Great joy - after an awful few days with very painful knees, slow running and even slower enthusiasm I signed up for the Thanksgiving Drumstick Dash. Basically I decided that if I was in too much pain to run I would be one of the walkers and get a hoof on.
Well the night before I felt pretty good. I collected my pack - which I must say included a rather fab tech tee (hey I'll take that over the "medal for the first 15,000" any day) and tried not to go crazy on carbs - so I just had a spinach salad, large enough to feed a small European family, with all the trimmings, lots of water and an early night. Funny - I got pretty nervous about the whole ordeal and have absolutely no idea why.
Race morning came and after a large cup of tea and bottle of water I ventured out to Broad Ripple for the big race. As usual I was racing against the clock before the gun had even gone off - just can't understand why I am late absolutely everywhere I go - and managed to find a parking spot not too far from the start.
Well I was super surprised to see the 1000s of people all lined up - crikey this is a popular event. I headed down to the 11-12 min pace marker and just waited for the start. I felt pretty good for the first mile or so but for some reason was mega pissed by the number of walkers who had evidently lined up at the faster pace markers knowing full well they would never keep pace. Which meant that us slower runners behind them had to play dodgems as they casually strolled practically arm in arm blocking the road ahead completely aaaarrrgghhhh how annoying. I managed to elbow my way through but THERE SHOULD BE RULES FOR LOITERING ON A RACE TRACK!!!!! At one point I actually ground to a complete halt - I'm sure that added ooohh AT LEAST 5 seconds to my time!!!!
Well I wasn't to be perturbed and managed to plan my route ahead - even if it meant the 4.5 miles I was meant to be running ended up being 5 miles as I zig zagged the walkers, strollers and dogs - hey ho! For me it was perfect running conditions - 38 deg F - which seems to suit me well strangely - as I can't bare the cold. But being a human radiator when running the chance to stay cool suited me.
At 3 miles I thought I would have to walk - the usual 'started to fast!' thoughts entered my head and I honestly thought I needed to stop but my legs were having none of it! I'm always surprised how a race can just pull you along. I kept focusing on the runners ahead - picking out individuals to pass - and feeling very exhilarated as I actually passed them. I think I passed more people than passed me - which says something about my strategy for my next race. The one common denominator - I was always passed by a lot of people on the 'hills' - note to self - "more hill running in training!!!"
All in all - I was very pleased to see the finish line! I really gave it my all today and didn't collapse in the heap at the end - which says - may be it wasn't QUITE my all but I'm pleased - another 45s / mile off my PR - suits me!
The rest of the day I spent stretching, cooking, eating and chatting to friends in London on Skype. A good day all in all and so - TO BED!
COUNTDOWN: 162 Days to OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon