This is the least nervous I have ever been for a race. We're talking absolutely zero expectations. I've run this race before, so I know what to expect course wise. I also weigh more than normal, so I didn't even consider a PR. This was a first race of the season, whatever happens happens kind of race. I ran 13 miles in a training run 2 weeks ago and finished in 1:55, so I was hoping to at least get that, and maybe even 1:50 or upper 1:40's- if things went really well.
The weather was perfect. It was a little chilly in the canyon, but bearable. I started down with a moderate pace, not the all-out kamikaze style I have done in the past. I left my garmin at home (dang it!) so I don't have split times. But I was just behind the 1:40 pacer. He slipped further and further into the distance until I couldn't see him, but it was very gradual. I wondered when the 1:45 pacer would pass me. I wasn't feeling a lot of power or confidence for the first 2 miles. I could tell I had slacked off on training the last couple of weeks.
But something happened around mile 3 or 4. I stopped telling myself that I was a heavy, slow slacker and started telling myself that I was an experienced runner who HAD this. Some good songs came on, and I started to push. I stopped resigning myself to being passed, and pushed to keep up with the people whose pace was challenging for me.
Around mile 4 or 5, a super nice, cute older Asian man passed me and said, "Awesome job!" So nice. I sometimes wonder, as in this case, if people are surprised I can keep my pace because I'm quite a bit heavier than almost all of the people around me. It's actually a bit of an ego boost to be surrounded by runners who look so skinny and fit. But then it leads me to wonder how fast I would be if I lost 20 pounds or so... oh well.
Around mile 7, another guy passed me and was pointing at the ground on the paved trail. I took off my headphones to hear what he was saying, and he said, "15 mph speed limit!" He had been pointing to where it was painted on the trail. We both laughed, because at this point we were both going pretty dang fast. It felt awesome!
Around mile 8, you start 5 long miles straight down University Ave. to the finish. No more downhill. No more pretty scenery. Just you, your tired legs, and your mental pep talks. "Leave it all on the course." "You don't get a redo." "This will all be over soon." "The faster you go, the faster it's done." These thoughts pass through my head in every race without fail.
Before I knew it, I had reached BYU. I passed my old apartments. I passed a campus I hardly recognized (it has changed so much!). I passed The Malt Shoppe. Still in business! Amazing. I saw the finish. It was so close yet SOOOO far! Nothing like staring down your finish line for two miles. Torture! But I pushed, and pushed, and finally saw the clock. It said 1:41 something. AMAZING!! I ran with all I had and it said, 1:42:55 when I crossed.
My chip time was 1:42:45.
I was 7th in my division out of 90. (!!!!) Seventh?!
I was the 50th woman out of 479.
And I was 170th overall out of 827.
My overall pace was 7:51/mile.
So ecstatic about how it went today! Couldn't have hoped for better. I need to keep my expectations low more often!