Yesterday I decided that I would run THIS one for my brother. Next year maybe we can run it together. And by together, I mean I'll be 6 - 7 minutes behind him....
So the recap...
This morning I woke up at 3:33, got up, dressed and hit the road by 4:30am. As I drove, the station was playing one of my brother's favorite bands from when we were teenagers (Beck). And then another favorite (Primus), followed by another (The Meat Puppets), and another... and I thought, THIS is going to be a good day.
So I made a race plan based on my idea of best case scenario. Race the first two miles at 8:45's, speed up to an 8:35 or so and finish strong. It was a 2 hour drive. I had time to do math. I wanted the clock to read 1:26:something when I finished. I knew I could do that if I worked hard. I set my watch to show Pace and Average Pace. And nothing else.
Kudo's to the race organizers for CUTE stuff in the Packets. We got bib#'s w/ chips attached, a wind jacket, Santa Hats, and... 2 jingle bells to tie on our SHOES!!! Seriously, HOW CUTE IS THAT? I debated the bells and finally decided, why not?
Aren't these socks SUPER?
Joan and I met up and hung out for a bit. We failed to connect to Pants Guy, despite us looking for him and he for us, and finally we just headed to my car to drop off my phone, and then to corral #2. Technically she was corral #3, but I felt that waiting in the cold (36degrees) for an extra 2 minutes wasn't a super plan.
Joan & I, right before we went outside to race!
When the pack of runners started running ALL our jingle bells were so CUTE! Ring Ring Ring through the (vacant) Virginia Beach Ocean Front.
For the first 2 miles Joan & I ran together. We joked and laughed, and I was SO happy to be running with her. At the mile 2 marker there was an S curve and I took a straight line through the center, i.e. "ran the tangent". I passed about 10 people in that moment and heard Joan say, "Have a good race!"
At this point I was on the boardwalk and it was tough going. Very windy. So, I settled in behind a tall guy running a pace I felt good with... and passed him and found another guy... and got winded when he sped up more so I fell in behind a third guy, and before I knew it it was time to make the turn onto Atlantic. Down Atlantic Ave I felt good, but I vowed not to get carried away. I still had 5 miles left to run, so I held steady at my 8:30something pace. It was easier than the boardwalk because the wind was blocked by the hotels.
Then we had a little out and back and I saw Joan and cheered for her! She looked good. The course was 2 loops. A large one and a small one. My second trip down the boardwalk loop was a little tougher. I had lost my wind blocking men and was running about 12 feet behind an 88 pound girl in white socks. She made for a poor wind block. I kept her in my sights through the turn, and then I realized four things.
I was at mile 9.
I had no idea how much time had elapsed on the course because my watch wasn't set up to show me that information.
Jingle bells on two hundred shoes are only cute for the first 9 miles of a run.
I felt really good & needed to re-adjust my goals.
I tried to run an 8 minute mile all the way to the finish. It was close, I ran an 8:06. I passed the white sock girl and said, "C'mon! You've got this!" She tailed me all the way in, I beat her by maybe thirty seconds. I ran across the finish line, which was INSIDE the Virginia Beach Convention Center, stopped my watch, and went through the "line" of medals, food, drink, etc. and finally, after I got to the agreed meeting place for me & Joan... I looked at my watch.... what? What? Um... What does it mean?
Joan finished and I was SO proud of her finish! She looked strong and happy! I told her my time, and I was still foggy (I get that way sometimes after I finish a race, it's just me). She CHEERED for me with a HUGE smile and said, "It's a G.B.A** TIME!"
It took a few minutes for me to realize my accomplishment. I beat my goal by almost a MINUTE. I was a little hesitant to celebrate though. Does it make me arrogant to celebrate my own greatness??? Joan pointed out that it is "OK to be PROUD of ourselves. It is OK to celebrate your OWN greatness. Be PROUD".
Today I got a PR, and I am a PR.
Proud Runner. 1:25:11, SnS 10 Miler.