During the week leading up to the race I was convinced I was going to die in the process of completing this race. So sure that I even e-mailed BFF the day before to let her know that it's been lovely knowing her. Now I admit that was a bit on the dramatic side, but my training that week had been so craptastic that I was SURE either I was going to die or come in last. Since I'm uber competitive against myself either option seemed like the end of the world (especially considering one of the two literally would have been the end for me.)
As you might have figured out by now, I did not die as I'm writing this post right now. (Though if there is an after life and they have internet in that after life it is in fact possible I could be dead.... however, I assure you, I'm not dead.)
Also, I can confirm I didn't come in last either -- I actually came in second to last.... ok, that's not true. It did, however, feel like I was going to die or come in last. By the end of the race my feet were burning and my shins massively hurt me. I kept reminding myself of the three goals I had for this race:
1) DON'T DIE!
2) Don't get sick in any way, shape or form. (S calls this "don't poop in your pants", but I can't bring myself to say that publicly. (BTW - there was a guy in the crowds at the race with a sign that said "Don't Poop". I laughed, thought of S (who was somewhere WAY in front of me) and tried to take a picture of it but was unsuccessful.)
3) Finish the race.
The 4th goal -- minimize run time -- is the icing on the cake goal.
The race Saturday was different for me in the there were over 2,000 people participating. It was the first time that I had to think about not getting trampled. I didn't list "Don't get trampled" as one of my goals because I feel that gets lumped in there with goals one and two. That said, it was still something to have in the back of my brain especially when you take into account that not getting trampled means managing how you pass people was well as expecting that others may in fact slightly touch your body as they wiz right by you. (Have I ever mentioned I'm very particular about who is allowed into my personal space?)
Before even hitting the first mile marker I saw some kid with a TCU t-shirt on. Had I not cared about my time I would have totally gone over and asked why the TCU t-shirt... I mean, in Ft. Worth seeing such a sight is common, however I don't live in Ft. Worth anymore so seeing someone wearing TCU gear is just as rare as seeing an actual Horned Frog.
When I saw the time on the one mile mark clock, I my spirit died a little inside -- it said something like "16/17" minutes. I knew it had taken us awhile to get to the actually start line, but I didn't really know how long to subtract from that number. So, as you might imagine, when I made it to the second mile marker and it was about 13 minutes later I was a bit surprised. I could have sworn I went slower during the second mile
The course for this race was a bit deceiving. If you hadn't studied the course prior to the race, one could have easily believed that it was simply running up one street and back down it to the finish line, but considering the first mile marker was barely after the spot where we turned around there was no way that could be the case. Instead, the course was a bit of a zig-zag rather than the loop I was use to making. I was kind of thankful for this as it gave me a better lay of land. The race was in downtown Naperville, IL. An area I frequent on many occasion, however for some reason I don't feel 100% confident in the layout of the area. I know how to get to my favorite bookstore and cookie dough shop (sorta... I never really knew the name of the street it was on.) I never realized that one of my favorite restaurants was just down the street from another restaurants I've been to a few times. This folks, was how I spent mile 2 and 3... mapping out some of my favorite digs in this town. (Now I should never be lost again in this area -- at least in theory.)
When all was said and done I completed the race in a fairly respectable time -- 41:13 -- which is only 16 second more per a mile than the 5 mile race I completed on Thanksgiving. Our reward for completing the race was green beads and a party. There was music, food and of course since it was St. Paddy's Day . . .
So, my first of 12 races is complete. There are 11 more to go; two of which I'm already registered for. (Actually one of the two is a 10K, but that's a whole separate topic that I can write about another time.)
I'll be interested to see how the remainder of the races go and what type of progress I make.
Until then, Happy Running!