Wow! What a day.
My nerves finally kicked in when I tried to go to sleep last night. All of a sudden I could feel the butterflies and I tossed and turned all night. I kept waking up and thinking it was time, but it was only 4:00, 4:30 or 5:00.
Finally it was time to get up and I jumped out of bed. I never have problems waking up early on race days.
For some pre-race fuel I had a Montana Whopper.
I had seen a show on the Food Network that featured two ladies who were tired of the traditional energy bars for fueling during their Iron Man training. So, they baked their own cookies and used that as fuel instead. It really makes perfect sense as Clif bars really are cookies in a healthy wrapper disguise. The Montana Whopper was just what I needed for my 5k today.
We headed to the race site a tad early to beat any traffic due to road closures. As we do live in a small town it was fun to run into a lot of people I haven’t seen in years who were running the race. I saw my college roommate’s Dad, a few old family friends, my old dance teacher and even a couple of girls I went to high school with.
The great thing about running in my hometown is that both of my parents were able to come out and support me.
I love you Mom and Dad!!!
Since it was such a small race, everything was done the old fashion way. There were no time chips and everyone starts at the same time. I didn’t want to ruin my time by being stuck in the back, so when it came time to start I pushed my way to the front.
When the whistle blew, I took off at a great pace. I held my own with the boys and easily broke off into my own running zone. I could see a very speedy girl ahead of me and then I was the next female. I was happy with this. I knew I couldn’t keep up with her so I decided my goal would be for second female overall.
The first mile went by really fast. Almost too fast, I passed the first mile marker and there was a girl with a stop watch yelling out times ” 6:43, 6:45, 6:46″ Umm… Ooppss. I did it again. Too fast!! BUT I felt great!!
Either way I knew I couldn’t hold that pace so I slowed it down. We hit a turn around point and out of no where another girl came up beside me and passed me. Damn it! There went number 2…. but there’s still number 3 and I was ok with that. I just focused on chugging along.
I hit mile 2 and I started to really feel it. We had been running the entire race in full sun and my body was wearing down. Then another female passed me. Where did she come from?!?!?! Ahhh…. I fought, but I couldn’t save my 3rd place standing. My body was done with speed and ready to just finish.
We entered the park and I saw the girl who was in the lead start her final lap of the park as I started my first. That was when I realized she wasn’t just the first female… she was the first overall!!! The nearest male was still at least a quarter of a mile behind her! You go girl!!!
I did my final two laps of the park pacing with a little kid and an older man. The kid was amazing, he saw me faulter and yelled “Don’t give up, You can do this!” I couldn’t let this kid down!!!!
I saw the mile 3 marker and started to sprint. This was it! I could see the clock! This was all me! I AM A MACHINE!!
I couldn’t believe it 23:18!!!! 23:18?!?!?! I just PRed!!!!
You can imagine the bouts of excitement occuring in my head at that moment.
I crossed the finish line and all of a sudden I felt very, very weak. I almost wanted to faint. The race officials handed me a paper to fill out, but when I leaned over to do it my head started to spin. I gave it to my Mom and she did it on my behalf and I guzzled water.
We waited patiently as they organized the board to discover I was the 4th Overall Female to cross the line and the 1st female in the 19-24 age group. WOOO HOOO!!!!
Which meant I got a nifty prize.
While we were waiting for them to distribute the prizes I grazed the snack table for breakfast.
That race was fun! It was great to run in such a familiar area with familiar faces. There’s something about small hometown races that just feel homey. I home to run more of the series in the future.
Now, I must spend the rest of the day reveling in my runners high.