God, I’m behind in blogging. It’s been crazy busy lately, but also crazy good. So I can’t complain. I just wanted to keep up with one of my resolutions of blogging once a week. Here’s to getting back to that… only 6-7-ish weeks later. And the worst part is, the blog has been written since the week after the 4th of July. I had a business trip to Cali, and wrote this on the plane when I was too uncomfy to sleep:
I’m behind on my blogging, due to family being here, and having to pack for a West Coast business trip. Last Saturday was the 4th of July, and my dad and I were all set to run the 4th of July 5K in downtown Kernersville. After peeking at last year’s times (because I’m a runNerd, and that’s what I do), I knew there was an outside chance that I could place top 3 in my age group (30-34 now), IF I had a really great race. So I set out to have a really great race.
The day prior, hubby and I went to our fave place in Winston, the 4th Street Filling Station, then over to the outlets in Mebane for some fun shopping at Ralph Lauren, Cole Haan, Tommy Hilfiger, and Lucky (I hit the jackpot, finding everything on my list from black flats for work, to white jeans. Score!) I felt like I might have walked a little too much. My legs were still tired and sore from Ultimate Runner. I only did two runs during the week, a little 2 miler on Tuesday and a 4 miler on Thursday. Still, though I wasn’t at peak condition, I was going to try like heck for that top 3, because it means I would earn a trophy, something I have never, ever won in my life. So that would be cool!
Dad & I drove separate from Mom, J, and the kids to the race, so that we could pick up our race numbers. After a pit stop at the bathrooms, where thankfully the line wasn’t out of control yet, we got our numbers and just walked around a bit. Dad didn’t want to warm up with a run, so we just walked to the end of the street and back. He shared some info with me that I didn’t know about his health, and I am glad we had that 1-on-1 time that’s so hard to come by when the kids are around.
Our cheerleaders arrived shortly thereafter, and I had just enough time to take my shirt off (decided to stay as cool as possible by just running in the sports bra + shorts, even though I still feel a bit self-conscious), get in a half mile warm up, try to stretch my super tight legs, and line up. I placed myself somewhat close to the front. I know from our experience running the same race in 2012 that some super competitive folks show up to this race. After all, they offer prize money! At 8:30 sharp, we were off!
The course differed slightly from 3 years ago, but I knew where we were, which always helps me calibrate how far there is to go. The majority of the course winds down Mountain Street, which–contrary to its name– is blessedly flat, with just a few small inclines. The first mile I felt OK—was shooting for a 7:30-7:40 mile, and came in at 7:35. I knew then that the next two miles would be tough. Energy-wise and breathing-wise I felt fine, but my legs were just… tired. I focused on getting to the turnaround, slightly more than half way. I saw a friend from my old job, JP, so that boosted my mood, hearing her cheer for me. I grabbed some water from the table and took a sip, as I was parched, despite hydrating very well the day and night prior, and that morning. I dumped the rest of the water on my back to cool me off, as the sun beat down on us, with temps probably in the upper 70’s or low 80’s by that time.
Shortly after the turnaround, I saw Dad coming along, so I veered left to give him a high 5 as we passed each other. My second mile was near 8 minutes, so I told myself to just hang on and do the best I could. I knew I’d need to be in the 23-minute range to get an age group award. I tried to give myself a little pep talk (“Just keep going, you got this”) but my legs wanted to stop running, and I was overheating. Thankfully, the 3rd mile had some slight downhills, and before I knew it, I was only a quarter mile away. A guy pushing a double stroller (yep, 2 kids with him!) started to pass me. I just felt so crummy… when I finally saw the finish line, I upped the pace and passed him back. There was a girl right in front of me, wearing a white T, so I aimed to pass her. At that moment, I was maybe 50 meters from the finish line, and my right hamstring got soooo tight, I had to slow down. That’s never happened to me in a race. I thought, dammit, if I lose the age group award to that girl, I’m gonna be so pissed! The clock said 24 minutes even as I crossed the finish.
My chip time ended up being 23:58… and I came in 4th place. By 10 seconds.
The event photographer chose my finish line sprint with white T-shirt girl to be the cover of the album for his pics–very flattering! It looks like we are elbowing each other, but we weren’t that close. It’s an optical illusion 😉
That was quite disappointing. Gabe actually cried for me, LOL! What a sweetheart.
I had to check the results about 5 times and count the number of ladies in my age group in front of me, but alas, I came in a disappointing 4th place, just 10 seconds from my coveted trophy. But I thought back, and I don’t think I could have squeezed an extra 10 seconds out of my time. Even if my hammie hadn’t seized up, that might have been an extra 3-5 seconds off my time. And the girl who crossed right in front of me wasn’t in my age group, and my chip time was faster… whew 😉 A relief for an uber-competitive girl like me.
And to reflect on how far I’ve come: in 2012, at the same race under similar conditions, I ran a 27:22 and placed 9th in my age group (25-29 at the time). Not too bad…
J had some Gatorade waiting for me, thank God, and I did my best to stretch my hammie. It ached. Dad came in around 29 minutes, a good time for him. Mom got great pics of us both!
We walked up the street a bit to cool down, and I knew I needed Motrin and ice for my hammie when we got home. I ate my leftover Ultimate Chicken sandwich and some fruit, and just chilled with the fam for the rest of the day. I really needed a nap but never did get one. I vowed to be faster for next year, and I spent a good chunk of time trying to come up with a plan to get faster. I decided some hill sprints and 400’s would need to become part of my training plan. Next up on the docket is the VA Beach Half marathon, so I have to start doing more long distance again.
Random: One of my fave songs right now, by Becky G. “You light me up inside, like the 4th of July, whenever you’re around, I always seem to smile. People ask me how, well you’re the reason why. Dancing in the mirror, singing in the shower.”
A few of my fave 4th of July pics: