a the start.
I love taking a sneaker shot as we wait in the corrals for the race to begin.
Let’s talk corrals for a moment.
As I stood somewhere behind the 7:00 min/mile pace sign, I decided that corrals should be like shoes and offer us a half size.
I can’t wear a seven and the eight is usually too big (except in sneakers, then you always size up) therefore they make the 7 1/2 shoe size for the people in between.
I am the people in between the 7:00 min/mile and the 8:00 min mile.
I contemplated starting myself in the 8:00 min/mile group just so I didn’t go out too fast but I have learned I am better to pace myself in the seven’s and drop back if I have to because, and pay close attention to my thought process here as it is hard to explain,
If I do start faster and need to slow down, my slow down pace is still faster than if I start slower and continue at that slower pace.
And starting at a slower pace which may save my legs a little bit never gets me to speed up to the fast that occurs when I start faster.
Do you follow me?
I ran the boardwalk so many times this summer that I felt comfortable and ready…well, aside from my right hamstring being sore from doing a Pure Barre DVD the day before.
Can you believe it? I haven’t been sore since the first class; of all times to get sore from lifting, toning and burning.
The sore hamstring thing was in the back of my mind because I honestly never run with discomfort and I didn’t want to hurt myself. I loosened up as best I could and figured if it truly hurt, I would slow down or just stop.
I stayed towards the left side of the boardwalk knowing my feet were more comfortable on those planks, especially when wet. I felt good going pretty fast mainly because I knew that the faster I run the boardwalk portion, the faster we exit for the streets.
Boardwalk miles are endless miles.
The race clock said my first mile was around 7:22 (my GPS said 7:17).
I was at least 30 seconds slower than last year which was a good thing because last year I had wanted to die, throw up and never run again.
I have come to learn those feelings and negative thoughts are not what I want and only happen when I am going too fast for myself so I was really happy at this point to still feel normal.
I started to feel a side-stitch developing so I slowed down for a bit just to make it go away which thankfully it did really quickly.
At this point I was hot and sweaty (it was already eighty degrees and humid) but I felt good and didn’t notice my hamstring at all.
I barely remember much here but I know I skipped the water stop because I wasn’t thirsty and the race was short enough to really not need a drink.
I think I was starting to get into a groove which was making me happy.
By the 5k point I was somewhere around 23:30 which was just fine for me.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about last year’s finish time and trophy but decided it was okay to finish slower and certainly okay not to place especially since we have no idea who and how many other females in the age group were running versus last year.
I realized I had power. I realized I was working hard but not konking out.
I realized that although I don’t often focus on speed work, I have increased my weekly mileage since last year’s race which has helped my endurance tremendously.
My average daily run these days is usually six miles so a five mile race was feeling comfortable in that I wasn’t completely burning out even though I was pushing myself pretty hard.
I kept telling myself that for every second I could keep up my pace or push it a bit more, the happier I would be to see a quicker time on the finish clock.
And, I knew I had it in me to give which was a nice feeling in the last mile.
I noticed in the last mile that I had been running with the same people from the start line which must have meant I paced myself fairly well.
I even pushed past two of the girls towards the finish line even though we were running pretty even in the last quarter of a mile.
The clock told me my time was 40:20 but I like to go by my GPS because it told me 39:47.
Whichever it is, I was really happy. I came in fourth for my age instead of second and I will take it because I worked hard, felt good and most importantly, enjoyed the race without any crazy why-do-I-run thoughts.
I was so sweaty that I became freezing which is a usual thing for me.
I always keep a sweatshirt in the car for races (along with watermelon, water and an oatmeal parfait in a cooler) so I headed to my car to get going.
I ate the watermelon immediately, stopped for coffee and went to my parent’s house to finish eating, shower and pick up my son.
My son and I picked up his best pal and we headed to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch.
I have decided that my ridiculous face in this picture is contemplating the idea of summer ending and shorts season quickly fading away.
I am just not ready to give up the shorts and the flip flops and have no intention of doing so.
I may become one of those people who continue to wear white after Labor Day or maybe I should get a job at Abercrombie where they dress in summer clothes and flip flops year round.
When do you give up wear your summer clothes and flip flops?
Do you get cold after running? I always do!
What are your post-race necessities that you always bring with you?
Do you wear a half-size in shoes? Do you always size up in running shoes? I now size up a full size instead of just a half size.