The Good Friday 10 Miler. Proof that Miracles Do Happen!
After the week I've had, I seriously didn't have high hopes for this race. I've been super stressed for the last 3 days. To top it all off, I got my period this morning. Never a good thing on race day. I was crampy and head achey and really just wanted to stay in bed.
But after asking hubby to drive out to Burlington the day before to pick up my race kit, I figured I had better get my butt out of bed. I popped a couple of Extra strength Tylenol to deal with my cramps and wandered downstairs to eat breakfast.
My speedy friend Linnea had also registered so she came to our place and we carpooled. Well, Gary chauferred us. I felt better by the time we got to the race site. Linnea and I did a decent warm up run, probably about 1.5-2km. Pit stop for one last pee break and it was off to the start line.
I figured I'd try to hang on to Linnea for as long as possible. That plan lasted until about the 3km mark. She had another gear that I didn't have. I decided that there was no way I could keep up that pace so I backed it off and just ran. There was no doubt I was running hard. My heart rate was consistently around 175. The course had a lot of rollers and false flats and it was super windy in some spots. Once the crowd thinned out, I was running on my own for a long long time. There were a few people a ways behind me. Eventually a couple of guys caught me, but no women. At least not on the first loop. Got through the first loop in 38:10 (almost a full minute slower than I ran the 8km 2 weeks ago ). I really started to suffer on the second loop at about the 10km mark. My legs felt like they had nothing. I slowed down on the hills. A few more people caught me (guys). One woman passed me a little later on and I let her go. There was no way I was catching her. I came out onto the main road which was super windy and got passed by another guy but I managed to duck in behind him and draft. AHHH, so nice. Another woman, wearing a yellow top, caught me and passed me. I let her go. Then another woman in a white shirt and guy came up on me and passed me. I got behind them and drafted. I tried to keep both of these women in my sight. I slowed down through the aid station to get some water and the white top girl and the guy she was running with surged ahead. I motored on, not sure if I'd catch them again. At the 2 mile mark I thought I'd try to see if I had anything left in the tank. With the Black Keys "Howling For You" blasting, I started to pick it up. Another guy passed me and I jumped behind him and drafted off him. We were getting close to the street we turn up to get to the finish line and I could see the 2 women (yellow top & white top) that had passed me earlier up ahead. I figured it was time for me to see what I had left. I passed the guy I was drafting off and picked up the pace. I caught the first woman in the yellow top and blew by her. Gary saw me and started yelling. Then I saw Linnea and she started screaming and cheering. The woman in the white top saw me coming and decided to sprint with me. We ran HARD towards the finish line. My heart was in my throat and I was getting a little dizzy. The finishing chute was on a downhill and I just let my legs go. I could see her in my peripheral vision for what seemed like forever and then she disappeared. I dropped her. With my heart in my throat, I crossed the finish line in 1:16:32. My heart rate hit 197. My watch said I ran a 3:10km. WTF. The woman in the white crossed the finish line a few seconds later. I high fived her and thanked her for that awesome sprint. It was just the push I needed.
Linnea and I did a little cool down run and then went in to get some food. We decided to check out the results after we finished eating. Linnea came in second in our age group. I came in 9th. At least that's what I thought. Until I heard my name called as the FIRST place finisher in the women's 40-49 year old age group. WHAAAT? Linnea had gotten the first overall Women's Masters and the woman that had come in first in our age group was also first OVERALL. So, in the original standings, I was actually listed as 3rd in my age group, 9th woman overall (that was the 9 that I saw) BUT with the 2 other women taking those top 2 prizes, I got bumped up to first.
Final stats: Watch said I ran 16.69km in 1:16:32 which works out to 4:35 km's. So I was actually faster since the distance was longer than 16.09km. Avg hr was 176. Calories burned almost 800.
Great way to cap off a less than stellar week!