The pre-race dedication, moment of silence, national anthem, and dance team routine seemed to take forever considering it was in the mid-30s, but eventually "The Final Countdown" (awesome) came on and we were off.
I waffled a bit on a plan for this race... I haven't been particularly excited about running in general, my knee has been killing me since City of Oaks, and I have a marathon in 10 days so I thought it might be wise to take it relatively easy and run at or near goal marathon pace. On the other hand, it is a race, Ellen and Allie were going to be running 7:20ish so I could potentially have company, and my dad said "if you're going to run, run hard." So I opted for the latter and decided to try to stick with Allie and Ellen.
I checked my watch right after the start, and at a quarter mile I was running 6:20-something pace, so I figured running with the girls might not be an option after all. I slowed a bit and fortunately they did too, and I caught up to come through the first mile in 7 flat. After that we settled in to a comfortable pace fluctuating in the 7:20s and 7:30s, which seemed perfectly fine with me given the hilly course.
Somewhere into mile 2, the lead runners were coming back at us already, and we cheered for Bex as she went by in 3rd place for women. A few seconds later I realized that didn't seem right - the turnaround was supposed to be just before mile 3. As I wondered if they'd changed the course, we came into a traffic circle where the lead pack had gone around and headed back and a few people began to shout that we needed to go right. So right we went, realizing all of the leaders had followed the cyclist's error and would be a couple miles short of their 13.1.
Thankfully we stayed on course, through some really nice neighborhoods and over way too many hills. My knee had really bothered me for the first few miles, but was feeling a bit better on the uphill and flat sections. We made it to the second turnaround at mile 10 just under 1:15, and started down a fairly steep hill. The knee pain got quite a bit worse at that point, and though I really wanted to speed up with Allie and Ellen for the last 5k, I just couldn't push myself to do it. Once there was a little space between us, I was pretty much on my own, tired, with very annoying knee pain, and just ready for the race to be over. The nice part of the out and back parts of the course was that I was able to see several of my other friends who were also out running, and their encouragement, plus seeing Monte at mile 12, really helped that last part seem less lonely. Though I wasn't able to speed up, I did manage to not slow down, and finished in 1:38:25 (7:30 average pace). With the top few women DQ'ed because they were sent the wrong way, Ellen ended up 3rd overall, Allie was 4th, and I finished 6th. I'm sure B will have more on that in her race report!
|Cutest medal ever|
|Happy to see Crit back out there!|
|Santa wished me a Merry Christmas on Thanksgiving :)|