This past Thursday, I traveled North to Grand Rapids Michigan. The drive there was a long 8 hour drive, but I arrived safely, met my awesome roommate Terri, and got some not so great sleep in the beautiful Amway Grand Hotel. Terri and I ran together in the morning, and I quickly noticed that Grand Rapids has a charming downtown with a nice area to get some miles in along the river. At the elite meeting, and press conference I had a chance to catch up with Dot McMahon. She always has great advice, and cracks me up. I always enjoy a chance to chat with her. I met a few other ladies this weekend, and it was great getting to know them a little. My typical pre race dinner of choice is easy to find. So "Flanagan's" fit the bill for the burger and fries I was looking for. After dinner, I painted my nails, did some foam rolling, set out my race gear, and reminded myself of my race-day goals.
It is incredible how little I really need on race day, especially if you were to see the size of the suitcase I took for this 2 day trip!
My goals were as follows; 1. Don't be an idiot, this is the longest race you have run in 3 years. PR though 10k = bad idea! 2. 6:00 pace. Find it and make it yours. 3. Stay 100% mentally focused on the race for the entire duration. I will be strong and smart. I drifted off to sleep thinking of those goals. 5:30 am showed up, and after 1/2 a bagel, a cup of coffee, and some Nuun, Terri and I dropped our stuff off at the tent designated for us. I warmed up 3 miles along the river, changed into my racing flats and we were taken to the start line. It was humid, and raining, but I love the rain, so I was happy with it cooling the temps down a bit. I felt some anxiety, and nerves, but as soon as the gun went off, I felt calm and confident.
|The Elite Women's Start |
(Photo: Rudy Malmquist)
I am behind Katie Dicamillo (#26) and the aforementioned Dot McMahon is to my right (#41)
The mile mark came quickly, and 5:46 was a bit faster than planned, despite feeling comfortable at this pace, I backed off a hair. Mile 2- 5:52, Mile 3- 5:54 (5k-18:14), Mile 4-6:00 (took 1/2 a GU), mile 5- 5:53, I still felt very good, my legs felt fresh and the pace felt very marathonesque. mile 6- 5:57 (10k- 36:43), mile 7- 6:06, mile 8- 6:02 this is where the course begins to roll. Never any killer hill to speak about, but some continual ups and downs. mile 9- 6:05 (took another 1/2 a GU), mile 10-6:11. Mentally I was still running very strong, and when I saw this split it jolted me out of my daze. Mile 11-5:58 I smiled at how easily I was able to get back on pace, and feeling like my pre babies self out here! My stomach started to give me some trouble, but I knew I would be ok, possibly embarrassed, but ok! Thankfully the embarrassment stayed at bay! Mile 12-6:08, oops slow again. Mile 13- 6:03, and through the 1/2 marathon in 1:18:40- right on 6:00 pace. Mile 14- 6:14 I started to struggle a bit physically here. Mile 15- 6:23, I thought "oh shoot! If I don't do something I will be passed!" I reminded myself, "I am strong" I closed the last 1k in 3:19--1:33:58. I finished in 11th place, and averaged 6:02 pace, and knew the mission had been accomplished this weekend! I wanted to run a longer race, and feel good at below goal marathon pace, and I did! I had mentally prepared for my body to rebel since I haven't raced this far in nearly 3 years. I was so happy it cooperated, to have met my goals, and run a strong physical and mental race.
A huge "thank you" goes out to Fifth Third River Bank Run! You put on a great race and I was thrilled to be a part of it! And Oiselle for the never ending support, and great race gear!
I drove back to Akron happy to have met my goals, and I am feeling good about where my training has taken me. Now it is back to training, gaining a little more fitness to carry me 10 miles longer. Before I know it I will be getting ready to race on June 20th in Duluth! I am excited to get there! It has been a fun spring thus far. On to more miles!