My first 8k. I signed up for it thinking it would be “just for fun” but what is more fun than running as fast as possible and really going for it?!
My childhood pal from Maine (my moms friend’s kid) came to stay with us. He’s stationed in VA Beach now & ran the half marathon. That added a fun twist as this guy tells it like it is… Which means I got teased a lot pre-race. It was hilarious and I’m sure all the laughing Nick and I did with him around counts as core work.
I kept thinking the weather forecast would change and the cold snap would take a wrong turn so I had planned to wear my fave Couer run shorts and shirt with arm warmers. That was not the case and once I did my final hopeful check I saw the temps would be 22 when I woke up In the AM. I abandoned my fantasy about the temps changing and scrambled to find winter run clothes. I recruited Nick to help me find stuff while our guest laughed at me because I’d been talking about getting to sleep for over an hour and by 10:30pm I was still up, stressing out about finding my pink socks, chugging my Osmo active hydration and scrambling to find the warmest run clothes to wear… Not realizing I was Running around the house with three different hats on my head while looking for my hats. Tony said, “does your mom even know how you get before races because I know she’d be telling you to chill out.” Ha, childhood friends!! Eventually everything settled down.
I was excited as I’d been training for only two weeks after a long break, but easing back in to structured training has been really fun. My long time tri mentor and now coach, Dave whipped me back into shape and had me back on track after a month+ of no structure and losing fitness. News flash: this guy knows his stuff and I respect him tremendously. I’m so happy he’s decided to take me on. Hurray! I really wasn’t sure about hiring and working with my friend and was being stubborn about hiring him because he’s been my friend for years…but he’s totally serious and professional about my training. Plus, I’m pretty motivated as he just tells it like it is which I always find refreshing and he is possibly tougher than me….maybe.
It was 28 degrees at the race start. I did a long warm up to help the muscles since it was super cold and I did not need an injury.
Unfortunately, something from my recent past came up the day before my race and I wound up in an argument with someone…the kind that would normally cause me to get all weepy. The timing was terrible and the pattern was infuriating so I got (gasp!) …mad instead. Really.
Although I woke up still feeling a little bit this…
Oh. My. Goodness. Yes, life in general and this sport can stir up things other than rainbows and butterflies and glitter. Shocking! But how do you overcome it?
I decided this was the opportunity to channel everything and use it to to take my frustration out on the course. I wore my Worlds Finisher shirt. I’ve heard it’s not “cool” to do so but I’m not always good at being hip & to me, it represents fighting through a hard day emotionally and a reminder to just keep it together in the race no matter what. I had prayed for “better resilience next time” and this was the perfect opportunity to use it. It was the ultimate next time. So at the start, I looked like this:
It’s like The Terminator said, “Anger is more useful than despair.”
I was prepared to push.
The race…. In the coral I did not chit chat. I focused and prepped for the effort ahead. I felt ready to go. I didn’t start in the very front but seeded myself a few rows behind the leaders. I went out hard at a 6:45 in the first mile to get out then into 6:55s and it felt deliciously good by mile 2. I had MISSED racing and missed pushing hard with intense running. I wasn’t even thinking about life outside the race. I was channeling every little thought into what my body needed to do to race. If an emotion popped in I would accept it, process it through my body, mix it into the physical sensation of pushing hard then keep focusing on moving forward. I was running in the present moment. This was great.
In the 3rd mile I slowed down a bit (way more than a bit) & suspect there was a slight incline but when I started getting passed a lot, I realized I didn’t want to give in & picked up the effort.
I began to feel hot around mile 4 and took off my gloves but my skin began to burn from the cold. I was cooking so I left them off. Then, as I was slowing from fiddling with my winter clothes an older man encouraged me to keep pushing, so I did. We turned a corner and it was downhill. The crowd was fairly thick and encouraging and I just let my legs fly with a final mile at 6:37 pace bringing it in.
I came in 4th in my AG in 34:41 out of 311 30-34 women and although I have no 8k to compare, I got a new, higher VDOT score with this race. If you are not familiar with that, google Jack Daniels … The run coach & calculator not the liquor. : )
We found some friends at the finish and the post race celebration at Browns Island was really fun. As we waited for Tony to crush the half we took it all in. He did great but was surprised by the weather and hills. All good times… Except maybe the trek up the steep long hill back to the car… Thanks NICK!!! (Augh).
Huge thanks to my hubby for all the patience, Tony for the laughs, Coeur Sports for the support & inspiration & Coach Dave for the good coaching for our first race… Yeah…Huge Thanks to Coach Dave for guiding me to the results. Also to my fellow 8-5ers… For being subjected to my race talk, all the genuine support and “silent treatment threats” if I don’t give my best.
Im a lucky gal.