I am super-duper tired and about to hop into bed, but I thought I would give a quick update since we'll be driving ALL DAY LONG in the car tomorrow. We are finally heading home after 3 weeks of vacation. A real high light of the entire trip has been meeting Chelle face-to-face. What a great woman, mom, runner and friend! I just know we would be good friends if we didn't live so far apart. For now we'll just have to be good blogging friends - and what a blessing that is! I feel so lucky for all of you who share this love of running with me. The end result of all of the hours of training is more often about the friendships I have made, and not just about the finish line.
Last night was terrible: I felt nervous and anxious about the race. I didn't get into bed early enough. And then RLS kicked in and it made me so angry! Why now?! I took my medicine for it and it helped me sleep, but it also made me very groggy when I woke up. I felt like I was in a foggy haze up until the starting line. I yawned the entire bus ride up to the starting line with Chelle and her fun brother. But it is amazing how the race started, my legs started moving in that familiar rhythm, my heart started pumping, and there I was in race mode. I guess sleepiness fleas in the presence of all that adrenaline.
We should have started closer to the front of the pack. We spent the first 3 or 4 miles zig-zagging, trying to pass the gazillion runners that were slower than us. I felt pretty good and was happy to be able to keep up with Chelle. The little pain I've been experiencing down the outside of my left thigh was there. It usually disappears this far into a run, but it seemed to intensify a bit. By the end of the race the pain was centrally located in my hip up under my rear end - definitely a nerve thing going on there. It wasn't very painful during the race - just annoying. I can still feel it tonight, though, and I am resolved to see a chiropractor when I get back home. Maybe an accupuncturist? :)
Chelle and bro slowed for a photo-op with their dad around mile 6 (very cute!) and I pulled ahead just a bit. This is the 2-mile stretch of the race that suddenly turns uphill and then down in an out-and-back loop. Just after finishing the loop Chelle and bro zipped past me. I was very impressed with their energy level - they made it look so easy! I knew Chelle was going for a PR and I might not be able to keep up. I'm not quite back to the shape I was in pre-Baby Alice! They looked great! I never caught up with them, but I felt good about the pace I was able to maintain.
For the next few miles I focused on not letting my pace slow "by accident" as it sometimes does. It is hard to see the numbers on my Nike+Ipod gadget when I'm in the middle of such a long run. But the "little voice in my head" (Nike+ lady) that tells me my miles kept talking to me at each mile mark, even if the physical mile marker wasn't there. Chelle, was it just me, or were they missing a few? It got a little confusing - I didn't know how far I actually had left to go towards the end because my Nike+ isn't always completely accurate, and they had changed the finish area from the last time I ran this race: unfamiliar territory! I thought I had 3/4 of a mile to go when I came around a curve and saw the finish line about 50 yards ahead! I probably had too big of a burst of speed than I should have had at the end. That is what you get for not using a GPS watch! (Chelle, I'm curious what distance your bro's watch measured for the length of the course.)
I was tired and spent by the end and happy (as always) to be crossing the finish line. All of my family in the area was supposed to be there, but they were about 2 minutes too late to see me finish. Isn't that too bad? I felt worse for them for making the effort than for myself. I love the support of my family when I finish a race. They are so proud of me and they tell me so. I was especially grateful to my brother and his wife for taking care of my 4 kids in addition to their 3 this morning... AND getting them all to the race site in one minivan! That could not have been easy. Such love and support- I am so grateful for my family. They have all been so wonderfully kind and generous with us as we've spent time here in Utah with them in their homes. I can't say enough...
Did I even mention my time? Here I am rambling... I finished in 1:51 according to my Nike+. That is an 8:28 pace, which I am competely thrilled with! I haven't been training much (if at all) at that pace, so that was a pleasant surprise. Thank you, Chelle, for pacing me for so much of the race. I would not have gotten off to a quick start without you and your brother.
After finally finding our pre-race gear in the mountain of white bags at the finish I went back to my brother's house. I was so tired that I turned on the wrong street! Scary, huh? When I finally got home I crashed on the living room floor and I don't know how long I slept while 6 noisy kids played "Hungry Hippos". The rest of the day was wonderful. Taylor flew into town and we spent the afternoon with our kids riding the ski lift at Sundance. Oh, so beautiful! Now I'm off to slumber and hopefully not dream of racing. I just want to relax and enjoy this post-race moment. Thank you to everyone who was with me in body or spirit today.