This might be a long post...or I might break it down into seperate posts. This morning was chock full of stuff. The race the awards ceremony and then the Grand Prix awards ceremony.
I'll start with the race.
Since the race was starting at 8:00 and we weren't meeting Michele at Team 1 until 7:00 we got to sleep in a little bit this morning. For the past umpteen weeks I have been getting up at 4:00am for the Little Rock Marathon training group 6:00am run. Yesterday felt weird and I was a little sad to not be planning my run with Cheryl.
My stomach is always such an issue with me, I just don't know what to eat before a race etc. This morning I had 1/2 of a strawberry pop tart. Probably not the best thing nutritionaly speaking but I just couldn't stomach anything heavy. I knew worst case scenerio we were going to be passing the Dog Park port a potty twice and the Skate Park port a potty once. I didn't want to have to stop, but they would be there if I needed to.
Michele had to get back to Cabot right after the race so she followed us over to the Soccer Fields at Burn's Park. She hadn't registered yet so we were trying to hurry to get her there in plenty of time to do so. I asked Arland if he would mind picking up my packet so that I could run to the bathroom. I lucked out there was no line and so I felt comfortable just hanging out in there as long as I needed to. I was able to take care of a bit of business and when I came out the line reached out the door!! LOL
I ran over to find everyone and got to get a hug from Curtis and Gary :)
Joan gathered us all up about 15 minutes before the race to do a warm-up run. Dennis had told us we didn't really need a lot of warm up for a 15K unless we were planning on going out hard. We all ran together and the fast girls did a few strides. Michele and I had talked about this race a lot and we were planning on starting out easy and just keeping a comfortable pace and then in the last couple of miles we could pick it up if we felt like it.
I had also talked to Bailey about the race and she said she would run with us.
There were quite a few people in this race, I don't know the exact number but considering that it was a cold rainy morning I thought it was a good turnout.
During the first mile you are running through parking lot's and have several turns which were a little crowded in the beginning, but once we were on the River Trail it was a straight shot. Bailey, Michele, Arland and I were together. I knew we were going a little faster than I wanted but it felt pretty good so I tried not to worry about it, but when we hit the first mile in 9:33 I did worry a little and said we need to slow down. So we did.. for probably about 30 seconds! LOL
For most of the first 2 miles Arland was running ahead of us, and we were all admiring his strong calf muscles!
Eventually though we caught up with and then passed him. Once we caught up with him Michele told him "Annette pushed us up here, she didn't want us looking at your backside anymore" LOL
Before the race started they told us there would be 2 water stops that we would pass 4 times. Arland was counting on this as I'm sure many others were, but I don't know what happened... maybe not enough volunteers but there was only one water stop and that was at mile 4.5. We did pass it again around the 6 mile mark but then that was it.
When we reached the water stop the first time we all grabbed water and walked a few steps so we could drink it.. maybe 30 seconds??
One of the cool things about this race as an out and back you get to see the lead runners. This of course can be good and bad! I loved it! It is really amazing to see how fast those guys and gal's are! We got to cheer for Gary, Lisa and Curtis, there is a big loop around so we didn't get to see everyone. We didn't pass directly by Curtis but we saw him while we were on the road passing the skate park and he was down in the skate park. He asked us later if that was us scream and cheering for him. He said it really gave him a push and helped him pass someone he had been working on for a while. Gary also said it was great to see us.
I guess it was around the 6.5 mile mark that I started to feel a little fatigued, I started thinking about that pop tart and was wishing I had something to eat. Bailey offered me a shot blok or gel, but Michele cautioned me against it because of my stomach. I decided not to take anything but next time I am going to make sure I have some Luna Moons with me. They are much easier to eat while running than Gu and I haven't had much luck with the Shot Bloks. I had also been battling with the need to pee pretty much since the start of the race. I really hate when that happens, towards the end I needed to go so bad it was starting to hurt a little.
The first half of the race is where most of the hills are, and I remember last year I think I walked up most of them... well I've come a long way since then and I was able to power up every one of them. When we got to the top of the first one Bailey said "ummm why did you just sprint up that hill?" Before I could even answer Michele said "that's just what she does" well it is what Michele does too!! Anyway I told Bailey it is pretty much run as fast as I can up the hills or walk them. I don't know if it is really physical or if it is mental but it just seems so hard to try to run up a hill at my normal pace. I have also learned that once I get to the top I can recover pretty quickly so now I just go for it.
We were able to pass a few people on those hills... there was one guy who I think we suprised when we passed him. I'm sure he thought he would catch up with us when we got to the flat but he never did.
I don't think after the first couple of miles that we ever got passed by anyone, but we passed quite a few. That felt good!!
I had my Garmin set on the screen to show time and avg. pace. Pretty much for the majority of the race we were running at 9:38 to 9:35 avg. pace. I told my self several times during the last 2.5 miles that I really had just planned on avging 9:50 to 10:00 minute miles so it would be ok if I slowed down. Lucky for me I had Bailey and Michele who kept me going. Bailey was just awesome, she could have had a stellar race but she stayed with us. A couple of times she even circled back.
Just before we hit the 8 mile mark Michele asked how far we had run, I said almost 8 and then the beep went off... we looked down and it was 1:15xx. Michele pointed out that was our fastest 8 miles ever. We high fived and that gave me the boost I needed to keep going.
With about 1.4 miles left to go we see Gary, Curtis and Tri-Lisa running towards us. Gosh it was great to see them! Gary and Curtis turned around to run us in. Those two guys are just great. They kept telling us how great we looked, how fast we were running etc. Talk about great motivators.. they never tried to push us just kept up a positive dialoug. Of course I couldnt' talk at this point. Gary asked a few questions and I could really just say yes or no or give a thumbs up! LOL
The last .5 or so of the Race is really hard mentally... you come off the River Trail and start running in the parking lot's...this is just really tough you are kind of zig zagging and it feels like it is NEVER going to end!!! I think we had about .2 left and I just wanted to cry and throw-up. I told Gary I thought I was going to throw-up and he said no your not.. and then he said but it's ok if you do!! I got a little whiney and said when is this going to end. Gary pointed out the finish line, but before that was a police car. He said ok I want you to take a few deep breaths and then when you pass that police car I want you to stretch it out. All I could think was NO F'ing WAY. I have NOTHING left. He said now when you see the clock pick a time you want to finish. I think the clock had just hit 1:30 so he said ok you want to finish in 1:30xx ... I don't know where it came from but I was able to do everything he told me to do and I finished in 1:30:33
Not only did I have Gary running me in but there was a whole group of Cruisers at the finish line cheering us in.
My Garmin showed 9.49 miles. I think part of it was we took all the turns wide and part of it who knows.
The official results were
My Garmin said 1:30:42.. I didn't turn it off right away.
5-9:48 water break
.49-4:33 (9:20 pace)