This morning, I actually woke up before my alarm went off! Did my normal pre-race routine, got DBF out of bed (he apparently had been snoozing for 20+ minutes) and we drove down to the "Run the Ville" meeting spot across from Waterfront Park.
There was a total of 7 of us (my favorite number!) that met up in the dark parking lot, and we took off toward the start line, which was a little over a mile away. Because this race started downtown, we had to deal with a little early morning traffic and traffic lights. Two people in our group ended up getting stuck at a light and DBF and I told the rest of the group that we were going to wait for them, in case they weren't sure how to get to the start. The activity really picked up once we turned from Muhammad Ali onto 4th Street! It was pretty exciting with all of the runners standing around and the music playing!
Of course, as usual, I had to potty so I ran over to the port-a-pots. OMG last year the line was nearly non-existent. This year, it was incredible. I promised myself 10 minutes to stand in line and no more because Tom and Joey had promised to wait at a specific spot for me (Thanks Tom!) until I got back. I didn't want to take too long and put them in a difficult position. So I left without actually going to the bathroom, which goes against everything I hold dear! LOL It was an entertaining wait, though. Funny people in line to talk to and someone actually opened the door on a man in one of the Pots--he was a GREAT sport about it and when he came out, everybody cheered!
I made it back through the unbelievably massive crowds and somehow managed to find the crew. Within minutes, the race started and off we went--sorta. The crowd was so big that we actually had a little bit of that start fast/stop motion going on. I knew that I was going to have to subtract about 6 minutes from the clock time to have my actual time.
Once everybody started to spread out more on wide Broadway, I was trying to figure out what to do with the jacket I had with me--the jacket that I never intended to wear during the race (I never ran into any family or friends to actually have them hold it before the race). So when we started, I still had it and I didn't even have a good place to drop it because there were just too many people around. About 1/4 mile into the race, Joey and I were still running together and we saw a homeless man on the side of the road. I decided to run back to him and give him my jacket. Sure, it's too small for him but I figured he'd find SOMETHING to do with it. I'd rather him have it then the garbage can anyway.
Mile 1 was nice because I was with Joey for a good part of it. I tried to concentrate on finding a comfortable and challenging pace to run for the duration of the 6.2 miles. I found that pace and stayed with it for about 2 miles--there was a man that was running the same pace as me and we ran side by side during this time. I wish I could tell him thanks--he helped me to keep pushing myself--at least until we got to the first real hill and even though I wanted to push it hard, I stayed more conservative. The guy in the navy shirt ended up pulling ahead just a bit. And I never really caught up to him again. But thanks "navy shirt" man!
When mile 3 approached, I was a little tired but I felt confident to be at the halfway mark. When we turned the corner at KT's Restaurant, I saw several spectators and I was still hoping to see Mom someplace! I looked ahead and see her red coat on the corner--she's looking for me! I start waving but she didn't see me for a few seconds. I was so happy to see her there!!!! When I approahced the next water stop, I took some water in and walked for about 30 seconds to get my focus back. I got right back into it and continued to run as smoothly as I could.
The Mile 5 marker was the turning point for me in this race. My goal for this race was sub 1:05:00, a reasonable time for me, I thought. I was pretty sure that even though I just ran a sub-30 5K two weeks ago, I wouldn't be able to keep that pace for the 6.2 miles. I wanted a challenging but reasonable goal, and I thought that was it. But when I saw the clock time at mile 5, it read 54:xx. I subtracted my 6 minutes and thought--WOW, I COULD POSSIBLY RUN A SUB 1 HOUR 10K!!! It had NEVER crossed my mind that I would even be ABLE to do that, much less shoot for it. But when I saw that clock time, I said "*%&$ it! I'm going to try it!"
There was a group of guys holding up signs for 1-800-GOT-JUNK on the side of the course and when I passed them, I said "Do you guys take junk in your trunk?" LOL Then there were spectators with cowbells and although I knew I hadn't been the first to say it, I couldn't help but scream "MORE COWBELL!!" That interaction helped pump my adrenaline up enough and for about 3/4 mile, I felt fast and strong and even more confident in my ability to run this race faster than I imagined!
Mile 6 popped up and the clock read just over 1:04:00. I thought CRAP--there's no way I'll make it. I actually slowed down a bit--because I didn't think I could make it and also because I knew the hill at the finish was approaching and I wanted to conserve energy! Then I heard a man yell at his friend, "Oh yeah, you got this in under an hour! You could run this under an hour on vacation!" I thought to myself, "DAMMIT STRANGER MAN, YOU'RE RIGHT!" So I didn't let up. I picked it up. I started passing people. I turned the corner and cut a girl off. Sorry. I took off down the straightaway toward the finish and just focused on FINISHING FAST! I rarely sprint to the finish but I did the best I could today! LOL
When I crossed, I didn't even look at the clock time. I looked at my Garmin, which read 59:42. I don't have the official chip time yet but I know that it's going to be close to that, if not dead on. I was overwhelmed with pride for myself and I was just so happy! Unfortunately, there wasn't a soul that I recognized around there, so I was all alone with nobody to share that joy with!
Everybody from RTV did EXTREMELY WELL! Tom is increasing his speed and man, I'm impressed. Joe always finishes with a great time! Lee is the beast of the group, and he did great as usual! Joey came through with a GREAT time, thanks in part to Christian's support during the race. Christian did extremely well and man, we should all be soooo proud! I'm proud of everybody! I hope that our strong performances today help out with the overall team placement in the Triple Crown Team challenge! GO US! I think we'll place better today than we did at the 5K, honestly! We just know how to push ourselves! We also know how to push ourselves over to the Panera Bread for breakfast. We had a nice and relaxed breakfast--we started out quiet but we had good conversation as time went on. I felt like I was stuffing myself silly. LOL
Overall, another GREAT race and I'm so pumped up that I PR'd so well! I shaved nearly 15 minutes off of last year's time for this same race, and that sure does give me something to be proud of!