This morning I woke feeling well rested and nervous for the Cobble Hill 10k race. It was the second race in the series out of 8. For those who know me nerves are always a part of my racing but I take it as a good thing. Nerves make me run and motivate me to give the race my best effort.
The day was overcast but it wasn’t raining or windy. It was a nice morning to be out for a run.
I got up and had my typical pre-race breakfast of toast with peanut butter and a banana. I know that if I have that for breakfast I will feel good, it doesn’t weight me down or have that feeling of heavy when I run. Do you have a typical pre-race breakfast?
When I arrived at the school in Cobble Hill where the race was taking place I started to head inside to get my number and find a place to put my things. Before I got in the school I met Damian. He and I had chatted over Twitter lately about running and I knew he was going to be at the race so it was nice to have a face to face meet. And I see from Twitter that congrats are in order for him and a PB today in the race.
Once I had my things placed in the school, I went out to do my warm up and was feeling good. I said hello and chatted with a few familiar faces that I have met from the run club and also from doing this Island Series last year. I am enjoying getting to meet new people and am having a different experience this year with the series than I did last year. I am on my own meeting people because Warren is away with work but it is good for me and I look forward to meeting more runners as the series goes on. And it means, when he is back and running next year he will have some new people to meet.
We all headed to the start line and my heart started pounding faster as the announcer said we had 30 seconds til go time. Ugh. My watch was set with last years race time, 43:19, and I was ready to give it my best shot. Away we went, a swarm of runners but after a few minutes we started to stagger and all was good.
Mae, a friend and fellow runner, was close by and I could see her in front of me. She and I typically run around the same pace so I knew if I could keep up with her I should be ok. We usually play a bit of cat and mouse when we run but today after the 3 or 4k mark, she gave me a high five as she passed and then she stayed in front of me. It was a struggle to catch her.
I found today I had to ‘talk’ to myself a lot to get me through the run. I corrected my posture and thought about my legs and my body. I had made a new play list on my iPod and called it Cobble Wobble but it wasn’t helping to motivate. Today I was on my own. I was the one who had to get me through it. I had some encouraging words from Warren and Grace over text messages that I tried to remember but it ended up being me and the people I was running against that got me to the finish.
When I reached the 7k mark of the race I looked at my watch and I had 12:40 mins or so left and I still had 3k to the finish. I know my body and I know that I don’t run 4 minute kilometers so I was in for a long and fast 3k. I picked up my pace, or what felt like I was picking it up and I started finding girls in front of me to pass or at least catch up to. I could still see Mae and Rich, from run club in front of me and I wanted to catch them if I could.
I reached the 1k marker and I had 3:49 on my watch. Like I said above…I don’t run 4 minute kilometers so running 1k in less than 4 minutes was going to be tough. But away I went, one girl passed, two, and then a few guys. I was giving it all I had. I was just rounding the corner and headed to the finish line when I caught up with Rich. He runs a faster pace then me but he said to me ‘Stick with me and we will get you to the finish.’ I was breathing hard but I did as he said. I needed his help cause my legs were tired. As we ran I didn’t say anything but he kept encouraging me. I listened as he told me to give it all I had at the marker.I hit the 100m marker and took off. My legs were not liking me but I only had 100m. I could see the time on the clock as I ran towards it and could see I didn’t beat last years time but I also knew that I left it all out on the pavement. I ran the race in 43:32 and was only 13 seconds slower than last year. I am happy with my time and placed 8th in my age group. I feel good about my run.
A huge thank you to Rich who helped me to the finish. It meant a lot that he did that even though he was racing. It is nice that even though we are all running against one another that we still help out fellow runners.
Have you ever helped out a fellow runner? Do you think you might next time you race?