Since I've been so focused on logging miles & not worrying about speed I wasn't sure what to expect. I seem to have this base layer of speed that I can tap into when it's race day......somehow my body just knows I'm racing vs. going out for a regular run. I can never seem to run these paces on my own, yet it never fails to show up come race day. Earlier in the year I was focusing on speed training. Something I am not fond of, but I was doing it and it showed when I pr'd in every distance I ran. However all that speed training in any shape or form has been non existent for almost 8 months or so.
Besides, I know that while speed is always nice, going out & having a good run trumps it all so hindsight of every race is always focused on that. (Not lying though the competitive part of me always wants to go faster).
It was REALLY bitterly cold today & I had on several layers leading up to race time. I had to resist keeping those layers on and broke out this fantastic outfit at the last moment. I'm telling ya....Rainbow Brite has nothing on me!!
It snowed yesterday & the road was a mushy mess. I actually like to start at the back of the pack & work my way up once the gun goes off. With all the mess on the road there was only a few choice paths of running of the actual asphalt so I went straight to the front of the pack. It was all about strategy today!! It worked though and I didn't get stuck running the the mush, which I needed more so since I wore the wrong shoes for those conditions. It was still a mess no matter what and you could see everyone's back side was covered in filth. I actually wore the right tights to cover to look of the mess, but you could still see how messy it was.
I'm really horrible at judging my own pace. I went out at a good speed, but not too terribly hard. I did not want to burn out & die at the end. I held back some while still pushing myself. At the 1 mile mark I heard them call my split of 6:59. Not bad & I still felt ok. From there though is where there are some slight rolling hills, nothing massive, but hills are not my strong suite at all. I felt myself slow just a hair. At the turn around point I was 3rd female. Shortly after that 2 other ladies passed me. I kept them close, but let them go at the time. I kept it down a notch for just a little longer then felt myself push. I was not going to let them get too far in front of me. At this point my legs were slightly tire, but I still had plenty of fuel left in them. The cold was a motivation to hurry up and finish. I started to push more, but wasn't still going all out. I eventually passed the 2 ladies that had passed me and I eventually gained on the #2 spot. With about a 1/2 mile to go I pass that gal and kept a good solid pace that helped me secure my 2nd place finish.
I did not hear my 2 mile split. I wasn't quite to the finish line & suddenly had the thought that it would be SO AWESOME if I finished in 20:13.....that would be completely epic if I could. Not only a serious pr, but the perfect ending to this year. When I finally saw the clock it was not even close. I was still very satisfied to see 21:40 as I crossed the finish line. Not too shabby. And I was very happy that I was able to push myself & remain fairly consistent through the miles as my average pace was 6:59. Not going to complain considering it all.
I was no where near the 1st overall winner. She finished more than 2 minutes faster than me. She's also 12 years younger than me. The other gal I passed to get my 2nd place spot, she was 17. I'm not trying to detract from the great run these girls had. But I like to reflect on who I was racing against. It always gives me good perspective on what I was able to accomplish. It's not always about the clock or being the fastest, I get that. But I am somehow naturally deeply competitive and maybe it's shallow, but it makes me feel better when I've raced & finished well against others who are not even in my league. Kudos to them though, they did have a good run & I'm honored to compete against them! It's a funny thing with competitive people, you hunt down and want to beat someone so bad, maybe even beat our chest a little, but once we all cross the finish line we're all hugs, smiles & friends.
I don't know my actual times from last previous running of this race, but I think this is my best time on this course. While I've always placed in my age group for this race, I've never placed this high overall. Here I am with my 2nd place trophy:
They had handmade & put these cute hats & scarves on the trophies.
Also making this a super great race was the RED sweatshirts. Red in my favorite color!! It's like the cherry on the top, along with my friends and race performance: