Dallas Running Club provides several free races during the year, and this was one of them... so I signed up a few days before and asked some friends to come out with me. My friend Pat said she'd meet me there, Robin wanted to go too and offered to give me a ride (score... love driving to races with friends), and Emily, at the last minute, decided she was going to go for the 10K too (shout out for Emily... from training for her first half marathon to now being able to just sign up for a 10K on the day of the race and not be worried about being able to complete the distance).
Emily and I pre-race!!!
First, for TMB... My bib was 409. As I've mentioned previously 9 and 4 are my lucky numbers... so hello? Didn't even have to do the bib math on this one!!!
I saw Pat at the start who I had discussed running with, but she decided she wanted to run easy that day, and I, well, I wanted my redemption. So we just said our "good lucks". My goal was to do at least 10 minute miles. My serious, I-don't-think-I-can-do-it-but-I'm-going-to-try-anyway goal was sub-60, which is a 9:40 pace. Robin gave me the "you CAN do it speech", but I just don't run that pace. I'm the 11 min/mile girl.
And we were off... I pushed out mile one at 9:31. I felt like there was no way my body could keep up. Mile 2 was 9:25. Yes, I knew I was on pace, but I really was not confident that my body could hold this. Mile 2 to 3 has a bit of uphill, and I thought I was going to lose it (quite literally)... 9:48. I remember thinking that I'd have to slow down on the way back in. When I hit halfway, I looked at my Garmin and it read just past 30 minutes. It was here I gave up on my goal and figured if I could just keep it below 10:30, I would be happy. I was honestly feeling naseous from the level of exertion, and this was no 5K (it really takes a great database of your own running to know how to pace yourself at different distances).
Mile 4... 9:43. What? I'm only a few seconds off my desired pace, and I banked a little time early on. And then I heard Jason yelling at me (in my head, of course since he was at a different race)... Suck it up, Buttercup! And the mental demons fled, and I remembered that I can suck anything up for 2 miles. I can still push this out. Mile 5... 9:41. I'm right there, but I don't want to chance it, so I kick it up just a little.
It's here that I start picking people to mentally hold onto for the duration of the race. Not letting certain people get out of my site was dragging me along. Mile 6... 9:23. At this point I am hyperventilating. (Seriously, people were looking at me like I was going to die... I seriously need to learn to breathe properly.) I apologized to this younger couple in front of me for my nasty breathing and wheezing, and told them that this was not my pace. The woman said to me, "well then, you're having a great day... go for it." I took her up on that offer and pushed hard the last 0.26 (per my Garmin) at a 7:59 pace. WHAT?
On the official clock, it said 1:00:10 which I didn't like... my Garmin read 59:37... official time 59:35!!! Seriously, I wanted to do the happy dance. I was wiped out and had to lie down, but I don't think I've ever been so proud of myself for sucking it up for so long.
I'm becoming more and more convinced that my times during my PR races are only half due to training. They are half due to my pain tolerance. That goes through my head as I pass people walking the last 0.1... I sincerely think that if some of the people I passed ran to the point that they felt as naseous as I did, that they would probably blow me out of the water. I may not be speedy, but on good days, I can be awfully determined!
To top off the day, Robin got second in her age group. I finally got to meet Michelle K (who is participating in the Run for the Bling of It! Challenge). And I got to celebrate completing a 10K with Emily!!! Her running is at a new level, and I like to think that in a small part that I helped her with that... but what I don't think she realizes is how much she's helped me by giving me someone to look forward to seeing at the gym and races!