Monday, December 12, 2005

Holiday Run Recap

I ran my fourth race yesterday, the Holiday Run. I'm still waiting for the race I finish and say "That was easy!" but this was not it. However, like all the Lincoln runs, it was really well organized and thought out, with cool touches like hot chocolate and cookies at the finish, jingle bells for everyone's shoes, and presents (gift certificates, water bottles, etc) scattered throughout the course.
It's a cross country run, all around a giant park, up and down hills and through the forest. It was very very pretty, and it was fun (in retrospect), and it felt great, but it was HARD. I've never run through snow before, and the closest thing I can compare it too is running through dry sand. I also think the people who turned out for the race were a bit more hardcore, because the group started FAST. Way too fast for me, as it it turned out. Pacing is definetely my weak point, and I always start too fast (which is why I like 5k's so much) but running fast isn't actually my strength, my endurance is. About a mile in I started to feel SO much like I was going to throw up. It's a miracle I didn't. I also really really wanted to quit. Then I saw Mr. E and I knew I couldn't. Shortly after that I fell in with a slower pack of four women and I started to feel better, so much so that I passed them shortly. After that another woman and I traded leads the rest of the way. She was a great motivator. I don't know that I would have run as fast as I did had she not been on my tail the whole time. When we went into the final stretch, I was determined that she would NOT beat me, if it had anything to do with will, and I turned it on, and blew past her to the finish. Or what I thought was the finish. Actually it wasn't that well marked and I ran to the left instead of the right and someone had to run over and grab my tag.

Still, it was really fun and quite exhilarating. And I could feel it the rest of the day. I was TIRED. But a good tired. Oh, my time? 31:40.

Not the time I wanted, but considering the snow and ice (at times we had to "skate" rather than run) it was ok. It does make me nervous to run nine minute miles for the half marathon though. Oh well. I ALWAYS beat myself up after races, telling myself I could have done more, I could have pushed harder, I could have left more out there. I have to remember that a year ago, maybe even a month ago, I could not have done this at all, or at least not in 31:11. Oh, and that I can push through anything, even snow, ice, and impending vomit. And I do need to work on my pacing.
It's hard when I spend so much time running on the treadmill. I'm gonna have to get in every outdoor run I can between now and February.

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