I am sure you were too excited to sleep last night in anticipation of reading the second half of my recap, but as I care about you, I am going to put you out of your misery :p If you missed part one, you can learn all about how elite athletes are treated the day before, and morning of a race by clicking HERE.
So where were we?
|There is me, to the right, in pink and purple jersey (below the right clock)
I was on the start line, eyes ahead, hand on my watch (even though we were told if we crossed the line reaching for watches, prize money would be cut 50%…..joking….I think?), and butterflies bouncing off the walls of my stomach, it was suddenly time to go!
The group of Kenyans and Ethopians took off at a pace I am not even sure I could run for one mile, followed by a group of speedy Americans, and a few other groups. I wanted to be conservative for my first race back, so I let them all go, and somehow found myself in no-mans land within 800m.
Like I said, I wanted to be conservative, and I was not going to let the others dictate my pace, but I went through the mile in 5:44, surpassing even my own estimations of conservative……I expected to be around 5:35. I set my eyes on the group ahead of me, and picked up the pace a little, mostly thinking about how numb my hands were.It was a beautiful morning, but still pretty chilly.
As I caught the next group, they were all breathing hard….already, and I did not want to disrupt my rhythm, so I just kept on going, taking a few with me for a while, but they too dropped off. I went through the second mile in 5:37 and decided that was good enough. I did not look at my Garmin the rest of the way for fear of panicking if I was either fast or slow, and besides, I had promised my coach I would run by feel. Turns out he was right, I ended up running 5:40 for a few miles, before settling in to 5:30 pace for the next 5.
|Thanks for the photos Clay 🙂
I continued to pick groups off, setting my sight, reeling them in, and passing. Not one person passed me after the first 400m, and I continued to move through the field.
I was aware that I really was not pushing as hard as I usually do, nor did I go to the hurt locker I usually can. That is partly due to the marathon wound still being a little fresh, and partly because I eventually ran out of people to chase. I only really started to struggle the last 1.5 miles, which is way too late.
I finished in 18th place, with a time of 56:37, which is 5:39 pace….although my Garmin says I ran 10.16 miles (5:35 pace). I beat a lot of really high caliber, professional athletes, and I was really proud of that, but the next female in front of me was a minute ahead. I am not really sure what else I could have done without going out too fast, and I was not ready to do that. HERE is a link to watch the video of my finish (around 4:30), you can see I was almost a minute behind the next runner…..leaving me in no mans land for the last part of the race.
This was a great race to build my confidence, and although it angers me that I still had quite a bit left that I didn’t use, but I did not taper at all for this race, nor was I really going to gain anything from running well at it….who knows what a good 10 mile time is anyway!?
I am confident that I am moving in the right direction, and I think running a similar pace for my half marathon next month is definitely realistic if I keep being smart.
Okay, so what happened next? After the race, you talk to a lot of the athletes, I cooled down with a large group, and we talked about our version of the race. There was then an hour and a half before the awards ceremony (to allow for protests), where we could refuel, and catch up with other runners and important people in the running world.
|So incredibly proud of her for her 6th place finish. Racing with one of your best friends is so special.
I watched some of my new friends go up for awards, and cheered extra loud when Frances was called up as 3rd American (and 6th overall!!!). We then got back on the bus, where one of the most famous runners I know sat next to me and talked to me about my race plans, and future. He gave some great advice, and I now have some new options to consider 🙂
We quickly showered, and then headed down to a fantastic brunch full of all kinds of glorious food.
|Well earned I would say 🙂
We socialized a little more, and I caught up with an old friend….who I have not seen in 7 years, before we said our goodbyes, and headed back to Philly!
|Last time we hung out was in California at SOKA, 8 years ago! Small world!
A wonderful weekend, and what an experience 🙂 Hopefully this will not be my last. I am so grateful that I was given this opportunity, and want to thank Saucony for allowing me to represent them as a Saucony Hurricane! #FindYourStrong
Have you ever finished a race feeling as though you did not push yourself hard enough?
What is your favorite post race meal?
If you want to learn more about racing as an elite, check out my guest post on Jill Conyers blog “Being An Elite Athlete Is Not All Glamour” 🙂
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