So, if you've tuned in this long, you know that me running a race = a race recap is forthcoming. And I hate to disappoint my fan. ;)
Before writing this, I went back and checked out my race recap from the Turkey Trot in 2007. I have not in any way forgotten that race; I was cold, sore, and miserable, not to mention painfully slow-moving. But when I reread my thoughts from the next day, all I can think is "Wow." We were brand-new to the club then; we only knew a few people; and I wasn't thinking of ever running anything longer than 10 miles (if that!). And most astonishing of all, I had only run about 6 1/2 miles in one go before that race, and my longest race to date had been a 5K. Our running, our friendships with others in the club, and our (okay, my-- Chad already had his sights on a half-marathon at this point) ideas of how far we can run have changed dramatically in the past two years. I don't know that I've ever had any area of my life change that much in such a short time... and yet, here I am!
So, race recap... Sarah & I ran together again. I'm a bit wary of running with others, just because I hate to slow anyone else down. (And Sarah has longer legs than I do; it's not likely she'll ever slow me down!) We went out too fast, as I ever do, so I did have to slow it up a bit in the middle.
Hills! My goodness, there were a bunch! Okay, this was not a surprise, but I've not been training on hills, because I'm silly, so I was having to chant "up and over" to myself a lot. Admittedly, these hills were easier than the ones I ran on two weeks ago.
So, there is one hill leading to the final turnaround, with less than a mile to go. I think it's probably the easiest hill in the entire course, but coming at the end, it's still tiring and a bit discouraging to anyone who is already struggling. Thankfully, this was not me this time around, because I was wearing a watch and was elated at how fast we were running without me wanting to drop down dead. So we got up & over, and I said hello to Chad at the turnaround (he was volunteering) and then threw my gloves to him, because I was done with them.
Coming down the hill was fantastic. First, running downhill is just fun. Second, there were a lot of people behind us. A lot. Normally, this is not something I rejoice in (because I've had my share of races when I am dead last or pretty close to it), but I was amazed. Third, we were nearly done. So, I've got a big silly grin on my face, and I was shouting encouragement (I thought) to those still struggling to get up to the top. I yelled "Almost there!" to a group of women who were most emphatically not grinning, meaning they were almost to the turnaround. One of them shouted back, "We are not!" so I guess she didn't appreciate my encouragment.
It's kind of an annoying thing to runners that people shout "Almost there!" at dumb moments, like mile 16 of a marathon (10 miles to go), or the 10K point of a half marathon (not even halfway!). But really, with less than a mile to go, you ARE almost there. So, I'm not sure why this poor woman wasted her breath to answer me back.
The next group of runners seemed a bit happier, so when I told them "Last hill!" I got a "Woohoo" in return. Okay, they had much more breath left than I did. :)
So, down the hill, round the corner, under the bridge, into a parking lot, and over the finish line with Scotland the Brave playing in my ears. And a 14-minute PR for me. No medals this time, but I got 1 point in the challenge series! Woo hoo! Actually, the 3rd place plaque in the 30-34 age group is solidly mine; the woman in 4th place doesn't have enough races left to catch me in the points. Now, I am going for another 66-Mile Club t-shirt. I have 3.75 miles to go; we have one 4-mile race remaining. Talk about cutting it close.