Hooray, we made it!!!!!!!! Where to begin . . . here's a good enough place
1. Thanks to everyone for commenting in recent days. It was really nice to read encouraging words.
2. The race weather could almost not have been more perfect - cool, clear, sunny, . . . but WINDY!!!!! There were 16-18 mile an hour headwinds slamming us on the last 2 miles when there isn't a whole lot in the tank anyway. It literally felt as if we were running two steps forward and being blown back one step. I spoke with seasoned racers at the finish line and they agreed it was severe and challenging. Hearing the veterans say that made me better - like I wasn't just complaining.
3. We walked the first 1.1 miles in 15:20 and then we did an interval of 2:1 for the rest except we took 5 extra walk breaks - 3 of which were in the final 2 miles when the wind was soooo strong . . . and a bit crisp.
4. We finished in 2:18 - probably could have done it in 2:15 or maybe even 2:13 if the wind would not have been such a factor - the entire last 6 miles were directly into the wind (3 of them had trees to provide some wind block). I'm not making excuses - we're slow, but . . . that's a pretty good time for "L" & I). We were dead last but only by 90 seconds. We tried so hard to beat these 2 ladies - we must have traded places with them 20 times along the course, but in the end they smoked us. There were 16 people who finished behind us . . . I'm not going to say that that's because they ran 3.1 miles further than we did (details, details, details). SMILE!
5. As we started mile 8 (before the full brunt of the wind overwhelmed us) I stated that I felt it had been a 7 out of 10 on the difficulty scale.
6. I absolutely loved miles 4 & 5 because that was an out and back section and all the fast people were passing us going the other directions. I LOVE to cheer them on. When we started passing the middle of the pack runners I offered "Free High 5's" and everyone but one dude took me up on it. Being in the back of the pack is just a different type of camaraderie - and I LIKE it!!! I LOVE racing for that reason. People cheering each other one, just smiling, and having fun. That's why I race. I'll never win and probably will never finish in the top half, but I can make someone feel encouraged for a little bit - that's awesome!
7. They cut our chips off and I was walking back to the car about 30 minutes later and noticed I still had part of my red twisty tie on my shoe. I looked down and panicked. I said out loud, "I lost my chip!" Dude, seriously, totally forgot they had cut it off. Runners amnesia?
8. I gained the confidence I was hoping for - to know that I could tackle the F4F. I also know that it isn't going to be easy, but I know I can do it.
You should consider this race for next year. The half-marathon route is beautiful. It had a mile or so that looped in through the packed camp ground of the state park. I heard the campers really cheered for the runners - love that! If you're looking for a place to PR a 10K - this is the course for you - fast, flat, easy, and scenic.