Sunday, March 6, 2011

What a Race!

Last night we got home from movie night at church and there was an inch of snow on the ground. I knew today was going to be an interesting run. For any other runner, it would be a Yak Trax kind of day, but unfortunately they don't make Yak Trax for my feet, at least in the running ones.

We (hubby, three kids and I) got to the site of the run and saw that it had not been completely plowed. Yippee. We got inside, got our packets, which consisted of the race shirt and a coupon for the sponsoring shoe store. Then we went outside to find the starting line and "warm up." The reason that is in quotes is because I don't warm up, typically. I'm afraid of wasting my energy. But it was cold, about 24 degrees and very windy, coming off the lake.

Okay, then it was race time! The gun went off and everyone was trying to find a clear spot on the road. Everything else was a sheet of ice. The first .75 miles was nothing but ice. After that it got a lot better. By 1.5 miles, it was pretty clear. The first .75 miles was a very slow pace though. I was so nervous about falling and injuring myself so I took it cautiously. At the 1.5 mile mark when it got clear, I began to fall into my normal pace--between 10:30 and 11:15 per mile and I was passing people!!! I don't think I've ever passed so many people in a race before!!!

At 2.5 miles, we went from the park roads onto a paved pathway. That was almost completely clear except for a few spots. I wish I had my camera with me here, the trees were so pretty with the snow-covered branches.

One of the cool parts of this race was seeing some of the younger kids out running with their siblings or their parents. At 3.5 miles, I passed what I'm guessing was a 7 year old and a 9 year old running together, struggling. I told them both they were doing an awesome job and high-fived the younger one. I told them there was less than a mile to go and once I passed them, I heard them start running again. That was cool.

Around 3.75 miles, we came out of the woods and out by the lake. The wind started to pick up again, but so did I. I started passing people left and right. I'd find someone and tell myself that I had to pass them. I had a whole group of them. Just before the end, hubby and the kids showed up to cheer "Go, Mommy, Go!" That was awesome and was just the motivation I needed (that and when I saw the finish line) to pump up the pace. I kicked it into high gear and passed three more people just in front of the finish line. I got my popsicle stick that showed I finished 111 overall.

My overall pace for the entire race was 11:08, which is amazing, considering how slow I took it in the beginning.

After the race, we went to the post-race party and I enjoyed bananas, cookies and soup. It all tasted so yummy. Just wished there was some hot chocolate too :) I actually won something too! I got a prize for finishing in the top of my age group. It was not first but I was in the top 8 in my age group, which was the largest of all of them. I got a pretty snazzy mug. This is the first time I've ever won anything at a race, so I was pretty stoked. My oldest, 5 year old was bummed that "All we got was a mug" so I had to explain to him that not everyone got one and I was pretty excited.

Overall, I'm really happy how I did. I wish I could have broken the 11:00 per mile, but I'm sure I would have if it weren't so icy out. Good race!

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