Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Race Running Recap!

I ran in an 8km race Sunday. (Pause for applause to dissipate) This was a pretty freaking cool experience.

I’m pretty sure my GPS took me the LONG way to the race, because while I left in plenty of time, I got there what felt like *just* before the time I was supposed to get my race bib.

I got my number and met up with the rest of team #yyjrun. Said hello to everyone and then someone said “Ok, let’s go for a warm up!” I ended up following them on what felt like a 5km jog – joking the entire way “Um, don’t you guys wanted me to finish the actual race?” I was feeling really nervous about not having the energy for this run because 8km is a LONG RUN for me.
I wasn’t going to say my goal out loud… because I didn’t want to be disappointed, but I decided to put it out into the universe: Sub 1-hr. I hadn’t actually done 8km in under an hour yet so I felt like it was a good straw to grasp at.

I use this iPhone app called Runkeeper to keep track of the distance and time of my runs. Usually, I have it set to tell me every 5mins how far I’ve gone and what my average pace/km is. The night before, I realized that if it talked to me every 5 minutes, and I was aiming for a sub 1-hr finish… that was over 10 times she was going to tell me how badly I’m doing. So I set it for every kilometer instead, figuring that 8 was better than (at least) 10. As it turned out, I just ADDED the every km. Runkeeper lady talked to me a MILLION times. #oops

We lined up at the start of the race. I was nervous up until this point. I looked around and realized that I was luckier than most: I had the pleasure of having a running buddy, Rayna. She was going to stay with me through the whole thing! The gun shot off and away we went!

The first 2kms were great. I was feeling really good and like I was going to rock this thing. The 3rdkm was a little uphill - a looooong, drawn out incline. By the time we were climbing down to the 4km mark I pretty much felt like I was dying, like I had gone too fast out the gate and like I was going to be dead last.

Left to Right: Melanie, Rayna, Me
Around the 4km you actually end up running past the finish line. My boyfriend was standing there, being all adorable & supportive. He asked me how I was doing. I’m pretty sure I just smiled and said “Oh, Dying!”

Luckily, all the way until the last 1.5km it was pretty much downhill/flat. Also, from km 5-6 there was amusing “Car vs. Runner” drama to keep me distracted. The last 4km is an out and back. For those non-runners, that means that you get to see the people (running faster than you) running back. This was especially cool for me, as team #yyjrun ran past me they would yell “Go Nikki!” which kept the smile on my face.

 Rounding the corner for the last km was awesome. My time was better than I could have ever imagined. I had 13 minutes to beat my goal. So, barring a natural disaster, this meant I was going to come in under an hour. I had a conversation with a woman who had been in front of me the whole time. We both seemed excited to be averaging a less than 7min/km average pace. 

Kirsty jogged back to join Rayna and I, and then I saw them:  A group of amazing #yyjrun women waiting just to cheer me on. Rayna had told me at the that the only time she was going to MAKE me go faster was at the end. We rounded the last corner, the finish line in our sights. Rayna pointed out a car and said something like “When we get there, I want you to give it all you’ve got.” The #yyjrun ladies were cheering, Skye was yelling at me to go faster from the side, we got to just before the car and I’m not sure if I said it, or just thought “Ok, let’s do this.” Rayna and I sprinted through to the finish line.

My finish time? 54:31.
Yeah. That happened. (Inside voice: HOLY FREAKING MOLY!!!!!!)

I REALLY want to thank Rayna, for running with me the WHOLE WAY. I know that I wouldn’t have pushed myself as hard without her, that my walk breaks would have been a little longer and that I would not have had as much fun.
I want to thank ALL THE LADIES from team #yyjrun for being the most supportive group of people EVER.
I want to thank my WONDERFUL boyfriend for getting all these awesome pictures of my “First Timed Race” standing out in the cold – just for me.

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