Hello little blog! I know, I know. It’s been a couple of weeks, but I’m back.
Yesterday (Sunday) I decided to run the majority of my long run during the Perfect 10-miler in Lyndhurst. The race web site promised a flat and well-shaded course that wound through the neighborhoods of Lyndhurst. I figures it would be a great way to knock out 10 miles of my 14 mile scheduled long run.
5 am wake-up was a bit rough after I didn’t sleep well the night before. I pulled myself out of bed and began to get ready. As I was doing so, I saw flashes of light outside that soon followed by the sound of a heavy rain fall. Great. Not the weather I wanted for a race morning, but I figured the weather system had about two hours to pass through before the start gun went off. After I was ready, I woke up my boyfriend for him to get up and around so we could make the trek to Cleveland’s eastside together. Once we actually got to Cleveland, the rain had subsided thankfully.
Once I got to Brush High School, I planned to meet up with fellow running tweeps to get a pre-race photo. It was nice getting to meet John, Jess and Christian, finally putting faces with Twitter handles. (We chat frequently via Twitter about running, races and encouraging one another.)
We lined up about 5 minutes before 7:30 on the street in front of the school. I found John and Christian again and stood by them as we waited for the horn to sound and the race to start. It seemed like the longest five minutes in the world, but then the horn sounded and we were off. I decided that I was going to try and pace with the guys for as long as I could since I knew they planned on running about a 10:00/pace. I kept up with them for a little more than a mile until the first water stop when I grabbed some water and walked to be able to drink it. I kept them in my sight for about the next three miles or so.
Somewhere between mile two and three as we were rolling through the streets and making turns, I was jamming along to my music and thinking about anything and everything but the fact that I was running. I don’t know how long it lasted until I realized that I was so consumed in my thoughts that I forgot what I was going. That has never happened! I hope in the future that I can have more of those moments and for greater periods of time.
The rain started somewhere after mile 3. It didn’t bother me and I just kept pushing along. I continued plugging away at a pretty steady pace. I knew there was a slow, gradual hill that was ahead between 5-6 and was warned about this before hand. I was patient with it and kept attacking it at a steady pace, knowing I could regain speed on the downhill. When I passed the clock that was set on the other side of the street at mile 5 and I was now at mile 6, I knew I was making good time to finish in a faster time than my previous 10-miler. After grabbing water and slurping down a Gu, my energy and confidence was still high I pushed along at a great pace.
Volunteers were positioned at mile markers 8 and 9 shouting out times. When I passed each, I knew I was still on great pace to set a new PR. The last mile I got a spell of fatigue, but luckily Mr. Trace Adkins came on next singing “Ladies Love Country Boys”. This song instantly brought a smile to my face and lifted my spirits allowing me to put a pep in my stride. Small rolling hills and several turns took me back to the high school to finish on the track. I was happy to see we didn’t have to run a full lap, but just enough of a stretch to push out a sprint to the finish. As I was approaching the finish line, one of the race officials told me to go catch the guy in front of me. I began to sprint as fast as my knees would allow. I never caught the guy, but I did cross the finish line in 1:45:52, a new PR by five whole minutes! I felt great afterwards. I felt like I could have finished the last four miles of my long run right then. But I couldn’t since my boyfriend was ready to head home and get work done.
Definitely wish I would have pounded out those miles post race. My legs began to feel fatigued about an hour after the race and got worse after sitting for the majority of the afternoon editing photos. My “easy 4 mile” run in the evening turned into a painful 1.5 mile run.
I was very pleased with the race course, my performance and how I felt post race. This race was the total confidence boost I needed as I progress further into marathon training. I know I can complete these longer runs ahead of me.