Matching outfits and ready to race! I had some cute Gonzaga socks I wanted to sport but they were too tight on my legs so I had to pass. BUMMER! The race was well organized, signs for parking, a big lot, well-marked registration tables, cases of water, Honey Buckets, etc.. We paid $10 because we opted to skip the race shirts. Stretched a little and headed to the start line. We saw a few familiar local racers and were laughing and chatting until the race began. There was a nice lady to my left who had a running skirt on, she was nice, I like it when people strike up conversations. The Race director shot a little gun and we were off.
The course was a little WEIRD with loops and out and backs crossing other racers. With the Green River trail having flood berms half of the path was blocked and with over 800 people (I Think) it was tough to get through the people. Our first mile was STRONG 7:38 pace and I was just getting warmed up. Unfortunately Muscle Man was getting warm too. I kept telling him he was doing great as I people watched:
PEOPLE I WATCHED:
-Young springy dude grabbing the tops of Grass and throwing them?
-Fit couple, guy running backwards next to his lady
-Lots of kids in shoes 2 sizes too big
-A FAST woman with the leading men
-More runners that I could count wearing the BRIGHT Yellow race T's
-A man totally barefoot running with his Dog.
-Dad pushing little ones in a double jogger
As we rounded the turn and hit the straightaway I noticed a young girl just behind us breathing LOUDLY. I wanted so badly to speed up because the breathing was throwing me off. I wanted to stay 1/2 step behind Muscle Man. Mile 2 got slower- 8:32, by this point I was relaxing and trying to encourage hubby to keep moving, I could tell he was struggling. He was not ALONE, many many of the runners around were had labored breathing and slumped postures. Generally when I am racing I only notice myself, the runners just around me and the WOMEN in front of me. Today I got a chance to experience EVERYONE. The girl, with short red hair frizzing out from her hat continued just behind us. I am not sure if she was pacing with us to listen to me encouraging Muscle Man???
The last mile we slowed significantly at one point I saw 11:00 pace and made the mistake of telling Muscle Man, OOPS! I am a MEAN Jillian style coach, need to work on that!! My legs wanted to GO!!! But I held back, close to my man. We played leapfrog with a little boy in a green shirt, maybe age 9?? He would run ahead, walk, run ahead, walk, it made me laugh. hubby was feeling the hit, fading fast and tired of me asking "Are you Ok?" OOPS again!! I need to work on my coaching on the RUN.
Mile 3 chimed in at 9:17. I was not breathing hard or really breaking a sweat but my poor hubby was giving it ALL HE HAD. He Said "I feel like I am going to puke!" Uh oh!! We could see the Finish but I was not really paying attention, I was not RACING. Just then Muscle Man took off!?!?!?!?!?! It took me a second to realize I was getting passed at the end by my Husband, what the? I sped up and was stride for stride, just then Little Green Shirt boy cut in front of me and I had to back off. I could not plow over a little kid. Muscle Man and Little Green shirt beat me. Lordy!!
It was a weird feeling, I could tell that Muscle Man did not have fun it was TOUGH for him. Later we talked about his training, he has been running for about 3 weeks, 2.5 miles max, with the stroller and not consistently. That would make for a rough race. He plans to up the miles in prep for the Run Wild 5K in September. I did not feel the best either because I wondered what I could have done if I raced. I had taken stock of all the women in front and did not think that many women in my age group were in front of us. They had awards for the top 5 in each Age Group.
We waited and waited and sure enough, took 4th in my Age group with a 26:29 almost a PW. The kicker?? A Woman in my age group got a 17:54 or something CRAZY FAST!!
- One a GREAT note the floppy short-haired girl in the over sized hat who ran 3/4 of the race breathing heavily behind us had WON HER AGE GROUP. The smile on her face as she approached the table with her Dad melted my heart, WE ALL FINISH TOGETHER!!
Once I heard that a woman had such an AMAZING time I was OVER the competitive urge. There is no way I would have beat her. I ran WITH my hubby and I am glad I did. He did GREAT and will only get faster. I truly look forward to the day when I will STRUGGLE to keep up with him, I know it is coming.What did I learn? I am ready to RACE for a 5K PR!! I looked up races for next weekend. LOL! Will let you know if I register.