I typically rest the day before a race, which works out since Friday is usually a rest day anyway and most of my races are on Saturday. However, a Thursday race definitely threw me off my routine. I decided not to skip cycling class Wednesday night and suck it up if my legs decided to treat this race as a training run. I went out after cycling (3 beers this time…wtf is wrong with me?) but got home around midnight in time for a decent night of sleep.
There were supposed to be around 3000 people total at this race, so I woke up early to head over. Parking was really organized and I was really impressed overall with the race, given its size. Plenty of port-o-potties and things to look at. They had a 1 mile fun run that started about 30 min before the competitive race, and it was fun to watch the kids come in while I warmed up.
The Competitive race started at 8:30 followed by the recreational at 8:35. The start corral was really crowded and there was no official start line. I took a guess as to where to start my watch and knew at that point there would be no separate chip time. It took about 600 meters for the crowd to thin out. At that point I saw my friend Shannon running. I yelled out, “Go Shera!!!” as I passed her. Of course that caught her attention and she cheered back. I knew I was going too fast but I had a hard time trying to pace myself because there were NO MILE MARKERS!!! Most of the reviews on Active complained about it, so it’s not like I missed them. I knew I was going faster than 10 min miles but I couldn’t tell how much faster.
We ran through a neighborhood with a lot of crowd support complete with cute little kids and cute old people to keep you motivated, but there were also enough steep hills to try to undo that motivation. Coming back onto the main road, I was relieved when a cop said there was just a half mile left. I started to pick up the pace at that point. Then a man who already finished yelled out 200 meters. I couldn’t see the finish yet because it was around a corner so I took that as the green light to go all out. My last 8k race was in July so I knew no matter what I would get a PR. My goal was to get sub 48 and I cleared it in 47:31. Although I can’t help wondering what my time would have looked like had there been an official chip time.
I finished in time to grab some water and something to eat and cheer Shannon coming into the parking lot. The girl has been sick (I stole her bib last weekend) and hit 50:xx!! We chatted a bit and could def have hung out longer but she had to go help her mother-in-law prepare for a 50 person Thanksgiving party and I had to drive to Delaware. I def got the better end of the deal!!
My sister’s husband is a college football coach so while they watched football non-stop on Friday, I snuck off to a trail for a 8 miler that got cut short to 6 by what appeared to be a 4:30 sunset. It was cold and I finally got to try out my tights (it’s been too warm in NC), which is awesome considering the next half marathon is 12/12 in Charlotte and who knows how cold it will be. Luckily I had my cell phone in my pocket to take a pic.