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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Town Dash - 8K Race Report

Good evening!!

Today was sooo much fun!!  Last night, too, of course, but I'm just gonna recap this morning.  :)

Quickly, did anyone who reads this blog hear about/experience the drama with the Hot Chocolate 15K yesterday?  I was even training to run that race, but I changed my mind a month or so ago...and I'm pretty glad I did now!!  Apparently they had all sorts of issues come up - the least of which being a car accident closing down lanes and preventing people from arriving at the venue on time.  I guess a police escort also led the 5K racers the wrong way in the beginning which would have had them basically running into themselves at some point?  Wowzas.  Glad I changed my mind!

Anyway, the stats for my race:
Distance - 8K
Clock Time - 41:44
Chip Time - 41:31
Overall Place - 373 / 2264
Gender Place - 110 / 1370
Age Place - 16 (actually, 3-way tied for 14th) / 237
Pace - 8:21/M

The weather was perfect for racing.  It was chilly at first and I was kind of concerned, but that sun came out and just warmed it up at a great rate and to a temp not too high.  AWESOME.  First things first, the outfit?  Super cute...

Love those socks, right???  A sweet friend bought them for me at Target in honor of this race!  My shirt was a last minute buy at Kohl's...it says "Naughty is the new Nice", which isn't exactly a sentiment of mine, but it was red and long-sleeved.  And comfy.  Whatever.

So, the race.  The route was a lot parking lot, about 1.5 miles in the amusement park (Busch Gardens), and then more parking lot.  Not the most scenic, but there were a lot of fun outfits and a lot of times we were running past other runners, so I had plenty of distractions!

Mile 1: At the first mile marker, I asked a guy nearby what time he had.  I forgot my ipod AND my Garmin, so I was running blind.  He said 8:20.  Nice.  Not much to say about that first mile...there were 3 corrals and I was in the first one.  I didn't want to start too close to the very front (because I'm chicken), but I was trying to be around people who "looked" faster than me to keep myself motivated. 

Mile 2: at some point, I realized I had stepped in front of a woman who was trying to pass me.  I quickly apologized and assured her I would stay in just one straight line.  She said, "Thanks!" and went ahead around me.  I noticed when she passed that her bib number was 2611.  My bib number was 2601 and I was all excited to see it when i picked up my packet because my birthday is 10/26 and I like to "pretend" I am dyslexic sometimes (long story), and the number just jumped at me as significant.  Then I see 2611 and it made me think about my birthday being the 26th and Shaun's birthday is the 11th and I just liked seeing those numbers together.  SO, I kept her in my sight during the rest of the race....

Mile 3: When we passed the 2nd mile marker I looked around for someone to ask about time.  I found a nice guy who said he had around 17 minutes.  We chatted for a bit, we had just entered the amusement park, so there was a lot to look at!  "Christmas Town" is set up super cute and they even had some fake snow being blown out at one point.  Very cute!  I discussed the weirdness of running to the Christmas music they had piped all throughout the run...the guy ended up telling me he has run 3 half-marathons with a best time of 2 hours.  I told him I had limited experience, but I had run 1 half at 2:06...then I made a comment about, "If I can talk this well with you, I'm obviously not racing!"  We split ways at this point, but I honestly can't remember who went ahead!  I think it was him, though.  I probably made him mad about my awesome half marathon time, right?  Hahaha!

Mile 4: I was getting tired, I was feeling a bit slow, I wasn't near enough to anyone to ask about time and I truly just wanted to be DONE!  I hadn't walked at all at this point, and I really, really didn't want to stop for any reason.  I remembered a good friend posting something on Facebook about a Make a Wish patient dying before her Wish-date of December 3rd.  When my friend posted the story, I had asked for the patient's name in order to run in her honor on the 3rd.  This was still when I thought I was going to do the 15K.  Well, I thought of this little girl, Bryawna, during miles 3 and 4.  I remembered how she was called home before she was able to live out the one dream she set her hopes on...I don't know the details of what her Wish was, but I just said a prayer to Jesus and I asked that, if she was able to see me running, to let her know I was running for her.  I asked for her to help me make it to the end because that was something I had set my sights on, and it was something I was fully capable of doing.  I felt a bit lighter when I saw that 4 mile marker and knew I was in the home stretch!  Thanks, Bryawna!!!

Mile 5:  Remember #2611?  Well, she was still in front of me, and I actually caught up to her as we rounded the bend to come in to the finish line sprint.  I told her how her number was meaningful to me and I said, "You helped me make it this far!"  She suggest we dig in and finish strong...and we certainly did.  As we were running up and caught sight of the time clock, I said, "We could do this under 42 minutes!"  She said, "Then let's do it!"  We both sprinted hard and crossed the finish line under 42!  When I looked up the results I noticed she and I had the exact same chip time of 41:31.  She told me her goal that day was 45:00, so I am thrilled to have been able to share that with her!  Even though we parted ways after the finish.  :)  It was nice to run in next to someone and get a cool high-five at the end.

Know who else gave me a cool high-five and a hug and a kiss and a big "I am SO proud!!!"??  My husband.  Shaun woke up early with me and waited out in the cold and he was there to greet me at the finish.  He almost seemed more excited than I was about my finish time!!!  He kept saying, "I really didn't see many 30-something women finish before you.  I think you placed!"  I didn't place, but it was really sweet that he was so positive about the experience. 

Such a fun race, I will definitely do this one again next year.  What a great distance, too!!!  I feel a little tired, but I'm not completely exhausted.  We drove back to Charlottesville after the awards ceremony and ended up going to lunch at Fellini's.  My mom was still at home with my kiddos, so we enjoyed some mimosas and food and my sister joined us.  It was quite the relaxing afternoon!  I'm back home now and the kids are even better behaved than usual.  Happy Sunday!

I hope you all had a great weekend.  I'm planning to meet up with my new running partner tomorrow evening for some fun at the track.  Or something.  I am taking a couple of weeks to experiment with a few different runs and training programs while I, hopefully, save up money to get that coach for at least a month.  I missed yesterday for the Runner's World streak, but I just could not find time to do even 1 mile!  Plus, that rest day was quite needed in order to feel as strong as I did today.

That's all for tonight!

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with your lofty goals...you can do it. I'm in shock...4 kids in 3 1/2 years? I'm such a whimp I took 4 year breaks between each of my 3. :) Jessica



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