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Sweethearts 4ever 4 Mile

February 12, 2012

Today was my first race of the year!  I am officially 4 miles into my goal to race 100 miles for HHT this year!  4 miles down … 96 miles to go!

I almost didn’t go to the race this morning.  When I woke up there was an inch of snow on the ground and knowing how this area deals with snow I was sure there would be ice all over the race course.  Hubby left earlier than I did and wouldn’t be able to go to the race with me, but kept me posted on the road conditions.  He also let me know he was thinking of me!  I found this note in the kitchen.

Not wanting to delay making a dent in my 100 miles, I bundled up in every piece of running gear I owned and went to the race.

When I got there, I was surprised to see all the roads were clear and they had clearly salted the course.  They had also outlined with spray paint anywhere there might be ice so the runners could go around.

It’s hard to tell, but that says 20 degree!

After I got to the race, I picked up my timing chip and started to warm up.  Originally I thought I would spend every last second until the start in my car with the heater on full blast, but instead I did a few short jogs and made sure my legs were stretched.

Finally it was time to run.  It never fails to amaze me that people who are really fast will start at the back of the pack and practically shove you over trying to get by.  But I stuck to my plan and just let my legs run the pace they wanted and forced my lungs to keep up.  The course followed streets for the first quarter-mile or so, then moved to a narrow path through the woods.  On the return trip the width of the path was fine, but just after the start when everyone was still packed together it was hard to navigate around people.

For the first 1.5 miles I felt great, my legs felt good and my breathing actually felt under control.  During this portion of the race I decided my ‘mantra’ for the race would be “Stay in Control”, not only to keep my breathing under control but also to keep control of my body on the steep downhills.

On I trudged, I didn’t start slowing down until almost mile 2 just before the turn-around.  I’m not sure why all of a sudden I started to feel bad, but I just needed to slow down.  Then I hit the turn-around.  Up until this point there hadn’t been much wind.  Well that changed for miles 2.2 – 2.7.  So I ended up slowing down even more.  But I was still running and I’m proud of myself for that.

It was when I got to the 3 mile mark I realized a lot of other people had already finished the race.  They were doing their cool-down run on the course, talking about their splits.  One of them even mentioned they were running slow this race.  Really?  You ran slow?  You’re doing your cool-down run and I’m still a mile from the finish!  But not everyone was like that, there was another runner on a cool-down run who said encouraging things to all of us still on the course.  Another runner who finished before me was standing at the top of the last challenging hill telling us slow pokes that we were doing great and the finish was just ahead.  It’s people like that, that make me want to become a faster runner.

I’m so proud of myself for crossing the finish line without walking any of the race.  I didn’t run as fast as I was hoping, but I know I gave the race everything I had today.  Now it’s time for a nap!

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