We met my sister at the course along with some of Dale's high school runners. With our tags, goose bumps, and family we headed to the starting line.
This was my sister's first 5k ever. She is in unbelievable shape so I knew she would do well, but this race was unfamiliar territory for her. She didn't know strategy or how it would feel. We got up to the starting line where we discussed positioning. "I don't like to lead. I like to tuck, then go at the end."
The count down started and off we were. No one wanted to toe the line for this race. Therefore, our strategy of finding a pacer was shot. One girl started out fast and I quickly pointed her out. Follow her. She was out a little too fast for our comfort, but we weren't far behind.
I felt good. I rested well this week because I wanted to do well this race. My Nike+ app was way off telling me my mile pace was 8:40 something. I knew that wasn't right at all. Plus it was telling me that well over the mile and a half mark. It was a little discouraging that I was now running blind. I hate that and have to go off of strictly how I feel, which was too comfortable at times.
A little after the 2 mile mark T dropped. I thought maybe she was done and that I would just keep spreading the gap kind of disappointed that we wouldn't be crossing the finish line together. I pushed on. "Run YOUR race. 7:20 7:20 7:20!" We were alone for the majority of the race so no drafting or tucking to do. My legs were tiring and I knew my pace was faster than normal, but I had no official gage.
About 800 meters to go that's when I heard her. She had dropped quite a ways and MADE UP THE GROUND! If that isn't the sign of her strength I don't know what is! She gave a fist bump and I mumbled out "heart, baby!". We pressed on with the finish line getting closer and closer. As the crowd clapped and cheered us in I grabbed her hand and we sprinted together to the finish line.
There was one point I wanted to puke before the finish, but nothing matters when you are that close and have a source of inspiration next to you. We got through, holding hands and letting out a big cheer and a big hug afterwards. I'm so proud of her!
Isn't she adorable! Look at those muscles and the determination on her face.
My goal was to run 7:20 pace. Our average was 7:27. I'll take it for now. I never really expected myself to be running these things anywhere near 23:11, but if I could have shaved 12 seconds I would have been extremely happy. Not that I'm not happy, I definitely am, but you better believe my new goal is to break 23 before this season is over.
SHE DID IT! WE did it! I finished 1st in our age group, her 2nd. I just had a better lean at the end. We got 2nd and 3rd female, and 8th and 9th overall out of about 160 runners. We did awesome!
We waited around for our medals. Got some free massages, water bottles and food (I WILL be running this race every year)! Remember I mentioned some of Dale's students ran? Well, they did awesome and PR'd as well. The two girls came in right behind us. They had to leave early so couldn't receive their medals themselves. I had the honor to accept for them. Funny thing is, the crowd got a little suspicious and the announcer had some fun with my multiple trips up to the awards area. I ended up being the joke of the awards. We all got a good laugh out of it! What an awesome day. I feel awesome being able to run with my sister and have my husband and boys right there for me. What an amazing feeling! Thanks so much for every one's love and support. You too, Mike!
Love you, T! Thanks so much for doing this with me! 22 minutes, I'm coming to get you next!