So I completed my first ever race...strange that I decided to shoot for a marathon before even running a single race. HA! Although my dad opted out...he had too much work to do (whatever), my mom, my sis-in-law and myself ran the Turkey Strut 5K on Thanksgiving morning....and boy was it cold!
I was so excited that I could barely sleep...I woke up a 5am...made some coffee...read the news and started pacing. Why in the world was I so nervous. I was definitely not running in order to win. I guess maybe anxious? Who knows. Mom and I left my house at around 7:30 and parked in Winston. We thought (okay...I thought) we parked much closer to the start line than we really did. We ended up about a mile away from the start and had to run to get there in time. Mom was not too happy...I saw it as a nice little warm up ;-).
After about 20 minutes of sizing everyone up, I decided to call my dad to find out what in the world to do with my pace. Dad pulled some Mr. Miyagi stuff on me and advised me to run the first 100 yards slow and the first mile in 8 minutes. After that, I was to pick up the pace just a little and the sprint the last 200 yards. WHAT...I knew I was capable of going much faster than 8 minutes, but dad said it was an exercise in holding back a little. HA. He never ceases to surprise me. SO the gun went off...and about 2 minutes later (we literally had to walk to the start line because the pack of people was so huge)...off I went. I made my first mile in 8:15--despite the 100 billion strollers and walkers that started out IN FRONT of me??? Start in the back next time people. SO, I was a bit slower than dad told me. It felt WAY slow to me...which is a good thing. I guess that means all the marathon pace running is paying off.
The course was WAY hilly...like the first mile was a hill...up hill...the whole way. I began picking people out of the crowd in front of me and made it my goal to pass them...one by one. It was a great feeling to be able to blow by people on the hills. I could really tell all our hill work and speed work was paying off BIG TIME. By the last mile, I had a nice little clearing....and noticed (1) a group of men...about 40...with all the best gear on and (2) one single man...about 35ish...with nice form and a runner's body. My final goal was to "skirt" those men. So me and my running skirt picked up the pace to a near sprint. I passed the first group of fellas and felt myself grinning from ear to ear. I neared my final "target" with about 200 yards to go. I quietly fell in behind him until just the right moment...I turned it up to full sprint mode and passed him just as we were nearing the finish. I was more excited about that than I was about my 7 minute mile...HA! Poor guy...I probably ruined his Thanksgiving. I'm sure it doesn't feel great to get passed at the finish line...especially by a skirt.
ANYWAY...so my splits were..(notice I ran a negative split...YAY)
1 mile: 8:15
3 mile: 6:55
After I finished, I turned around...ran back and caught up with my mom...it was so cute to see her little pink hat coming around the corner (she was dressed like a stinkin Eskimo...I think she had 3 layers of clothes on..HA)....so I got to cross the finish again with mom. I was--am--so proud of her. She ran the entire 5K without stopping once to walk--which was big for her. She hasn't really run in YEARS. As we got closer to the finish line, I felt my nose start to burn and I knew I was seconds away from bawling my eyes out...HA. I guess I was just overcome with emotion. You know, it was just a really nice moment to share with mom. So for those of you who have asked me what you could have at the finish line in Charlotte for me...bring some tissue. I'm going to be a hot mess.
FINALLY...the one thing I learned on Thursday morning....make sure you step on the pads when you are being chip timed! I neglected to step on BOTH of the first pads because I was trying to get around a stroller....needless to say, my time was based off of the gun time--not my start time. I made lots of notes to self NOT NOT NOT to do this in Charlotte. My time was an entire 2 minutes off! Fortunately, this race didn't count for much in my book....just some experience.