The night before the race yesterday was not very restful at all! Surprisingly, this was not because of my nervousness which usually plagues me the night before long runs or races. Instead, this was because of daylight savings time happening, my sister and I not getting back from having dinner with friends until late, my nephews waking up 3 times during the night, and the smoke detector going off randomly (no, it wasn’t low on batteries) equaling 4 1/2 hours of sleep total. I don’t function well just doing regular tasks the next day after sleep like this let alone doing any sort of exercise. Yes, I’m old at 26 and need my sleep! My mood shifted as my sis and I stepped outside and saw this beautiful sunrise.
This is one of the main reasons why I love Albuquerque. It is sunrises like this. They just bring a sense of calm over me and wake me up at the same time for some reason.
After 45 minutes of driving to the race start and picking up our packets and timing chips, we met up with one of my best friends, Jessica, and hung out in the car for a while. It was 32 degrees out. And I brought shorts to run in.
Here we were right before the race. Jessica and I were running the 10 miler, and my sister ran the 5K. What was I thinking wearing shorts?!!!
After standing out in the wind freezing out butts off for a while and joking around, the gun went off 15 minutes late, and we were running! I told Jessica that I would run with her for at least part of the race. She is just getting into running, and I’m so happy that she loves it as much as I do! She actually has her first half marathon the same day as my Paris Marathon in April! I’m so excited for her!
The first mile was very fast (8:53) for the pace that we were aiming for (9:30). Jessica likes to refer to this as the “herd effect.” When the gun goes off, it is mass chaos, your adrenaline is flowing, and people take off like a herd of antelope being chased by a lion! Then, you settle into your own pace after about the first mile. I love it! Very scientific, Jessica!
Back to the race: The wind was blowing so hard, and it was so cold that it just chilled you to the core. I was cursing the fact that I brought my very thin headband to run in instead of my nice warm one still sitting on my kitchen counter in Germany. By 2.5 miles in, my ears were hurting so bad (I had a lot of ear infections when I was younger, and it has made my ears supersensitive to the cold). The route led us off the road onto a powdery dirt trail. The mountains were covered with clouds at the top beckoning me to run in them or just stop and stare at the beauty. My legs felt fine (especially perky after running 16 miles on Friday and 7 on Saturday), and I just focused on being there for Jessica.
She is not a talker and prefers to just listen to her music when she runs. I used to be like that, but now I can just run with myself, talk to someone else, or listen to my music. I don’t take it personally at all when someone, especially one of my best friends, doesn’t want to to talk. I did however, try to encourage her out on the trail. I have no idea whether she was annoyed or what, but I told her to tell me to go away when I got too annoying. 😉 She wasn’t quite annoyed enough yet, and we kept chugging along. People kept passing us. I’m used to people passing me in races, but usually I pass some people too. We were not passing anyone! I told myself, no, I’m running with Jessica. Don’t let this bother you!
Around mile 5, our pace slowed down quite a bit. Jessica’s achilles heal started bothering her. I tried to comfort her with little sayings that I use in my spin class, but I’m sure she wanted to punch me in the face at that point with all of my positivity (and I was running backwards talking to her, hehe).
At mile 6, a guy with a hunch back and a limp had passed us again, and I tried to contain myself from sprinting ahead. I think that Jessica could sense my restlessness and said that I should just go ahead. I asked her if she was sure and if she minded, and she said to just go. I took off like a bat out of hell.
First goal: pass the hunchback limper–check.
pass the yellow shirt guy who kept walking– check.
pass the chick in big puffy jacket- check.
One by one, I started picking off people in front of me. This was an extremely hilly WINDY course, and I was thankful that all my hill running in Germany paid off! I cranked up the music, focused on not fighting gravity on the downhills, and pumping my arms going up hills (Thanks babe, for the advice!).
I passed the finish line at 1:31:53 . My sis forgot that I was wearing my red windbreaker over my blue long sleeve shirt and didn’t get my camera out in time. So here I am with water and red freezing legs after the race!
So I was curious to see how I placed today, and I peeked on their website! The first place girl in my age group ran the 10 miles in 1:28:55, and I placed 4th with my time (just about a 3 minute difference). I was so close to placing and had no idea! I don’t regret it though because I had fun running with Jessica during the first part of the race! There will be other small races like this one where I might have a chance of placing! I love small races, by the way! They are so much more laid back!
And later that day…
Ending with a beautiful sunset…
How was your weekend? Any races?