I’m sorry to say, but for those of you reading, this one is a little boring. It was, however, a race I chose for the purpose of visiting family I hadn’t seen since I made the big move. I was extra excited for this one.
Continuing with the same training plan, I had few problems this time around. I didn’t have any “break through” runs, but I didn’t have any terrible setbacks either. Making a move to a quieter part of San Diego during this cycle, my long runs included some pretty nice hills to climb. Climbing was fun and it made my legs feel much more powerful. Again, I felt as though I could qualify at this race, but my training times were iffy.
Charlotte, North Carolina – I liked the city. It reminded me of Akron. The race numbers were small, and the expo tiny, but that was okay. I was just really glad to be there. Race morning I got dropped off by some of my family and had about thirty minutes to sit and watch the other runners get excited (and yes, I made sure I went pee). Even though it wasn’t my own hometown, that was the vibe I got from the people. This was not a destination race. It was a community of runners with hometown pride. Time to run! There were no pace groups, so it was up to me to figure out my timing. Did I mention I never race with a watch? Oh well. I felt good, and this was going to be a good race.
I kept my pace steady, enjoying the scenery and neighborhoods the course took us through. The course was mild with very few inclines. There were cheer stations all along the way that competed with each other. I later found out that the runners voted post-race which cheer group was the best. I doubt I will ever run a race that’s “better” than Akron, but this was a close second.
Staying strong through mile 20, I had no issues – nutrition, hydration, and pee statuses were all in check. I began to leap frog another female runner who looked to be in my age group. It was on. We ran in silence for a few miles before she finally asked, “What’s your goal?” “To beat you!” I immediately shouted in my head before casually responding with, “Oh whatever, better than before. How about you?” I taunted back. “Oh ya know, same here.” Translation: “To beat you!” It was obvious we understood each other. We said nothing else as we continued to race and she began to pull away for good by mile 24. My legs were tired and I couldn’t push anymore. She beat me.
I knew I was slowing, but I still felt okay and was unaware of my time. I saw my family at the finish and heard them cheering me on. I sped up to get one final burst in before crossing the finish line at 3:36. The definition of “Ugh.”
Post race I met up with my family and was feeling fine, just a little disappointed. I say a little only because I was thankful to be with family, thankful that I didn’t end up in the medical tent, and thankful that even though I didn’t qualify, it was still a PR.
I came in second place at the family pancake eating contest the next morning. My brother won, but his stomach is a food-vanishing vortex that can never be satisfied. But second place, paired with a much better race, was enough to convince those who were worried about anorexia to worry no more. I could, and did eat enough.
All in all, it was a good race. I had peace knowing Boston was coming – soon.
David Crowder Band – I Am a Seed