Sunday, May 20, 2007

My competitiveness got the best of me....

......I decided to run the entire race.

It was a great day for a race. I'm not sure what the temperature was at the start but it was in the mid to upper 50's. There was a bit of a breeze - you hardly felt it during some sections of the course and really got smacked in the face in other sections.

This was actually the first year for the 10 mile race. It was run in conjunction with the DE Marathon and a marathon relay. The whole day was run very well. There were food and clothing vendors and a health fair. The marathon is sponsored by the Christiana Care Health System and is actually a fundraiser for them. Overall I was very impressed with the whole day - the medical setup was first rate, the police coverage was awesome, the volunteers were great and the whole thing went very smoothly (everything was kept pretty much on schedule).

As for the race itself, the cannon (and yes it was a small cannon) went off and I jumped about 2 feet in the air but managed to move with the crowd to the start line. My initial goal was to finish in about 1:20 which would put me at about 8m/m but as is the norm for me at the beginning of a race, I shot out with everyone else. I kept telling myself to stay true to my plan and run within myself. Needless to say, when I looked down at my watch and saw a pace of about 6m/m I decided to slow down just a bit. I found someone ahead of me (runner #1146 - don't know his name) and decided to just keep him about 10 yards in front of me. He seemed to have a good pace going and it was working well for me.

I think it was around mile 4 I found myself surging up a hill. It wasn't actually a planned surge, I was just moving my arms and legs and found myself catching up to the runner. I looked at my watch and I was again at about 6m/m, it didn't feel real hard but I knew that I didn't want to try and maintain that pace. Our course then moved from the city streets to the park around the river. It is a beautiful area! We ran along the river until we came to the bridge and boy wasn't that hard to run across. I was really bouncing with all the people going across and it jarred me quite a few times. Shortly after crossing the bridge, near mile 7, I was really starting to feel it. The sun was out and shining brightly and frankly it was starting to get quite warm (no breeze in this section of the course). I was actually entertain ideas of slowing down but I just picked out a person in front of me ( he was wearing a blue shirt and red shorts) and tried to stay with him.

After that section, between mile 7 and 8, the sun went behind some clouds and the running got a bit easier. That is until we got closer to the Riverfront area (close to the start/finish area) - this was one of the areas where the wind was really strong! But, by this time I was closing in on the finish and I really felt like I had a bit left in my tank. I had been able to pull up even with the runner in the blue shirt and now I was pulling away from him. There were another 2 runners (young girls - under 18) who had been running in the same pack I was and they had even more in their tanks because they pulled away from me quite easily. But at this point, I was in the last straight away and I knew I was going to make my time goal and I just kept pushing as hard as I could. I almost caught one of the 2 girls but not quite, I think I was a second behind.

My finishing time was......Gun time 1:16:00 and Chip time 1:15:51. That works out to be a pace of 7:36m/m. Good for 3rd place in my age group! I was the 6th woman to finish and the 21st overall finisher. The trophies they gave out are quite unique, they are bobble-head trophies. They actually look pretty cool! I will put pictures up a little later.

I am thrilled with how I did! I haven't looked it up but I think today's time was just about the same as my 15K race last October and it is a farther distance! The funniest part to the whole day.....remember runner #1146? After the race, he came up to me and thanked me for being his pacer because he had been keeping me within about 10 yards in order to maintain his pace. I just laughed and then told him that I had actually been doing the EXACT same thing to him for the first 4-5 miles. You just never know what is going to happen during the course of a race!

I'm a bit sore right now so I think I'll probably take the day off tomorrow or maybe go for an easy walk. Have a great evening everyone - I will post a link to the results when they are available.


Julie True said...

Great Job, Cheryl!!!!
What is your planned finish time for the marathon? You could definately qualify for the Boston if you are doing a Boston qualifier. I'm soooooooooooooooooo jealous at how fast you run...and that you get in your zone. I am SUCH a Lackadaisical runner...

Cheryl said...

Thanks Julie!

I'm running the marathon with someone else so we are shooting for around 4:40. I don't remember what that breaks down to for pace but regardless of what it is, I figure I can go for faster time later if I decide to go that route. My main goals right now are to raise money for Tim and just finish the marathon (regardless of how long it takes)!

Thanks again for your support!