So where was I…oh yea…the last km before reaching the half way mark!
4km-5km: I admit, from 4km-5km, I was struggling. Hard. I had just reached the top of a huge hill climb and then I realized that I had to push hard toward the half way mark. From 4.5-5km, I was really struggling to catch my breath and get into the swing of things after the last hill climb. I looked at my watch which read 26 minutes and I pushed hard for the last 1/2 a km. I wanted not only to have a 10km time, but a 5km time as well! So I struggled and pushed hard, and I made it to the 5km marker at 28 minutes and 38 seconds. I was happy with this, especially given the hills. But I was worried. It occurred to me that I might not make my personal goal time of 59 minutes. I figured that I would probably slow down the last half of the race (it seems logical right?) and I was a bit worried that I might not even make the 1 hour mark. I had to push on.
The one thing I did not like about this race was the lack of spectators! There were NO spectators along the course cheering us on. It made the hills very difficult. I found myself praying and pleading to hear some encouragement from anyone. The police man, the water volunteer, anyone. On occasion, I heard a keep it up or good job, but I think that happened only twice on the entire route. You could almost hear a pin drop at some points of the race. I blasted my Ipod and zoned out.
There were 3 or 4 water stations along the course (I can’t remember it was a blur) and I stopped and got a cup of water at each. Everyone kept trying to give me Gatorade but all I wanted was water. I remembered what the seasoned runner told me before the race: “You really don’t need Gatorade to fuel a 10k. A half? Yes, but not necessary for a 10k” I was happy to hear this because I hate Gatorade!
6km-7km: It was hot, but I was truly loving every minute of the race. Each time someone passed me, it motivated me to dig deep within myself and find an extra ounce or two of strength. I thought a lot about Chris during these 2 kilometers and I found myself getting quite emotional in the moment. I teared up at one point as I was so overcome with emotion. I think it had been building for so long now. All of the emotions from my injury were finally being let go. The 2 months when I couldn’t even do yoga let alone cardio exercise affected me more than I realized. I felt free, and yes, while I was panting, and grunting, and feeling sometimes like I was going to die going up a hill, in some odd way I felt so alive. I thought about what Chris must have gone through with his cancer and coming to grips with the fact that he wasn’t going to make it to his thirties. Suddenly everything I was feeling sort of went numb. A tear dropped off my face and I didn’t feel any tiredness anymore. I didn’t curse the hills, I didn’t worry about my time, heart rate, or pace…and I am not sure if the music was on or off.
I just ran.
8km: I was a bit annoyed around the 8km marker because the roads weren’t closed off properly and cars were literally driving right by us! One car even cut in front of us so they didn’t have to wait in the line up and we had to adjust our speed and slow down. It was pretty rude, but again, in the grand scheme of things was not something I thought about for more than 20 seconds. It also happened just after another huge hill climb, so I think we were all naturally a bit moody. ;) Everything moved in slow motion. I passed the half marathon km markers…16km…20km..etc…and I thanked GOD I was not running a half!!! LOL. I’m not joking, I was really glad I wasn’t and it actually hit me how much training I would have to do if I wanted to run a strong half. I’m sure I could do it in my current condition, but my pace would be much, much slower and I would struggle- a lot.
9km: I thought it was NEVER going to come! FINALLY! It felt like the longest 10km I have ever done. Probably because it was by far the most difficult course wise. And duh– I was racing afterall! I glanced down and saw that my heart rate was in the 180’s and I had a Holy Shit moment, lol. I passed two men around my age that started to walk a bit. I wondered if they burned out. I kept on. I thought the crowd of people was going to be much closer than it was. Where is that damn finish line, I found myself asking. I knew I wanted to make the last 1/2 km GREAT. And push. There were a few women within my range that had been motivating me the entire way and my goal was to just finish as close to them as possible. Those two men that were walking now passed me. I guess their strategy worked (and their mile long legs probably! lol). I finally saw the finish line in sight and I gave it my all. I got up to a 6:50 minute mile. I assessed my body. No sharp pains. Nothing out of the ordinary. Sounds like a green light to me!!! :)
I passed some spectators (finally!!!) and this man yelled out to me “Catch the redhead!!!”. LOL. Bless this man whoever he was. I needed a laugh. I said, “It’s in the bag” and chuckled to myself knowing she was far out of my reach. It got me through it and took my mind off of things…like my heart rate- which reached 185 bpm in this final stretch. I have NEVER seen my heart rate that high ever. I know for a fact that I was pushing as hard and fast as I could and it felt amazing.
The FINISH: Finally, I approached the finish line. Pushed and pushed. I gave my bum a little wiggle to show off the cancer money. ;) I saw my time- 56 and counting…harder and faster…and then I casually crossed the finish line, seeing Eric. I gave him a big thumbs up and a little squeal when I crossed it.
Moments before crossing…
It was all very surreal. I thought I was going to get choked up after the finish line, but I didn’t. I guess I cleared my head and my emotions during the race when I had time to think.
In case some of you couldn’t watch the video here is a recap of my results:
TIME: 56:57 minutes (race time), My chip time- TBD
AVG PACE: 8:49 min/mile
- 3rd in my division (25-29, women)
- 19th out of 199 women
- 39th overall (out of approx 450 runners)
MAX HEART RATE: 185 bpm
AVG HEART RATE: 172 bpm
Immediately after the race! I checked out my Glo Bakery goodies (that everyone loved btw!), got water, and the most delicious strawberries I have ever tasted!
haha, you can see the tangled chains in the pic below if you click:
I was drenched in sweat after the race. My leg muscles were SUPER tight. I did some stretching. I did a quick ‘injury’ check- nope, no pain. Thank GOD, I thought. I wanted to cry I was so happy. My knee sleeves were sweaty and all the salt I had lost now formed a gross looking ring around them. Ewwww! lol.
I actually had two people come up to me and tell me they loved my Glo bars. One lady even asked me if I wanted to open a bakery in the town (Jordan)! lol. It was cute. I had to tell her I lived too far away but I was of course flattered.
A few people also asked me about my knee sleeves and how they worked. I told them that I LOVE them and that I have had zero pain since wearing them. They have truly saved my knees!!!! I still think it is much more difficult to run in them (it feels like someone cranked up the resistance when I run), but it is worth it. I also think because my knees are kept in proper alignment, it saves me from injury in other areas (groin, anyone!?). :)
Since my muscles were so tight, I asked Eric to help me take my shoes off. Not a glamourous job, but someone’s gotta do it! bahahaa
– In your opinion, what makes a good race? What qualities do your favourite races have (e.g., awesome prizes, courses, water station extras, etc)??? If you have never raced before, what do you think a good race might include??
I will be talking later about:
- the pros and cons of this race. What I liked and what they can improve for next year!
- all the FOOD I ate the day before the race and the day of the race (Yes, Eric recovered the pictures!!!)
- I will also tell you a secret- have I already signed up for another race???
Find out tonight! :D