|Ready for our races in our light up skirts.|
I kept my eyes ahead and counted that Jeremy was in 4th place overall and I was in 5th. We were both slowly catching the guy running in 3rd place. I went through mile 3 in 7:13 and started calculating how much under pace I was. I knew I was 30 seconds under pace so I could run the last 3 miles in 7:25 pace and still be at 7:15 pace. I felt great at the turn around and slowed a little to drink my water. Shortly after the turn around Jeremy moved into 3rd and I also passed the guy who had been running in 3rd. I checked my overall time at the half-way point and was excited that I might be able to run under 44 minutes if I had a strong second half of the race. I knew the 4th mile was always the hardest for me at this race because there's a slight uphill and the race is so thinned out, I have no one to run with. I felt like I was maintaining pace and was a bit disappointed to see I went through mile 4 in 7:21 which was 6 seconds over goal pace. I didn't feel especially tired at that point, I just slowed that mile mostly due to running alone. I didn't notice the inclines much at all during the race but I did notice all the downhills and would get excited knowing they were helping me speed up. I hadn't noticed running uphill on the way out but during mile 5 I realized I was running a very mild downhill for most of the mile. I could see Jeremy closing the gap on the guy in 2nd and I knew he'd catch him by the time we made it to the 5k turn around where we'd have to start weaving around the 5k runners.
I felt great and was really cruising downhill. I continued to smile and thank all the police officers out on the course. I could see I was closing the gap between me and Jeremy a little bit but I knew I couldn't catch up to him, so I just focused on looking ahead at him and his light up vest. I was hoping the guy he was running with would fall back and I could catch him, I knew Jeremy would just keep speeding up and maybe he'd wear the other guy out. I went through mile 5 in 6:55 and was excited to be back under 7 minute pace. I also knew the last mile is mostly uphill so I'd likely be significantly over 7:00 pace for it. I could feel the incline but it wasn't as bad as last year when I just died during the last mile and really struggled. I passed mom and she cheered for me as I cheered for her which was fun. I tried to kick it in as much as I could but I wasn't gaining on the guy in front of me anymore so I was losing my spirit a little. I tried not to give in and coast but I sure wanted to! I went through mile 6 in 7:08. Then as I turned the corner and saw the finishing lights ahead I really started to kick it in. I ran the last portion of the race in 6:52 pace. I felt like I could have sprinted faster but they had put fresh gravel down in some sections of the trail and the finish was one of them so it was hard to keep your footing. Some of the gravel chunks were really big, more like rock size so it was tricky. As I neared the finish I saw I was going to be over 44 minutes but I knew I'd be well under my time of 45:15 from last summer at this time and I was with a time of 44:14! I was pleased and thought, not a bad time for the off season and on this course. I never run particularly well on this course. It's just a little slower with the gravel and the races here are always small so I end up running mostly alone.
|Jeremy held the guy off.|