On Sunday afternoon, I participated in a 10K fundraiser for a group of high school kids who are going to Australia this summer to play in a basketball tournament – Sammy, I thought of you the WHOLE TIME!!!!
Spoiler alert – you’ll want to read to the end . . . very exciting news!
I worked up an outfit for the race featuring a neon green shirt, purple compression sleeves, and an aqua bondi band that said “Find your happy pace.” It was barely 50* and 15 mph winds so I opted to through on an aqua Adidas jacket for prerace – shed it right before the start.
So what’s a girl to do with such a colorful attire palate? Braid her hair and paint her nails – do you like my “I’m being arrested pose” – only way to capture all of the colorful magic.
I was a bit apprehensive going into this race a I have (sigh) not run in a month (where does the time go?), but on my way to the race I looked up my 10K PR time (1:22.05) and began to entertain the idea that I might be able to beat that (delusional? probably).
I met up with my peeps (“L” and her friend “D” who walked the 5K race, Kimberly from Healthy Strides who accompanied her friend “H” while she ran her very first 5K – ahh, don’t you remember your first race like it was yesterday? – and then my mom came to show support).
I started off with a 3:1 (run/walk) interval for the first 2 miles, then 2:1 for the next mile then 1:1 for the rest of the race. The trade off (in my head) was that if I was going to do 1:1 then my 1 minute of running would have to be using a 180 strides/min cadence which is something I enjoy, but was only able to maintain for 1 minute. My first 4 mile splits were exactly 12:30 and finished 4 miles in 50:05 (that’s WAY faster than my normal 4 mile time).
The last 2 miles were hard – in the wind and without either crowd support nor other participants (I was in last place, until mile 4 when I passed the lady in front of me). It was one of my biggest regrets in all of my running – I passed her without so much as acknowledging her. I just couldn’t! I couldn’t expend any more energy to breathe or look over across the street at her. I just went on and passed her (I really really feel badly for this – it’s definitely NOT my nature – I’m usually very social – there just wasn’t a drop of anything extra in the tank).
At mile 5.25 or so, she came up behind me and said that she was grateful for keeping her in the race and having me to motivate her (hope it’s not one of those, “I can certainly beat that fat girl up there!” kinda things). She stayed with me the remainder of the race. We talked (mostly I gasped for air but it was very nice to have her right there). Her name was Kelly (she’s in the orange in the photos below) and is a professor at a small university in Northern Indiana. She is in training for the Geist Half which “C” and I ran last year. We talked a little about that and she really became my motivation to push it.
At about mile 5.75 “L” and “D” came out of no where and cheered us on. – so.truly.helpful!!!! Unbelievably right on cue- I was tired and really wanted to quit, but there they were, and there was my new friend Kelly. Angels!
I pushed to the end thanks to Kelly and finished in 1:19.05 – a new 10K PR by exactly 3 minutes!!!!!! Woot Woot! Maybe dreams do come true!
The post race fare was nice – especially given it was the smallest race I’ve ever participated in and it was a fundraiser. There were 3 flavors of Australian Style Wallaby Organic Yogurt (Vanilla bean, banana vanilla, and blueberry – I opted for the BB), bananas, and cold bottled water (always sooo appreciated when the water is chilled). They even had one of the basketball players wearing clothing from Australia (Sammy – is it true?)
I’m sure this was a one-time race, but I would LOVE to do it again – scenic course, NICE participants, and super well organized (including 4 water stations and there were several dozen motivational sayings written in sidewalk chalk along the first mile – really a sweet touch). Kudos guys for an excellent race! Oh and the 10K bike marshal was my half mary class teacher who just ran at Boston, Eric. He gave me a high 5 to help celebrate my new PR! AWESOME day!