It took me a while to decide that I was really going to do this race. I decided I would do it for fun and not push myself for a PR.
I got up early on Sunday to make sure I had time to start cooking a meal for my mom. I put it in the crockpot before we headed off to the race. I’ve done this race for the past couple of years and I know it’s not too many people. I also know the best place to park so I was more relaxed than I am for other races. We got there about an hour early and I walked around to warm up. I said hello to a couple of friends and did a little bit of jogging and stretching.
Right before the race I headed to the start line and tried to get near the front since I knew there would be plenty of walkers in this race. It didn’t take long and we were off. There is a little downhill at the beginning and I took off to get out to the main road.
And then the hills start. I actually like the uphill in the beginning of the race because it helps me avoid starting too fast. I picked a lady in front of me and followed her up the hill. She was a nice strong runner and it really helped me to focus on her.
The next road feels long with little ups and downs. I just kept chugging along. I saw my buddy and told him I was planning to slow down. It was warm and humid and I didn’t want to over do it.
I slowed down a bit and got some water around the half way point. I made my way to the next turn and just kept running. I was trying to have fun along the way and enjoy racing.
I ran to the next spot where I would see my buddy. He was glad that I had slowed down because he needed the time to get to that spot.
I made my way to the final turn and the last big hill. I did what I could to chug up the hill and then I enjoyed the downhill that followed. I made the turn back into the park and tried to pick up the pace. I encouraged people around me who appeared to be struggling and I fed off the ones who were doing well.
I headed in for a strong finish.
I looked for water and than ran back to start looking for some friends. I wanted to help them finish. I ran back along the course cheering and giving high fives. It was so much fun. I found my friends and ran with them to the end. I tried to keep encouraging them to finish strong.
I love these small races. Even when I’m not racing hard or going for a PR I have a blast. The races are organized and start on time. And there is always plenty of food…for everyone! I didn’t even stop for food until after I went back for my friends and there was still plenty left. I’ve met so many people between training and racing that I almost always know someone at these races and I can actually find them since there aren’t too many people! I’m looking forward to doing more of these this year!