I wasn’t expecting to PR.  I just wanted to go out there and give it everything I had, and when I woke up yesterday morning after a tough night with the baby I wasn’t sure what that would be.  But I got to the start line with a smile on my face, ready to run.  The race was small -less than 75 runners in all – on a beautiful but challenging course.  Mostly hilly paved paths in the woods for the first two miles and then the last mile was a pretty steep uphill on a dirt trail (roots and all).

The race wasn’t chip-timed, but there was a clock running.  I started my Garmin when I crossed the start line (about 5 or so seconds after their clock started) and off I went.  I felt good.  Strong.  I was pushing myself, but not so far that I couldn’t maintain my effort.  At mile 1 I looked at my watch: 7:44.  Wow, Jess, you are running faster than you expected.  Keep going.  Mile 2 was full of hills and turns but I felt steady.  At the end of that mile my watch read 8:02.  That is when I thought I might maybe, just maybe, PR.  I didn’t dwell on that though and kept going.  Shortly after that we turned onto a dirt trail in the woods.  BEAUTIFUL….but I made the mistake of not really checking out the course map beforehand.  This last mile was all trail, all up hill.  I loved it, but I wasn’t prepared for it.  One girl near me tripped on a root and fell hard so I stopped to make sure she was ok.  I was worried about her but she told me to go on, so I did (after the race she found me to thank me and tell me she was ok, thank goodness!).  I wanted to be done.  We were running up a steep and what seemed like it would never end hill.  Then we came to the finish, or so I thought.  It was a bit confusing – there were cones and people cheering and I looked down at my watch and it wasn’t timing anymore, I must have hit it accidentally at some point.  I thought the race was over so I stopped and then people said “no — keep going! you are soo close!” WOOOPS.  So around a corner I went and sure enough, THERE was the finish line!  Duh.  I am a big dummy.  I kept running and saw the clock when I crossed, it read 25:16.  A new PR for me by 6 seconds!  Whoa!  Really?!  And if my Garmin had been timing, it would have been even another 5 seconds faster….not to mention that if I hadn’t stopped both for the person who fell and at the faux-finish I would have saved another 30 seconds or so.  Oh well.  A PR is a PR in my book and at 3 months postpartum, you better bet I am pleased.  However, just to be sure, I have already signed up for another 5K in two weeks from now- the one I set my prior PR at actually.  I want another shot.

Today I ran an easy 10 miles at a 10:00 pace with my sister and my buddy Paul.  It was nice.  My legs were a bit heavy and tired from yesterday, but I loved every minute of today’s long run.  When I got home I had messages from a few people.  Yesterday after the race I wasn’t able to hang around for the awards ceremony because I had to get home to feed Gus and get everyone ready for baseball and birthday parties.  Turns out that I won first in my age group of 30-39 year old women!  What a day!

***  Tomorrow I will announce the winner of my first giveaway for Kristin Armstrong’s book Mile Markers.  Enter before midnight tonight if you want to be in the running :o) ***

4 thoughts on “surprises

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