What better way to end a four day long running hiatus than with a 15k race?!
This morning I awoke bright and early (read: before the sun) and spent plenty of time freaking out for my 7:30am race. I made sure to prepare everything before I went to bed last night so I didn't forget anything (like I usually do).
I even made sure that it would be next to impossible for me to wake up late (which is also pretty typical)
|four alarms? that should do it|
I woke up this morning nervous and excited about the race. This is my first race of the year, and the longest one I have ever done. Cue early morning freak out:
The race was called "Spring Forward 15k" - I thought it would be appropriate to dress in the brightest colors I own and look like a watermelon to celebrate spring. If only there was an award for the most spirited outfit...
We got to the park a little before 7:00 which meant more time for me to stand around and freak out. In the mean time, Emily and I snapped a pre-race pic:
|ready as we'll ever be!|
We did the early start option which started right at 7:30. The early start was for us slower folks and started an hour before the regular start time. I must say, it was nice to not be the dead last person crossing the finish line, which would probably be the case had I not done the early start. I'll take that as a win.
It was misty and cold when we started but eased up and didn't take long for me to warm up. I was nervous about my hip and tried hard to just go slow and enjoy the race. I settled into my groove in the first couple miles and I was feeling great.
The last time we ran this course was the disastrous blizzard tundra where we had to cut the run short and get a ride. Needless to say, today was much more enjoyable and the course didn't seem so bad after running it in white-out conditions!
Another runner and I were playing chase for a while and my nasty competitive side started to come out. I'd pass her on the uphill and she'd fly by me on the way down. Then I'd catch up and pass her and so on and so on. I started to get really mad. And then I heard Mare (my lovely mama) in my head. After my pity party the other day she said to me, remember the reasons why you started this journey.
And (of course) she is absolutely right. I didn't do this to win races or outrun people or prove that I'm better than everyone else. I did it to prove to myself that I am stronger than I think. That life's too short to be anything other than happy with yourself. And to remember the loss and honor the life of an amazing person that inspired me to do all of this.
So thank you Mare, and Matty, for popping in my head today and helping me to remember to enjoy this experience. It's crazy where your mind wanders off to and the revelations you have when you're running 9.3 country miles!
Since the title of this post is not 'Sh!t's About to get serious part 2' I will move on.
I felt really good for the majority of the race and didn't start to feel my hip until around mile 7. It got bad at that point and I walked up a hill and stopped to stretch it at the next water stop. All things considering though, my hip held up much better than I had anticipated.
Even at mile marker seven, when I started to feel it, I still managed to pose for the camera:
|i'm really hardcore.|
It looks like I'm walking, but I blame my spirit fingers for throwing off my form. Oh well.
After about 2 hours, I was running through the finish line. It was such an amazing feeling to have people cheering for you and clapping as you run through. Did I really just finish a 15k?! Yes I did :)
The best part of the post-race experience? This:
|hot dogs, get in my belly|
And seeing ALL of my running buddies!
|me and em, post race|
|the crazy lady the got me started with this crazy running stuff! :)|
|HFM training girls|
All in all it was a GREAT experience. It's been said that this course is more challenging than the half marathon course, which makes me much calmer going into the half! Speaking of which...it is FOUR WEEKS FROM TODAY! Holy cow. Today wasn't a bad way to kick off the last month of training! See, I told you Happy Molly would be back eventually. And back with a vengeance! :)