Last year, I set a new course record at this race. My goal this year was to run strong and break my record.
My legs were feeling pretty tired Saturday morning. My Fridays off have unofficially become longer run days which isn't a great combination with a Saturday race, especially one I want to run fast. That said, I ran seven relatively easy miles and did a gym workout Friday, which meant that I ran 17 miles in the three days leading to the race. Not the smartest decision ever, but I won't complain because I really had a great run Friday morning.
When we got to the race Saturday, I ran a brief warm up and stretched really well. My run club sponsored me in this race, so I wore my singlet which was really comfortable. I'm pretty loyal to Nike dri-fit racerback tanks, but this singlet felt surprisingly good. I also wore my new Mother's Day gift: my Garmin Forerunner 220. I'll do a full review of it later.
This race attracts around 400 runners each year and all the top runners from anywhere remotely close were there on Saturday.
I didn't get as fast of a start as usual. I somehow got lost in the bog of the runners from the second and third row. If you race often, you know that everyone, regardless of ultimate pace, runs fast at the beginning. This is great and by about half a mile in (at the latest), the crowd has thinned. My slower start hurt me at this race though. I like being out in front from the beginning.
I ran the first mile great, albeit a little slower than normal in 6:13. My first mile has been right at or under 6:00 for my last few races. It's around this point that the 5K and 10K broke off, so once this happened, it was me and a little boy with a few men in front of us. I always watch this small group of guys who run faster than me and feel like if I can see them at certain points, I'm doing well.
Mile 2 on this race killed me. Flat out killed me. It's when I started feeling the previous day's miles. It's also the mile of rolling hills. It's relatively flat where I live, but this course has some hills. Not a steep up and down, but rather a few nice, long rolling hills. If you're into that sort of thing. My legs weren't feeling it Saturday. I looked at my Garmin at some point on this mile and had to give myself a pep talk because at that point, I didn't quite know for sure whether I'd even beat my record from last year. I wasn't looking for a sub-19 like last week, but I did want to be somewhere below 20. I ran this lovely second mile in 6:38, 25 seconds slower than my first mile.
Mile 3 was better. While the road did look like it was going on for days, I managed to give myself a big enough pep talk to finish the race with a 6:18 mile for a total of 19:45. I also broke the course record of 20:25 which was my PR for most of last year. I was first female and eighth overall. I was happy with my run!
I won another bobble head trophy - seriously, is this not the best trophy? There were also pirates running with us and anyone who beat the pirate got an "I beat the pirate" cup. I got this as well along with a gift card to a local running store and a cash prize for setting a new course record.
I really hope this won't be it for this race. It's a great race, but an even greater family is behind it. The family who owns and operates our local timing company began it after their son was killed in a tragic auto accident almost six years ago. I've gotten to know and love this family through the incredible sport of running. They are an inspiration to all of us. Through their foundation, they've given tens of thousands in scholarships. I'm thankful to have crossed paths with them and know that I don't speak alone when I say running means more because of them.