"I did not race Galveston, or any bike race over the weekend. However I did run the Home Run 10K in Lindale. Lately, more than ever in my past, I go into races looking to have fun first and foremost. I'm typically not looking to hit a particular pace or time, and just go by how I feel.
Using this approach has been working quite well for me, but it seems that I'm the only one surprised when I do well. No one else seems surprised at all, while I genuinely and truly am!
So after saying 'hi' to Kayla and Rachel and a few others before the race, I stepped up to the line with a couple dozen other runners (over half were women!!) and off we went!
I hadn't pre-run or ridden the course but had seen a map. It went around the new park at the Cannery in Lindale for 0.7miles then came back onto the road - North St to Iron Mountain to the end of the neighborhood out there (sorry, not good with street names!) and back. Although I live in Lindale, I've actually only gone out that way once following yard sale signs. I'd heard it was hilly, and it certainly lived up to it. If you're looking for hills to run, this is the route for you!
Jogging along the park path, I worked my way up to 2nd place female, and felt pretty good. Once we got out to Iron Mountain road, it was quite clear that the woman ahead of me was pulling away on the downhills, and I was reeling her back in on the ascents. Just based on physics, logic says she can pull away further than I could gain. But I just kept my pace, and in my head reminded myself, I'm from Vermont, and hills are my strength. And kept reeling her in, then pulling just a bit farther ahead on the flats. Finally, before we got to the neighborhood, I was able to stay ahead of her.
The approach to the turn-around was a slight descent, so I pushed it to stay ahead, made the turn, and could then see how far back she was - I may have had 30 or 40 yards. At this point, I had seen all those ahead of me make the turn and knew I was in the top 10 overall, and then could encourage all the others coming behind me. I was really having fun now, cheering everyone on. I knew it was only 1.5 miles back to the 5K turn-around spot (I'd broken the route into four 1.5-mile segments in my head) so plugged away at those uphills until I could see the 5k turn. By this time, I was hurting a bit, but had a few significant thoughts in my head:
1. This was not even close to an IronMan, or even a Half IM, so no matter how hard I pushed, it would be nothing like all my friends down in Galveston.
2. It was a balmy 60 degrees with no snow, like the 16" or so that had fallen the night before up in New England, so no complaints there
3. I am grateful to be able to run, unlike a friend who may have separated his glute from his iliac crest.
Upon reaching the 5K turn, there were now many more competitors out there, so many more to cheer. Now I was REALLY having fun, and noticed I was reeling in the 2 guys ahead of me. When we finally turned back onto North St and up that last incline, it is a nice 300m flat stretch to the finish. I was running with one guy, and said, "Come on, you got this!" or something to that effect and we picked it up a bit. I didn't have much left in the tank to pick up more, so he pulled away. The other guy, who'd been battling a stitch in his side passed me, so I was back to 8th or 9th, but still thrilled with that. And then when the stitch-in-his-side guy caught the next (5k) runner, it was a little girl of about 7-9 years old (I'm terrible with guessing kids' ages, but about the size of Cori's daughter). I took a good breath and cheered for her, encouraging her to pick it up if she could, bring it all the way to the finish line. And she shifted gears and stuck to that guy's heels!
About 10-15 yards from the finish, she eased up a bit and I encouraged her again - all the way in! And she did it! The honest to goodness truth is that I couldn't catch her and I was so stinking proud of her!!! I told her so after crossing the line, said I was trying to catch her and couldn't and that she finished strong; what a great run! And gave her a hug. She was pretty awesome!
They told me my time: 46:18, first place, gave me a finisher medal and snapped a photo before I had to wander off, at that point of near-puke that seems to hit me after hard runs.
My prize was a wonderful 1 month unlimited yoga membership to Serenity Yoga in Mineola. It is one of the best prizes I've ever won, because I've been meaning to check that place out!
Then it was off to shower and pick up Bruce before heading to Elite for the day.
What a great day! Still can't believe I got first! And made a new friend - second place was Jennifer Taylor, and we chatted a bit after the race. Turns out she bikes some too... ;-) "