So, I've never actually run a virtual race before and wasn't exactly sure the best way to go about it. As you may have read in my previous posts, my biggest dilemma was choosing the best possible course. Late last night I finally decided on a 6 mile loop with the thought that I'd do a little warm up, run the race, then cool down with what was left of the loop.
Jonny woke up to nurse at 3am instead of his usual 4:30/5ish time. When I had him back to bed at 3:30 it was way too early to head out, so I curled up on the couch and set my phone alarm for 4:40. When it went off, I snoozed for 5 minutes. When it went off again, I snoozed for 5 more minutes before finally giving in and getting up. I woke Jonny up to feed him again before I headed out (wanted to make sure he was happy while I was gone, plus runs always go better if I nurse right before running... much less bounce). After I put him back to bed and got ready, I finally got out the door just before 5:30.
The weather was cold and drizzly but not too unpleasant. I felt pretty good and was glad that I had decided to add a warm up run into my race instead of just jumping right into it. I tried to go fairly slow to get going . My warm up was a little over a mile and half at just under 9 min pace. When I got to the "start line" I stretched out for a bit, reset my Nike Sportband and took off. There was some crazy lady "camping out" behind an electrical box that yelled something at me that sounded like "watch your form"... weird.
Anyway, I have a tendency to start out fairly quickly when racing with others... I'm a little too competitive sometimes and have a hard time letting people go. So running by myself, I couldn't compare myself to anyone, I just had to go for me. I tried to find a pace that was comfortably uncomfortable (does that make any sense?).
The first mile was really pretty rough. I couldn't get in a groove and was thinking way too much... mostly negative thoughts. I kept checking my pace and my distance, not a good thing to do. I felt like I was going really fast but when I checked in at the 1 mile mark I was at 8:26, which although not exactly slow, wasn't what I was looking for in a race pace.
After the first mile, I wouldn't let myself check my time anymore. I just relaxed into the run, found my pace and took off. Once I got into my groove, everything fell into place. I stopped worrying about how fast I was going and tried to enjoy myself and take in the scenery. I couldn't believe how many people were out this morning. Usually I see 1-2 people max, but there were tons out there today, lots of dogs too. Anyway, I digress...
At the 3 mile mark I passed the same crazy lady, who this time, said something along the lines of "you'd be better off walking"... gotta love early morning transient hecklers. I probably would've felt better walking, but the end was in sight, so I gave what I had and sprinted to the "finish line", which ended up being up a little hill. (Kind of funny considering how much I tried to avoid any hills.)
I was hopping for a 26ish time, into my run I was figuring it would be closer to a 28, but much to my surprise when I checked my final time it was 23:28. I was really surprised. I ended up averaging 7:34 pace and it felt good. Okay, it didn't really feel good, it actually felt quite bad while I was doing it, but it feels good now to have done it.
I'm really glad I signed up to run the race. I had a lot of fun doing it and am glad that I could donate to such a great cause. (You can still donate to Tall Mom's account if you're so inclined, just click here.)
Sorry, no post race photos. (All you get is the pre-race photo at the top of the page... kind of look a bit sleepy and the screen shot of my time.) By the time I was finished with my cool down and returned home, my entire house was awake and the day was underway.
Wow, that was really long. If you actually read this whole thing I have to give you huge props. I think I need to work on my brevity...