Imagine the fastest pace that you can run. Ok, now imagine holding that pace for 46 minutes and you'll basically understand what I did last Saturday. It was kinda painful. I may have said a few "mormon" swears under my breath during the race to express how I really felt.
You'd think that with the amount of races I've done I would know how important pacing is. It's just that running a road race feels "new-ish" to me because I've been so absorbed by triathlons for the last 6 years. Plus this is a really short distance for me, so it was tough to know what pace I could actually hold.
Only about 100 competitors felt like a small group. We all lined up and I was chatting with a couple girls waiting when the gun shot took us by surprise. I ran off and just kept with the top group, just behind "the girl in the blue top". There was one other girl out front of us but she didn't look like much of a runner, so I figured she'd drop off soon enough and I didn't need to worry about her (I know, I'm judging...but I was right). I looked down at my watch and was like, "oh man, we're holding a 4 min/km pace". I didn't mean to start out that fast but I felt good at the time and wanted to stick with the lead females, so I held the pace. At about 4km we ran up 'Temple Hill' holding a sub 5min/km pace and I totally killed my legs doing that. I was still behind "the blue shirt girl" but another chick had managed to pass us both and was incrementally increasing her lead.
I wanted to take the female lead on the downhill and tried to will my legs to do so but they would not cooperate. They felt like lead and didn't want to "fly" with me. So we chugged. At least it felt like chugging but it was still a fast pace. At about 8 km I had some good self talk. "Ok Kim. I know you have hardly anything left but remember Hawaii. Remember what you did there. Dig down deep and find some more. You have to leave it all on this course or you're going to be disappointed with yourself." So I found another gear and picked up my pace enough to finally pass the "blue shirt girl". The lead female was only a couple hundred meters ahead of us, so in a spirit of camaraderie, I said to my blue-shirt friend, "come on, let's catch her." I guess in my head I figured that if we worked at it together, it might be possible. Apparently she didn't have another gear to find because I just carried on right past her.
I tried to catch that lead girl but realized that it just wasn't going to happen and decided that 2nd place female was pretty darn good. I kept looking over my shoulder to make sure that 2nd place didn't become 3rd place. I tried to sprint but it was probably really ugly and awkward. Understandable, since I had basically been sprinting for 10 km. At the finish line I asked Adam, "how did you do?" between gasps for air. He showed me his watch which had been paused at 39 minutes and said, "good, I got second. I just couldn't catch this old guy in front of me." I was like, "sweet, we both got second." It's really a good thing because we would have been a little jealous of the other person if one of us had won. Maybe next year we'll take first.
I know I've said it before but I'll say it again. Sometimes I stand outside my life and look at it with interest. Two years ago when I was 'training' for the Magrath triathlon I only ran 10km twice because it just hurt so much to do it and I really just preferred the classes at the gym. It has been a miracle to me to watch how with consistent training my fitness has improved exponentially. It makes me believe in goals, growth, change and miracles. I've realized that I have far less limits than I thought I had. You do too!
The family reunion was a tonne of fun. I love Adam's family like my own. One highlight was the giant slip and slide...