I decided to run this 10k (the macon labor day race) about two weeks ago. At this point I was running about 3 miles several times a week, and felt like I needed a challenge to boost my workouts to the next level. See, I can get kind of lazy sometimes, but give me someone to compete against and I will never stop. I slowly increased my running distance each time until I had run 5.5 miles on saturday. I figured if I could run 5 then I could run 6, right?
The morning of the race came, so we loaded everyone up at 7:45 in the morning to make the drive up to Macon. Of course, Leah picks this morning to want to sleep in. The girl has come into our room every morning for a week at 6:30 am wanting to "snuggle", aka thrash around in bed for 5 minutes and then beg me to get up with her, but not this morning. Whatevs. I was super nervous driving up there. See, I love to compete. I miss competing. I miss the whole athletic challenge of it all, and even though I knew there was no way that I would "place" at this race, I still wanted to do well and not come in last place.
We got to the starting line and I immediately started scoping out the competition. There were hundreds of runners, many of whom were clearly super serious about running. I heard a couple of older gentlemen talking about all the marathons there were going to run this year, and others saying they just wanted to run this one slow... like an 8 min mile pace. Cause that's real slow.
I saw this one chick who looked like she was a couple of years younger than me, and she was super in shape. I decided I could totally keep pace with her. So the race started, and I ran right behind her. For like 2 minutes. I'm not sure if she sped up or I slowed down, but she got very far ahead of me very quickly. Rude. I'll bet she didn't have 3 kids in 4 years though.
Instead I picked a group of gals about my age who were running a pace a little more reasonable, and I managed to keep up with them most of the way. I did pass an elderly man with a prosthetic leg though, so there's that.
The first two miles were pretty uneventful. I ran a nice easy pace and listened to the awesome playlist on my ipod. Then I started getting a stitch in my side which lasted until about mile 3. This was annoying; I definitely thought I would have to stop and walk. Thanks to my strategically placed music, however, "Eye of the Tiger" started playing and it gave me a great second wind. Seriously, music is the key to running.
By the time mile 4 came around, and I grabbed that paper cup of water from the super sweet race helpers, took a sip, and threw it on the ground (super fun, btw), I felt great and knew I could finish. Until that stupid hill, that is. Hills suck. But with Emminem blarring through the headphones I powered through, and apparently what goes up must come down, and the rest of the race was way better.
After a upbeat version of "Oh Love that will Not Let Me Go" (sung by Jered and Katie Mckenna, just fyi), I passed the 6 mile mark, and I brought out the big guns. That's right, I turned my ipod to the most inspirational song of all. The Rocky I them song "gonna fly now" (or something like that.) I'm telling you when that song starts playing I could break out into a dead sprint. I didn't, but I could.
I'm not going to lie, that last 0.2 mile stretch was pretty awesome. I've got the Rocky song blaring, a huge crowd lining the road cheering me on, and Tony and the kids waving at me from the side. I felt like a freaking champion.
I crossed the finish line right at 1 hour and 2 minutes, which mean I ran almost exactly at a 10 minute mile pace. This was my goal, so I'm pretty happy with that. Apparently a super pregnant woman finished "way before me", but that's okay. Kudos to her.
I'm going to say that I am definitely going to do this again, much to my husband's dismay. He has this thing about paying to run.... He has a point, but at least I got a cute shirt!