I got to the race location a little early. Google Maps was dead on on how long it would take me to get there so I had time to spare. Or so I thought. Then I decided to do a "just in case" check and realized packet pick-up was off site. I quickly drove to the pick-up location, which was thankfully not far, got my bib and running shirt, and drove back to the parking lot where I met up with Steph.
Seriously, she is just as awesome and funny and genuinely nice as she seems in all of her blog posts! Her son took some pre-race pictures of us then we walked to the start. The start and the finish are at different loca
The start of the race was literally on the track of Northville Downs, a horse racetrack.
We ran around the track and then were funneled through the parking lot and up a giant hill. I knew about the hill. Steph warned me about it, plus it was on the elevation chart.
|This is about halfway up the hill. Like always, the picture doesn't do the hill justice.|
Each mile felt better and better. By the time I finished the fourth mile I figured I could start to really let myself fly on the downhill parts (thanks for the tip Tiina!) and then just slow down for the uphills. I felt good. I didn't feel like throwing up or dying.
I forgot to mention this but the weather was PERFECT. It was overcast and maybe 60 degrees out. There was rain right before the race and an occasional sprinkle during, but that was it. I'm sure that was part of why I felt so darn good.
My longest run since my half in April had been five miles so I wasn't sure how I would feel with this one. I had no time goal. But, like most runners, I wouldn't have been mad if I PRed.
As the miles passed by I started to do math and figured I could maybe, just maybe, eek out a PR. I started to kick up the pace.
There was some elevation gain and loss, but nothing like the first hill. And I felt good. I don't know if it was the squats I had done a time or two while training for this, or maybe it was just the Running Gods smiling on me. Whatever it was, I was able to run this race, a race I hadn't really trained for, with not only a shiny new PR (by almost a minute), but with some serious negative splits!
Speaking of the finish line, little side note here, I was chugging along to the finish at a pretty good speed. I saw the clock and had hopes of a PR. However, the way the finish was set up, it was kind of narrow and there were two women in front of me who were running side by side. I couldn't pass them without running on the grass so I had to slow down. I get it, this isn't the Olympics, but not only did they add a few seconds onto my time, they also slowed down AT the finish line to grab hands and cross together. Again, it's not like I was going for the win here, but it seemed so rude. It would have been no problem had the finish line been wider, but it wasn't more than a couple of feet across (at least the cement part) (seriously, like a sidewalk width) and to take up that much space really sucked. I'm sure I am in their finish line photo as I was right behind one of the women, I mean, right over her shoulder. And probably glaring at her. Like I said I am all for a celebratory photo finish, but not when the finish is so narrow. Ok, I'm done venting.
Afterwards I met up with Steph and her son and we enjoyed our bagels with some more conversation then walked back to our cars. Maybe Steph was my good luck charm? We have plans to find another race that we can actually run together!
And because the race started so early, I was done in time to be home and spend the day with my family. I enjoyed the rest of the weekend, which always goes by too quickly. Hope you have a fabulous weekend!