5:00am and my alarm goes off. Time for breakfast! I wanted to make sure that I gave myself plenty of time to digest. Since we were in someone else’s house, I kept my breakfast low-key. Overnight oats that I had prepared before we left the day before. I also took an aspirin since my lady problems from the day before decided to continue over into the morning (gone now though, don’t worry).
After my mom and my aunt got up and around we were off to the race track. Yup. The starting line was in a horse-racing track! It was cloudy and hanging in around 60deg the entire morning.
After messing around for about half an hour it was time for us 10K-ers to get started (the 10-milers, 5K-ers, and 1-milers were after us). Once around the horse track and then we hit the streets…
Holy hills, Batman! Look at that elevation profile. There was a ma-hoo-sive hill, as you can see, right before the 1 mile mark. It was a heartbreaker. We ran most of the race through neighborhoods, though, which I love since I think that it provides a lovely distraction, especially since I stopped running with my iPod. I did, however, bring my Garmin along in case the mile markers weren’t well marked and for pacing purposes.
NOTE TO ALL RUNNERS: If you’re in a race, MUTE your watches! It was the most annoying thing in the world to hear all of those pings and bells.
I ran this race smart:
- I didn’t start myself at the front of the pack and held back for as long as I could so that I’d get out of the gate without having to stop and slow down too much.
- I accepted water/sports drink at every station (there were 3 along the route) and got at least a sip in my mouth (the rest ending up on my face, clothes, or the ground ).
- Climbed the inclines with shorter steps, keeping my eyes about 5-ft in front of me (prevents neck-strain, I think), and I didn’t speed up unnecessarily during the downhill sections.
- Ate only things that I had eaten before and wore only clothes that I had run in before (no wearing the race shirt for the race for me!)
- Went to bed EARLY. I’m talking 10pm over here due to the early wake-up call. Very glad that I did, too, because I woke up a ton during the night.
Having volunteers and families all along the race route was wonderful. Hearing them cheer you on, “You’re almost there!”, “Way to go!”, etc. You don’t even care that you don’t know them. You grab for every ounce of motivation you can.
About half a mile from the finish line, I heard the most beautiful words a runner can hear: “Downhill finish!“. I nearly cried with joy and relief. I rounded the final corner and kicked it into high-gear to finish strong. And strong I did.
I murdered my goal of finishing in 50:00. My official chip time came out being 49:08 (7:55 pace) which placed me in second for my gender/age group (20-24) and 98th overall (out of 856 finishers) as well as being 19th out of all female competitors (481). I literally shed a tear when I saw that I placed. Nothing special for winning; a water bottle. But I earned that water bottle! Plus, look at my awesome finishers medal:
I refueled like crazy afterwards. Half a banana, the sports recovery drink mix from Nicky (strawberry-banana flavor; bottom-line: smelled great, looked like Pepto-Bismol, tasted chalky), medjool dates, and a nectarine. I even got a little leg massage for free from one of the booths! It still wasn’t enough though. Like I said the other day, lunch wasn’t until about 1:30pm or 2:00pm.
I was having major blood sugar issues starting around 12 or 12:30-ish; I was scared. I couldn’t see straight or sit up without being incredibly light-headed. But, we had to wait for my cousin to get off of work to eat. By the time she got there I felt like such crap that I didn’t even want to eat by that point and drinking ice water was pretty much the only thing keeping me going. I forced myself to eat a little veggie stir-fry and brown rice, but it didn’t taste that great. However, it did what it was meant to do and I felt much better afterwards and was able to safely get back home for some real food (i.e. food I made and not from a random restaurant). Ahh… the healing powers of a green monster.
Since we had so much time to kill between my race and lunch (about 3.5 hours!), my mom and I hit up IKEA to check out a possible desk for my apartment next year. As it turns out, that location was celebrating it’s 5-year anniversary and so had a promotion going on where everyone got an envelope when they entered with a prize inside! My mom won a hot-dog from their food court, but I won a new bookcase ($70 value, FREE!).
Winner-winner times two today! We also went to Trader Joe’s because Northville just so happens to have the second closest TJ’s to my house (still over an hour away though).
Happy Ellen. Coupled with getting two articles published a few days ago, this is by far the greatest week that I have had in a long, long time.
Also, I’m now convinced that 10K is the perfect distance for me. I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to include this race in my training schedule for my half-marathon in September. I surprised myself so much!
I am strong.
I am fierce.
I am a survivor.
One week from today is when I was originally supposed to leave for Tanzania. However, after my acceptance into the program was rescinded due to my eating disorder, IBS, and weight at the time. I was labeled a “health liability“. That was 3 months ago.
I dare you to tell me that I’m not strong enough to go to Africa now. I dare you to tell me that I would die from a hike to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. I dare you to tell me that I can’t do anything and everything that I set my mind to.
I DARE you…
Tell me something good that happened to you this week!