Three times a charm, right?
Going into this race, I had far too much adrenaline rushing though me. For the entire week leading up to it I was jittery and could hardly sleep. I always feel so undertrained, so amateur. I run with a stroller and barely hit forty miles in a week.
And I have other aspirations. This month I tried to start my schooling, and it didn’t end well. I lasted two days with Ezekiel hanging on to me as I tried to do my homework. It didn’t help that I was incredibly sick that week and lost five pounds. With no energy and no way to do my work, I gave up. The only attention Ezekiel was receiving was negative, get off my lap, let go of my pencil, give me my book, don’t do that, don’t do that, don’t do that…
There is always next semester, and my son needs me as he grows, far more than I need to start my career. We have Nate, after all, and I have a job, and I have my art.
Back to the race:
The only test run I did was a short four-mile loop with a big hill. With the last two miles clocking in at a 5:15min/mile pace, I felt buoyed for the race.
Then Thursday hit, and I was called up for a phone interview. Since the reigning champions weren’t attending this year, I was the next “obvious winner”, as the writer put it. Cue jitters x3.
(last year’s run)
The day of the race, Nate and I bundled up and headed to the start. It was pretty cold out and I was reluctant to strip down to my shorts, but when the time came, I stood shivering at the starting line in the 6min/mile corral. I tried to find Nate, but apparently he was stuck in the bathroom line for nearly ten minutes. We had time for a quick high-five before the gun went off.
The first mile went by quickly. I felt strong and ran it in 5:29. There were four guys ahead of me at the time. I ended up passing one and then he came back to pass me at mile 7. Ah, well.
The cyclist eventually found me. He had been leading the wrong woman for the first two miles. I kinda wish he had stayed with her because he was rather distracting. He would yell to me the mile times and, while I had felt strong in the first half, once we started back and ran into the crowds behind us, his incessant bell-ringing was a needle in my brain. I lost focus and slowed down from 5:35 miles to 5:55 miles.
I would start to gain momentum and then we would hit a group of onlookers and there that bell would go again. Maybe I somewhat blame the guy, but I also need to learn how to focus better. As a lone runner, I’m not used to loud noises or people talking to me when I’m trying to focus.
My body felt strong, and when I felt it tiring I would pull myself up a little taller and would feel a little lighter. It was fun to watch the people go by as they headed to the halfway point. There were two guys dressed up as Minions, a guy in a suit, my husband passing people right and left. When the last of the runners went by, I focused on the road ahead and when I turned the final corner, I came in smiling and confident in the race I had run.
I didn’t know my final time for about 20 minutes after the fact. People were shaking my hand, telling me to wait around for interviews. I sounded like a complete airhead during all of them, but I had never talked into a camera like that before. I had to tear away in order to catch my husband racing in to the finish, beating his previous time by 2 minutes.
With a final time of 57:57 in a 10 mile race, I’m feeling pretty good. I hold the new record for my age group in women’s, and was less than a minute off the actual course record set by Marci Klimek (an Olympic trials qualifier). Next up: the Eugene half-marathon in ten days.
Also, sorry for the screenshots.