Another week down, another race down. Another unbelievable PR & even more unbelievable, another 1st place. It's really all unexpected and I'm kind of in awe of it myself.
I heard about this race several years ago, but was always too injured, or just coming back from injury and too slow to want to race. I heard it was crazy fast, and for sure a PR. A downhill course. I didn't realize she was talking about the 5K.....
Friday afternoon when I went to register us for the race, I was trying to figure out where the race actually was. The website had no race map, just a brief description. Then the words came. "Turn right and go up into the HILLS."
So much for a downhill course... HA! Oh well, at least the finish and start are downhill - and being familiar with the area the hills couldn't be that bad.
It was really a great race. A little weird to be bussed to the start of a 10k, but hey - gotta love a point to point race, right? The morning was gorgeous. About 60degrees (actually a little warm for racing by my standards) and sunny! Not too windy, Air not too thick. It seemed very organized. Get on the bus, get dropped off, put stuff in a bag to be returned at the finish & start.
After an initial porta potty stop, I was walking over to stand in the sun so I didn't get cold. As I walked up someone asked me if I was doing Coeur d'Alene this year.... It took me a minute to figure out. Gotta love Ironman Schwag - it's the best conversation starter! Shane & I ended up talking to this really nice couple for about 20mins. About races and Ironman, working from home, etc. It was pretty cool. We haven't raced in so long that we really don't know a ton of people out there anymore.
Of course I happened to notice that the woman was in my age group. Kinda hard to hide when it's written on the race number in black ink. After talking more about racing she tells me she just did PF Changs in 3:45 after doing Tucson right before it. Yah, I guess I don't have so much to worry about being her. She's FAST.
Shortly before the race her husband asks me what I'm going to finish in. I told him I had no idea, that my last race was just under 49mins. I assumed he was checking out the competition for his wife. Too funny, I thought. I looked at Shane & said - "If it's close at the end, Don't let her (we'll call her "J") beat me!"
Shane & I went for a couple minute jog to warm up. I woke up with my knee really sore that morning and was pretty worried. I rolled and iced and also put on some of the Myomed creme before we left the car, but it was still hurting.
This was a non chipped timed race, so we started right up front. There were some crazy fast people we saw warming up that morning. Like, I'm pretty sure they ran a 10k to warm up for the 10k.
The buzzer went off and we were off. The first mile a nice quick downhill. I felt pretty good, getting into my rhythm. My knee pain - GONE. Garmin was showing mostly sub 7min pace, but I knew it would be short lived and just went with it. Sure enough right after the first mile marker we turned right and the climbing started. It felt pretty good at first, then out of nowhere, once again I got a stupid side stitch. This one was REALLY painful. Like, hurt to breath bad. I sucked it up and tried not to slow down too much, but I think the pace went down into the low 8's at this point. Finally I pulled through and picked the pace back up into the 7's.
Unfortunately while this happened I got passed by a few people. "J" above being one of them. I tried my hardest not to let her get too far ahead of me, but I had already picked up some speed and was feeling it. As she passed Shane said, "She will not beat us." I have to admit these steep little hills were pretty tough, but I didn't get passed on them so everyone else must of felt them as well. I slowly gained a little bit of distance back on "J." The downs were harder for me. Some were so steep I just wasn't good at the turnover yet. Shane was doing something cause he was just FLYING down them. Then he would pull back & wait for me.
It cracks me up how he just has this race ability. I mean for all of our regular runs we're just trotting along side by side in our zone 2s. But he can just KICK it into this fast gear. It looked effortless for him. He grabbed water at the couple of stops and would hold it until I caught up to get it. Of course I was breathing so hard I couldn't drink any so I would try, end up with it all over my face, then just pour it on my arms or back cause I was getting HOT.
The deal was, I would pace us for the first half and he would pick it up for the second half. Unfortunately those hills kicked my ass! I knew I PR's my 5k and actually hit a lap so I could see it later on the Garmin. We got closer to "J" just before mile 4. Shane just slowly trotted up behind her, then passed her. I'm thinking he did this WAY too soon, cause I'm not the most competitive person, but some people are and I was worried she would pass me again & I couldn't hang on. But, I slowly crept up and passed her. And ran as hard as a I could for the next couple of miles.
Shane asked how I was doing a couple times. I responded with, I'm going to throw up. :-) Little smart ass replies back - "We haven't even laid the hammer yet." Oh good God, what does he think I have left in me. My response. "Payback is in the pool on Monday."
The last incline before getting on to Cave Creek Road, the final downhill stretch took a lot longer to get to than I thought. I was thinking it was at least 3 miles, but I was off by over a mile. That was my goal.. just run as hard as you can without puking until you get to that road, then it's a nice downhill!
I eventually passed one more girl, pretty sure she was NOT in my age group, but it was fun to pass her non the less. I could see 2 more girls way too far ahead to be passed, but I liked that those and a few that took off really fast from the start were the only ones in sight. I started having thoughts that with "J" still behind me, I could possibly place in my age group. Look at me, I was giggling inside. I wasn't running a 10K. I was RACING a 10k! How cool :-)
I did look behind a few times to make sure I wasn't going to get passed in the last stretch.... Then, I "tucked and rolled," per Daniel's advice. I gave it my all and ran about a 6:40 pace for the last half mile... As I approached the finish line I saw our friends Amy & Robb cheering me in. It was very cool. Amy trained & ran the first two marathons with us. It definitely felt like the good old days again... Only, a little bit faster!
Amy placed first in her Age group for the 5k and we were waiting for the awards... They thought there were not many people in front of me so we waited around to see the 10K results. It took FOREVER to past them, but sure finally they were. Shane went to look and came back with a smile on his face. He said, "2 for 2!" I was first in my age group again. "J" finished less than 20 seconds behind me....
The awards for 1st place were gold rimmed coffee mugs that said 1st place. Unfortunately I broke the thing 5minutes later (oops), but oh well. I already planned on grabbing an old medal for Bub & telling him I won for him again. As you can see above, he didn't know the difference and wore it and posed proudly. It really is cute as can be how excited he gets. I do think he's wondering when Dad is going to bring the bling home for him? Rocky Point buddy, just a few weeks!
I don't know if I would have done so well in this race without Shane pushing me, but either way I'm very happy. I think I know how far I can push my body now, and can hopefully carry it into my next race, and most of all carry it over into triathlon racing. This will never be about sheer competition for me. I always need to be having fun... I never want to be one of "those bitches" I've raced with several times. That's not what it is about for me. I was out there racing, but I was having fun and smiling and would not want it any other way.
Final results per my garmin -
47:10 - 6.3miles (Shane's read 6.3 as well), 7:29 pace.
7:29 pace for 6.2 would have been 46:29!!!
First 5k - 3.11miles, 23:28, 7:33pace
2nd 5k - 3.19miles, 23:42, 7:26 pace - NEGATIVE SPLIT!!! :-)
Total ascent - 1014ft
Total descent - 1589ft
Net - 575ft loss - good net down, but definitely some climbing!
I would absolutely do this race again. Very well ran. Beautiful course!