I ran the Adairville Strawberry Festival 5K this morning in the town where I spent the first 18 years of my life and where my parents and many aunts and uncles still reside. The three kids and I made it an overnight trip. They camped out in Nanny and Papaw's living room in sleeping bags while my four year old and I took the guest room. My four year old is a very restless sleeper and very pointy, apparently, so little sleep was gotten with knees, elbows, and little feet in my back most of the night. It was so hot (they won't turn on the AC before June), but she had to sleep as close as humanly possible.
This morning a cool front came through and it was PERFECT RUNNING WEATHER. It was 50 degrees around 7 a.m. with a breeze and sunshine. I could not have asked for a more perfect running day. I tried not to put too much pressure on myself to beat the PR I had in August. After a month of not-so-great runs and races, I figured it was pretty much impossible. I just said to myself, "I'll do the best I can in this race on this day." And I did.
I goofed up my Garmin at the start and must have missed the start button because about 20 seconds in, I looked down and it was still on 00:00. Hmmm. I actually smiled at that, knowing it would help me NOT to stress as much about my time since I would only know my approximate time and mileage. My first mile was around an 8:57 pace. I was careful to hold back a little in this mile and not mess up and go out way too fast. It was only a little too fast. My goal was 9 to 9:05 pace, but I was running blindly, as I just said....
In mile 2, my mind wandered a bit and I got off pace. There were also a couple of hills and a water stop. 9:18 pace. I wanted to DEFINITELY keep things under a 9:30 pace, preferably under 9:15, but whatev. When my split popped up on the screen, I missed it, so I didn't know I had done mile 2 quite so slowly. Mile 3 was a fairly strong one. We had the last hill in the first .25, then the rest was flat. (Cute sign on the course: NO MORE HILLS!). I was giving it most of what I had (can't say I gave it ALL I had, but close). I tried to really pick up the pace the last 1/2 mile. Pace 9:05 for mile 3. Pace for .11 7:36. It all averaged out to a 9:05 pace overall. 28:10 finish time-- 10 seconds from a PR. But that's ONLY 10 SECONDS FROM A PR. I'm happy.
Then my two older kids did the 1-mile fun run for children ages 4 to 12. I coached them not to go out too fast. My son took off crazy fast, I couldn't catch up to him. After about 1/10 of a mile I caught up to my daughter. I ran the rest with her. She only walked about 4 times for just 8 or 10 seconds each. She finished in 10:18. She got first place in the 7-9 year old age group and was the youngest in the group! One 9-year-old was right on our tails at the finish, but we held her off! I was so proud of her and she was so proud of herself.
My son also had a great race. He placed 4th OVERALL, and ran an 8:05 pace! No wonder I couldn't catch him! I can't run an 8:05 pace for a mile that I know of (but I'm sure going to try. We have a little mother/son race coming up soon). He got 1st easily in his age group, males 7 to 9. I thought he was going out too fast, but it turns out it was just fast enough. He ran his little 9-year-old heart out. At the finish line, he just lay down on the grass and said he felt sick. I knew he'd left it ALL out there. **He's already faster than me. How much longer until he's TALLER than me, too??**
It was a GOOD DAY. I wound up with 3rd in the 35-39 age group, the kids both won door prizes (toys), and we got to hang out where I grew up.
I wore my new Zensah compression socks and many people asked me about them. I was hoping they'd make me run faster as promised in this month's Runner's World. Maybe they did! Who knows what the results would have been without them?
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! I enjoyed taking mine out to dinner last night and seeing her at the finish line today!