There is a reason this is my favorite weekend of the year. It brings together everything I love: family, running, and celebration. This year was a little different. My husband was in Belgium. It was a scramble to figure out which kid went where so I could run and Cole could get to his one mile race. Thank goodness for living in the same town as family. My dad and my mother-in-law came to my rescue.
Race day weather was perfect. 40 degrees and sunny at the start warming up to the 60s. I met my mom in the parking lot, and we filled up the time before the race began. With my mind on Richmond, I hadn’t put much thought into this race. I didn’t have a goal. I wanted to run with a light heart and finish happy (which always includes feeling strong in my run). After Crawlin Crab, I needed to redeem myself. My race day confidence needed it.
At the start line, I immediately found a new friend in my corral. We laughed at costumes. We teased that being way up front in corral 2 felt like we were somehow cheating when there were at least a dozen corrals behind us. She asked how fast I was planning on running. She had just returned from her honeymoon and hadn’t ran in weeks. My hope was to see an 8 on my watch for mile pace, and she asked if she could tag along. The more the merrier! I always welcome running buddies!
The course headed straight to the boardwalk. The miles flew by.
Mile 1 – 8:58
Mile 2 – 8:45
Mile 3 – 8:40
I didn’t look at my garmin until Mile 3, and I wish I hadn’t looked. I saw 8:40 and allowed myself to sit comfortably for the next two miles since I was happy with that time. I told myself I would pick it up for the last 1.2 miles.
Mile 4 – 8:49
Mile 5 – 8:46
My new running buddy said she was going to fall back for the final stretch, but thanked me for letting her shadow my run.
Mile 6 – 8:24
Final Stretch – 7:35 pace
Official Race Time: 54:22
Garmin Time: 6.36 54:27 (8:40 pace)
I wasn’t expecting to see anyone along the course this year since Christian was out of town. When I heard my name just before the finish line, I was shocked to see my dad and Cole cheering me on. They gave me a huge burst of energy to knock a few seconds off the race clock. My final kick to the finish line felt amazing. When I saw the 6 mile marker, I knew I had 2/10ths of mile. Two minutes is what I told myself (although not really). I run two-minute intervals in speed training with my coach all the time. I knew I could pick it up and finish strong.
I crossed the finish line smiling from ear to ear. A new PR, a light heart, and a strong run. This run is easily one of the most consistent, evenly paced runs I’ve ever completed. That makes me happy too!
On my recovery run on Sunday, my brain jumped from thought to thought. Mentally I’ve turned a corner in my running. After Shamrock I was so determined to fight for the new goals I had set for myself, I was focusing on where I want to be with my running. I’m nowhere near that goal yet, so mentally it can become exhausting and deflating to constantly feel like you are falling short of a goal. Crawlin Crab was a result of that mind-set. My 16 mile run last week was the turning point – the talk with my husband, all the work I’m doing in Brene Brown’s course, and finally embracing my marathon training – all led to the change. Instead of focusing on where I want to end up, I’m embracing where I’m at right now. The growth I’ve made is proof that I’ll continue to grow (with time and patience) into the person and the runner that can put a check mark next to my dream big goals.
Two years ago, breaking 1 hour in a 10k seemed like a far stretch. One year ago, I shocked myself with a 56 minute finish at the Wicked 10k. I thought that PR would be impossible to break because that race was a perfect race. This year I crossed the finish line in 54 minutes with a rather conservative output (I need more race experience with the 10k!!). Progress! I’m moving forward and that makes me so happy.
How did my mom do this year? AMAZING! She left everything on the course and came in at 1:25. I went back and found her after my run and ran a few blocks with her. She was exhausted and giving it everything she had. I hope she knows that the fight I have in me (that she praises all the time) came from her. I saw it in action on Saturday. My happy, happy mom was on the course fighting to make herself proud (and her family too!).
Cole also invited me to run the Monster Mile with him. That fight that my mom has inside her, Cole has it inside him too. Once we made our way around all the cute toddlers on the course, the boy flew. His run pace was a 7:17 mile. I had a hard time keeping up with him. When the finish line came in sight, I told him it was right in front of him. I was probably encouraging myself more than I was encouraging him. He told me he saw it, and he wasn’t slowing down. Official Race time for him was 8:49. Maybe next year another little monster of mine will be on the race course too!
Happy is the only word I can find that does justice to how I feel about this race, my running, and life lately. Giving myself permission to live with a light heart has truly impact everything in my day to day life!
19 days until the Richmond Marathon!!!
Read more race reports here too:
The super fast fun loving Hollie’s Report (She’s running New York this weekend too!)