Hills? What hills? We dominated that race!
Correction: Kath dominated that race…. I just tried desperately to stay by her side the whole time. No better motivation to run hard than having a friend who is nipping at your side, right?
I slept like a rock last night. The bed in Kath’s guest bedroom is amazingly comfortable… almost too comfortable. When my alarm went off at 5:45 I did not want to get up. Sleep good. Running bad.
I’m not one to usually drink hot tea or coffee before a run, but Kath had convinced me that a healthy dose of caffeine would bring my running to a whole other level. I live under the philosophy I’ll try and thing once so I accepted a hot cup of early morning tea.
Plus, it was freezing and the idea of a warm beverage sounded like heaven.
Mmmm… tea is good.
Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe…
Which nut butter should I choose?
I went with the Nutzo and Pumpkin butter on a chunk of Dakota Bread.
Excellent pre-race fuel.
And we’re off!
We hopped on the bikes and rode the 2. (something) miles to the start line. It was a little chilly of a ride and when we arrived my toes and legs were all numb. Luckily instead of waiting around outside, the running store who was sponsoring the race had opened there doors to let people warm up inside.
Faith found us wandering inside.
And outside I spotted Sarah and her husband Josh!!
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Sarah at both Healthy Living Summits and I was so excited to not only see her again, but to be racing with her. Sarah is one of my running idols.
A few minutes before the started we made our way into the open corral. It was a small race – we guessed about 400 entrants – so there was no craziness making our way to the front.
Ready. Set. GO!
Kath and I had made a pact weeks ago to run the race together. We didn’t want to stress ourselves out by becoming overly competitive and pushing too hard to beat the other, so running together seemed like the perfect solution.
I had just run the Chicago Marathon two weeks ago and hail from Florida where the only place you’ll find a hill is if you create one on the treadmill. We knew this would be a hilly, chilly race and agreed that a 9:00 min/mil pace would be ideal.
At least that was the plan.
I felt ‘on’ pretty much from the get go. The first two miles were perfect. Yes, there were hills, but you know what? I liked the hills! Going up was hard, but going down was amazing. I couldn’t believe how great this race felt. We were easily maintaining 8:00 min/miles and were on track to sty that strong through the race.
It was a lot of rolling hills through the first half of the race. We ran through the adorable country roads of Charlottesville before entering a relatively flat trail for the next mile of the race. Before the trail I had a sip of gatorade from the water station.
I kept waiting to see if Kath would hold back or slow down, but her pace never waivered and neither did mine. It was great having her pushing so hard on my side because I wanted to do the same thing. She even reminded me to run up the hills on my toes at one point and the advice ended up being a life saver.
At one point Kath said we were doing great, but she didn’t want to jinx us or guess our finish time until we hit the hill. She kept mentioning this hill and I was starting to get nervous. It sounded big, it sounded hard, and it occurred at mile 4.
I saw the hill from a distance and knew I was in trouble. This wasn’t one hill, this was 4 or 5 hills right on top of each other with a slight flatness in between each one. This ‘hill’ was all of mile 4!
Kath and I took a swig of gatorade and gave the hill all we had. I was sure I was going to give up. I was sure I was going to walk. I was sure I was going to tell Kath to go on. But, I didn’t!
I reached deep inside and gave it all I had. If it wasn’t for Kath, I’m pretty sure I would have given up, but having her there for motivation really pushed me. I wanted to stay with her and I wanted to finish this race together like we planned.
Our pace suffered obviously -we finally saw that 9:00 min/mile – but the fact that I never let the hill get the best of me made this race even better. We rocked that.
After mile 4 it was pretty much smooth sailing. We had a few rolling hills, one last uphill, and took the last turn to the downtown mall to finish the race.
At mile 6 we saw Matt and made sure to smile for the camera.
Just before mile 6 Kath realized we were one minute away from running a sub 50 minute 10k. She took off hoping to make the cut. I tried to follow, but my legs weren’t moving like hers. We both ended up finishing strong.
50:58? Hell yeah! For someone who just ran a marathon 2 weeks ago and isn’t used to running hills – I’ll take it!
PLUS, I know if it wasn’t for mile 4 we would have been able to run a sub-50 no problem!
Virginia race – Check!
After the race we stayed and talked for a minute (I had a couple of cups of gatorade) and then walked down the street to the CVille Farmer’s Market for breakfast.
I love asking for cups of plain hot water to warm up on a cold day.
I found a vendor with an Everything Scone that sounded like it was right up my ally. This scone has Ginger, Chocolate Chips, Poppy Seeds, Pistachios, etc. It was crumbly, slightly sweet and delicious.
Plus a warm Honey Bunch. Pure butter, fabulous.
And last, but not least, Kath and I split a hot cinnamon sugar donut hot out of the fryer.
Alright, time to keep this party going!!!