Let's just say this race involved more than one PR. It was part of the =PR= Trophy Series…..and there was another PR
On Saturday I went to the PR store to collect my race shirt, bib with chip, and pin. Picking up the day before has been working out really nicely. I feel less pressure to get to the race so early.
Since it was Mother's Day I ran in honor of my mom but also I wanted to dedicate my race to my friend Mark's mother. I never had a chance to meet her but she must have been an amazing woman. Mark is the person who challenged me to run my first half and because of that I became addicted to racing. Without him I don't think I would still be running. I have found something that I love because of that challenge. So I ran in memory of Mark's mom and I wore pink for her.
This race started and finished at a park. We arrived early and found parking across the street. We didn't want to get stuck behind the course and be unable to get out after I finished. We walked over to the park to find the start line and scope out the scene.
As we were driving in I noticed there was a lane closed already and I noticed that it was on a big hill…yikes! The race was starting with a large hill. I was worried before the race even started.
Once we found the start line we saw a small group of people hanging out waiting for the race to start. After walking around a bit my buddy encouraged me to find a spot to sit so that I didn't waste too much energy….or maybe because he didn't want to stand! We hung out at a picnic table until closer to the start. When the line start growing I hit the bathroom and then I warmed up a little bit after sucking down my GU. Even for a short race I use GU because I can't really stomach anything else before running.
A few minutes before the start my buddy wished me luck and then headed off to find a good viewing spot to see the start of the race. I worked my way up close to the start line. I started off fast….I felt good! I passed quite a few people along the short downhill that lead to the big hill that I had seen on the way in. I was feeling good and kept pressing on up the hill. I ran a rather quick first mile.
Heading into the second mile I slowed down slightly but still ran a good pace. My buddy rushed between roads to catch me just before mile 2. I was feeling great when I saw him and talked to him as I ran by. I told him that I had passed the old lady but I knew based on my pace she was going to catch me soon. There is an old lady that runs for =PR= and I see her at all of the races. I start off fast but she is steady and always catches me and finishes before me. One day I'm going to run slow at the beginning and run with her and see if I can finish the entire thing at her pace. Sure enough after I told him that she was going to catch me I stopped to grab a sip of water and she caught me at 2.16 mile right after the water station.
In the third mile I slowed down quite a bit and fought through a few rolling hills. After finishing the third mile I felt good and knew I only had one mile left. I think all of my longer training runs are really paying off. I knew this race was much shorter than the runs I have been doing.
My buddy made it over to another spot to cheer me on before rushing back to the finish line. I really appreciated all of his support. I ran hard and looked for him at each meeting spot. He knew I was running well because I kept getting to each spot sooner than he expected.
I was closely watching my pace and knew that I was running a PR. I didn't want to let it go so I kept fighting to keep my good pace. There was one final uphill in the last mile but it led to a nice downhill. I fought through the uphill and I let the downhill carry me. I was so happy because I knew if I didn't stop I would definitely get the PR. I felt strong and I was smiling from ear to ear. Near the end I saw a race photographer….As you can see I was very happy…
I rounded the final corner and ran over some speed bumps and sprinted towards the finish line. I definitely wasn't going to miss stopping my watch this time.
As I crossed the finish line and heard my name, I smiled. The race clock and my watch said I had just set a new 4 miler PR!!! I was super excited. I made my way to the water and food as my buddy made his way to me. He had seen me near the finish line but I didn't want to cross over people to get close to him and I didn't want to waste time because I knew I was headed for a good time and every second counted!
Overall I'm extremely pleased. The weather was beautiful and the course was nice. The race was well organized and it was a great run. My longer distance runs are making these shorter races much easier.
My next two races will be 5k's while I start training for my next long race. As much as I need a break I'm ready to keep going for another few months and see if I can do this long summer race.