The weather report proved to be quite accurate as evidenced by the outside temperature at 7:37 AM.
My neighbor Brenda met me at my house and followed me to pick up our other running buddies, Deb and Marilyn. We had decided earlier in the week that we would all meet at Deb's house and walk to the start line which was about a mile from Deb's house. Of course when we made this decision it was much warmer than it was today. We had Deb's husband take our picture in the warmth of the house and then headed to the start line.
We talked while we walked to the start line and it wasn't nearly as bad as we had anticipated it would be. It was definitely cold but we had extra layers on for the walk. When we got to the start line it was a "balmy" 27*. Once to the race site we were talking about the race. I had mentioned that I had no idea how I was going to do because I have been running such long distances at a much slower pace than my usual 5K pace.
A few minutes later, the bell rang and we were off for our out and back 3.1 mile run. My plan was to run how I felt and that is exactly what I did. I guess I felt really good because my split at the 1 mile mark was 7:40. I was feeling great and kept going and trying to pass people in front of me and then before I knew it I was at the turn around point of the race. My legs were feeling really good and I ran a 7:20 for mile 2. A few minutes later I saw Marilyn approaching the turn around point of the race and she yelled out to me to let me know that I was the 7th woman overall. I yelled back a thank you and kept moving. I could see the number 6 woman about a 1/4 mile in front of me, ponytail swinging. Once I spotted her I just focused on that ponytail and started closing the gap. I finally passed her around the 2.5 mile mark (according to my Garmin). At this point I knew I was likely going to run a PR and then I turned the corner and saw the finish line and the clock that was showing a 22:XX and I gave it my all. I finished in 23:01 (chip time) and I was ecstatic to realize that I had PR'ed by over a minute (1 minute and 7 seconds to be exact). I was certain that I had placed in my age group because usually it is top 3 women and then 3 deep in age group. When the results came in I realized that they only did the first female and then 3 deep in age group. Now here's the kicker, the age group today was 30-39 which I have never heard of. I am usually in the 35-39 age group. Had the age groups been broken down the way they are more often than not I would have placed 3rd in my age group. At first I was frustrated by this but then I realized that 6th woman and 34th out of 207 overall is definitely an accomplishment that I should be proud of. I ran a 5K last year right around this time and I decided to look up my results from that race....30:57. Wow, I ran 7:56 faster this year.....what a difference a year makes!
After everyone finished, we walked the mile back to Deb's house and once again had our picture taken in the warmth of her house. Well, 3 of the 4 of us had our picture taken. Brenda had better things to do like get her nails done...I don't blame her! Nothing like some pampering after a race!
Deb, myself, and Marilyn
Tomorrow calls for a 16 miler. Here's hoping my legs cooperate and it is a good run!
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!