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!