I had registered for this race on a whim a few weeks back, thinking I could somehow fit it in between a series of back to back long runs. Some of the Texas Trail Nerds, Bill, Erica, and Nicholas were planning to be there as well. Our kids were registered for the 1K fun run and they were very excited about participating in their race.
As my week unfolded, I realized that planning to run this race was probably not the smartest thing I have ever done, as it was cutting into the only real time I had to get my long run in. I planned to run 30 on Friday night and then 15 or 20 on Saturday. Well, Saturday also happened to be the day of this race, Homecoming for my son, and the Third Day concert that I was NOT going to miss.
Friday night didn't go well at all. It was one of those runs where nothing felt right from the first step till the last. I had issues with calf/ankle pain that would not release it's grip until the 6 mile mark. Oftentimes after a rest day, my legs have a hard time settling into a run, but after about 3 or 4 miles, they are ok. Not this time. I was having watch issues, mp3 player issues, attitude issues, etc. I also had quite a bit on my mind and while running typically helps me to figure things out, that was not the case on Friday.
I stopped at the park rest room only to find a line at 7:30 at night! I lost a good 15 mins waiting as I really couldn't run much longer without a visit and there were no other rest rooms along the route that would be open when I would be passing by them.
I kept plodding along, trying to lose myself in the music, in prayer, in anything, but nothing was working. When dark set it, I was not were I expected to be on my route. There was no shoulder to run on and the pathways were too dark to navigate. My light was sitting on the counter at home, yet another glitch in the run.
By the time I reached Grogan's Mill, I had to run with the flow of traffic, no lights, no shoulder, and the calf/ankle pain set in again. I had to start walking to get my focus back on the run and off of the pain. By mile 17, I called Mark and told him I would finish up my 20 but I would not go back out for the 10 mile loop that he was planning to ride with me. I was behind about an hour and we needed to have at least one of us home for the kids.
Mark convinced me to let him pick me up. He knew that I was in quite a lot of pain to call the run off. He drove out to meet me and my run ended at mile 18.
Saturday morning I knew I was not in any shape to run a 5K. But I donned my bib, just in case. We got the kids up and ready and headed out to the race. We met the Nerds out there and had a great time visiting with everyone.
|Evan and I|
|Erica and I and her beautiful daughter behind us|
Time came for the kids to run and it was so much fun to see such little cuties running their hearts out! Fish and Boo were among them and Foo ran with Boo to encourage him. Seeing those boys come across the finish line was so incredible! I am so proud of them! I know that they had a great time and I hope that they continue to show interest in running.
|Boo Crossing The Finish Line|
|Fish Crossing The Finish Line|
As the 5K racers lined up, Mark asked what I was doing. I told him I would run, but take it slow. I wanted to see how my leg felt. It hurt a little, but not like it was hurting the night before. Mark yelled out that I should run it fast because the kids were hungry...
Gary, the RD made mention of the Trail Nerds which was nice! He also mentioned that someone at the start line had run a 30 miler the night before (that will teach me for posting on Facebook about my intentions!). I hung my head in shame. I was so embarrassed to have someone build me up like that knowing that I had failed. As outgoing and extroverted as I am, I really don't like being the center of attention. I did mention to his wife, Denise, when I saw her that I did not reach the 30 mile mark and she was kind enough to let him know that.
The race started and I settled into a fairly "moderate" pace that felt comfortable and I had no pain, at least nothing more than I had just standing around. I really didn't feel like I was pushing myself too hard, but I did notice I was passing several people. Susie and I even ran together and I consider her to be a very talented runner, and quite speedy! She was trying out her new shoes and we were chatting along the way. Soon she passed me and I kept both her and Evan in my sights. I never tried to catch them as I really didn't intend to do anything except enjoy the run.
Around mile 2, I noticed my leg was beginning to ache a bit more, so I figured the sand wasn't helping. I tried to stay on as much of the packed dirt as possible. At mile 2.5 or so, I heard someone yell out, "You are the 3rd female!" Something in my brain said, "WHAT?! How is this possible?" And the next thing I heard was a man yelling out to someone behind me, "Kelly, you can pass her! Come on! You can pass her!" I don't know what happened, but I decided at that moment that no one was passing me, picked up my legs and crossed the finish line in 24:55. That was good enough for 1st Overall Female Masters winner. I was about 20 seconds behind Susie who took 1st Overall Female. Amazing race for her too!
|Susie! Amazing woman, amazing athlete!|
|Best Family on the planet!|
This 5K was a PR for me. What is strange is that I never felt as though I was racing it until the last 2/10s of a mile. A PR on a dirt trail. Maybe my running is paying off? Maybe I got lucky? Maybe I wasn't hung up on numbers and pace (watch was at home) and just ran by feel? I have no idea how or why it happened, but it felt nice and I hope to always cherish this moment.