First and foremost, HUGE congratulations to everyone who ran! Conditions were rough but everyone looked awesome!
I had no idea how this was gonna go down. When it's not a goal race and it's not something you've specifically trained for and you ran 22 miles a few days before, personally, I think it's hard to tell how you'll run. And sometimes that's okay. Sometimes that's actually better. I had a goal time in mind but was looking for a pr more than anything.
Let me just put out there that I tripped and fell during my warm up with Amy (who was the coolest person ever yesterday and picked up my race packet for me!). So. Yeah. That happened. But nothing, beside a bit of my pride, broke so no worries there!
I ran the race with Kim (most of the way at least!) and we had a very smart and solid run. We started out close to the front with Katie Blackett and two other girls in front of us. We picked off the two other girls within the first three miles and stayed a pretty consistant distance behind Katie for the first half. We had a nice little pack to run with and help block the wind... which got to be really really really really strong. The first 9 miles went by very nicely and I was really encouraged to see how effortlessly we seemed to be clicking them off. I felt really strong until about a half mile later when the wind seemed to pick up A LOT and there was a lot more uphill than downhill. I almost immediately felt the fatigue hit me and it felt like I was trying to run up a cliff. Putting that much effort in and then glancing at my Garmin to see I got knocked back to a 6:56 pace war pretty rough. I was able to push through the wind well enough but not enough to keep up with Kim. She's been such a strong runner and SO great to have on the team! She got out of our pack and I decided to stay with them. The last two miles were so hard! But somehow they still seemed to be going by really quickly. The $*!!!#@ 8th Avenue Viaduct Bridge was just as hard as I recalled and it slowed me down a ton on the uphill section. But once it flattened out I felt recovered and ready for the last half mile. The wind made my splits go all over the place so I wasn't sure how my finishing time would look but (whew!) I got done in 1:23:36 (or so... those seconds are always a bit off). I was shooting for a 1:22 but with the conditions I am very content with my time. VERY content. I'm also really excited that I came in third (Katie was first, Kim was second - um, sound like the Snowman Stampede at all??) because I had a really hard time here last year. Our team had a great showing! Matt Kempton (who wasn't even sure if he was gonna race 4 days ago) snagged 2nd place for the men and it seemed like everyone I talked to had a strong race and a pr! We also, as usual, had the biggest and best aid station ever! Volunteers wrote messages in sidewalk chalk on the course so our team had tons of encouragement and it was such a fun suprise! Check out all the great Runner's Roost folks out there this morning (ha ha also check out Kyle in the back row being extra tall - if he's jumping he's got some hops!):
Somehow I got lucky enough to have TWO chalk messages (the first one was fantastic but this was my favorite):
And here's Kim and I about to make a move for 2nd and 3rd place (which we held for mile 2.1 til the finish -go us!):
Such a great morning! The post-race gathering was also cool - it's so nice to hang out with your team, drink some beers and just relax after a ton of hard work. Plus, today we got to do a little birthday celebrating for Philip and Oza (which of course means time with Oza's way-too-cute-for-words kids who are seriously such a treat to hang out with!)
I am really excited for our team and really looking forward to the rest of the season. I'm about a month out from my marathon... I'm having days where I question my fitness and then days where I feel amazing. Luckily the amazing days are becoming much more frequent and this particular race was just what I needed. So Cleveland: IT'S ON!