|PURSUIT. The night before... dun dun duuuuun|
If you don't have time to read the whole post here are a few highlights:
-I ran my best time ever!
-I ran the whole thing!
-I didn't poop myself!
Now for those of you seeking a more in-depth narrative...
The night before the race, my little sister and her husband were kind enough to allow a big group of us to take over their very nice home for the evening. Thanks, Katie and Dan!
The next morning, I was less nervous and more angry about being awake so early. I always get that feeling before races.
We arrived, found a parking spot (only by the grace of God), and got our tails in a porta potty.
In our entourage, there were two folks running the 8k, so we had extra time to stand around, freeze, freak out and use the porta potties again.
Catching a theme?
I felt really good for the first four miles. Normally during my runs I listen to music the whole time, but for the race I decided to save my music for when I really needed it-- almost like an audible GU.
I also planned to keep a slow, steady pace during the first 6 miles, and if I was able to hold back on mile 1 and 2, I knew that I would be able to pace myself better. I was SUPER tempted to run off of the start line like the rest of the runners- going way too fast. I just kept thinking... let them pass me during the first 6 miles. I will pass them in the last 7.
Mile 4-6 (aka the park)
Before I entered the park, I started to get the itch to speed up, almost like I was on mile 1 again. Once I entered the park it felt like the pavement was sucking all of the bounce out of my step, so that urge was quickly snuffed. I was contemplating leaving the pavement, and running on the grass, but had a nagging feeling that there was a ninja race official who would tackle me and I'd be disqualified. I was, apparently, rather irrational through the park.
At this point, I was still running and I was thrilled! Normally I around mile 6 I start to get whinny, and I walk for a bit. I was still feeling really strong so I figured I would keep going, knowing I would walk eventually.
At mile 9 I wanted to stop. Not quit-- just stop. Those are two very different emotions. I normally reach that point in my runs often, but deal with them by telling myself that I will be in so much pain during the race if I don't train properly. Instead of trying to pass that one off (even to an illogical brain), I told myself that I could do this not because of who I am, but because of who Christ is in me. Yeah- it got crazy spiritual during these miles. Then I popped in my headphones and the Spirit and I boogied on.
I don't remember a thing from these miles. It's probably best. All I know is, I still had not stopped to walk.
During the whole race I kept looking down at my watch trying to do the math to see if I could actually actually actually beat my time. At .6 miles to go, I had 10 minutes to get to the finish line to beat my time. I could do juuuuust enough math to know that I was about to blow my PR out of the water.
But first, in an effort to transition from from just a regular odd ball (who pays to fun 13.1 miles??), to a full on nut job, I started saying out loud - "Point six. Ten minutes. Point six. Ten minutes". I was practically barking it by the time I could see the finish line--which was all blessedly downhill. I crossed the finish line with an obnoxious fist pump and a thumbs up to my sisters. I was exhausted, so don't judge me.
In the end, my time was faster than I could have hoped, and I ran the whole thing. But I have to say the jewel in my crown that day was knowing that contrary to my fears during the last downhill, I had not pooped my pants. SUCCESS!