Please excuse these terrible photos. I’m new to blogging and my photo game is weak. Also it was raining cats and dogs this morning.
This was my 2nd time doing this race. Last year I ran with my then-14-year-old. I averaged a 7:52 pace and won 2nd in my age group. I love this race because the age groups are only 5 years wide and if you get top 3 you get a pie. It’s a store bought pumpkin pie that probably costs 5 bucks, but I love winning stuff.
After a year of training and moving up in age brackets this year I thought for sure I could get first. I don’t think I’ve ever won first in my age group. So last night I get online to check the speeds of the top 3 40-to-44 year-olds from last year and the winner averaged a 7:22 pace. Much faster, but I thought I could beat it.
This race starts at the high school about 1.5 miles from my house. It’ up a steep hill so we drove and got there about an hour before the start line. For some awesome reason, this race has a 10k elite wave that starts at 7:30am so if you want to park at the school you have to get their early because the roads get closed.
A little after 8, the elites started coming in. We cheered for the first few and then staked our claim toward near the start line. Last year was really cold and I made the mistake of not getting down there soon enough so spent the first half of the race running around people.
Even though I was only about 4 layers back from those skinny teens in split shorts that are at every race and you know they’re going to win, I was surrounded by people in turkey hats and tutus who were making plans to turn off at the 5k mark if they didn’t feel like doing the whole 10k. I know it bothers some people when there are racers who can’t self-seed, but I was up close enough that I didn’t really mind.
About 8:20 the race director counted down from 5 and blew the horn and we were off!
My plan was to go out too fast and then see how long I could hold on. Perfect execution, if I do say so myself.
Mile 1 — 7:00. “Rolling hills” hahahaha. That’s what’s advertised on the race website. There’s a slight downhill for maybe 1/4 mile and then a steady uphill until the first mile marker where it’s pretty flat. The pack thins. I’m running right behind two kids who look like they’re 7 or 8. This is pretty typical. There’s always a child kicking my butt in these things.
Mile 2 — 7:26. I didn’t realize I was slowing down this much because I didn’t check my garmin until after. The hills continue to roll during this mile and I drop one of the children. A volunteer is handing out gu which I’m momentarily conflicted about because that stuff is expensive but I don’t want to waste any energy grabbing it and fumbling with my pockets and zippers. It takes all my concentration to not slip as I swing the turnaround.
Mile 3 — 7:23. Getting passed by more people, a couple of them wearing the pajama pants that are given out as swag. One guy was in full-on high visibility gear with a light up vest. As he passes me he says “one potato, two potato, three potato, four…” I wonder if this is a term of encouragement where he’s from? Or maybe the idea is if you repeat this long enough the race will be over? I try it and confirm that it does pass the time. My lungs are burning, but now we’re at the mostly flat part and I know it will be over soon.
Last .1 — 6:05. Right before the turn into the parking lot I see a woman coming up on my right. Oh, I don’t think so. I gun it and I’m surprised at the kick I have left. We’re neck and neck for a few seconds. There’s a dude right in front of me and I’m worried I might get stuck behind him and give her the advantage, but I’m able to pull ahead in time to nudge to the side of him and beat them both! I haven’t seen the photos yet but I’m 100% sure the face I’m making is hideous. I can’t wait.
I got my water and cheered for the other runners until Josh turned the corner a few minutes later. I was able to pull my phone out in time to get that terrible pic above of him out-kicking someone at the final stretch too. What a studmuffin!
This race has tablets available to check your results and placement right away. We went over to check it out and…
22:32…average pace 7:16. I’m pretty sure this is a 5k PR for me.
And once again, 2nd place in my age group. Seriously, old ladies. What are you doing? I was 17 seconds behind my age group winner who averaged a 7:10.
54th overall, 13th female, and 2nd out of 75 in my age group. Good enough for a free pie!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I’m rushing out the door to spend some quality time with family and share this amazing winner’s pie.
Congrats to 1st place finisher wherever you are. I’m coming after you next year 🙂