Yesterday was my first race in three years. The news predicted that the weather would be less than ideal: gloomy, cold, and rainy. Not exactly prime racing weather. Therefore, I put on my favorite black, long-sleeved, dri-fit tech shirt, and black pants. The race was scheduled to start at 7:30, so I woke up at 5:00 in order to eat breakfast and to make sure that I had everything I needed. On the list: headphones, iPhone, and iPhone running case.
After I determined that I had everything together that I needed, I made my pre-race breakfast of a plain white bagel and banana.
Banana’s are race fuel too! I also had some much needed caffeine in the form of coffee. Ready to race!!
After breakfast, I gathered my things and headed to the race. I got the race 30 minutes prior to it starting – just enough time to grab my packet from the expo. I didn’t bring my camera with me at the race – so unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures.
Any who! Back to the recap. I had managed to take a couple minutes beforehand to do some knee-high’s, butt-kick’s, and stretching. I made my way over to the start and immediately went to the back of the line. I knew there were much faster people there than I, and didn’t want to be herded like cattle through the start.
At 7:30 sharp, the horn went off and the race began! My strategy for this race was to keep a steady pace and kick it up a notch in the end to finish strong. I’ve ran too many races where I’ve gotten caught up in the excitement of it all, which meant I started out too fast and burned out towards the end. I wanted to PR (personal record) for this race, but mostly, I just wanted to run the whole thing without walking or stopping and to finish strong!
The course itself was rolling to flat, with a couple of hills thrown in. The first mile was a loop around the campus and passed by really quickly. Remember how I said the weather was supposed to be gloomy, rainy, and cold and that’s why I wore pants and my black tech shirt? Yeah- well the weatherman lied. I immediately regretted that decision within half a mile as the sun was beating down on me.
Mile two was probably one of the hardest miles for me because 3/4 of it was a steady, uphill climb. The elevation wasn’t very steep- but it was loooooong. I saw SO many people walking up it. (I don’t particularly enjoy hills, but thank goodness I force myself to run routes that have hills!) That gave me the push I needed to keep going and I managed to pass quite a few people. Every time I passed someone, it just made me want to keep running that much more.
Miles three through four were rolling hills through a historic area of Cottleville, MO. Those two miles were littered with cobblestone streets, cute boutiques, and dainty restaurants and pubs. Miles three and four were probably my favorite because it was scenic and a nice distraction.
When I saw the marker for mile five, I knew I had just enough juice for me to pick up the pace from 10:00 to 9:00 min/mile. Mile five seemed really long. It was completely flat, but wasn’t scenic, wound along a busy road, and I was already super duper hot. Not my fav.
Finally, the end was in sight! As I approached the finish line, I saw so many people cheering and waving! It really was inspirational! I sprinted the last tenth of the mile and ran through the finish. My official time was 1:05:17. I PR’D by over 15 minutes! I finished 196th out of 270 runners. Not bad for starting at the very back of the pack!
Afterwards, I joined in with everyone else and enjoyed an ice cold bottle of water, a few pretzel’s, and a DELICIOUS smoothie from Smoothie King (one of the sponsors). It was AMAZING!
Overall, I really enjoyed this race, the course, and the camaraderie- a perfect end to my racing hiatus, and a perfect beginning to the spring and summer racing season! I can’t wait to sign up for more races!