I learned a great deal about running and racing from today’s event.
1. Leave early so that you have plenty of time to stretch before hand.
2. Do not decide to carbload on high whole grains the day before and morning of if you aren’t use to this type of food yet.
3. Always use the bathroom right before lining up to run.
4. Never forget your knee brace. 🙂
I awoke this morning @ 6:00 am figuring this would give me plenty of time to get prepared for the race. What I wasn’t prepared for was my husband, excitedly, getting up around the same time. I felt thrown off by his presence yet so touched that he was ready to go and support me. 🙂
I ate breakfast, good protein and carbs, but later I decided it would have been better for me to have my usual breakfast of slim fast and then a powerbar or so right after the race. We left around 7:15 with the knowledge that I needed to be on the line @ 8:00 with the shot firing @ 8:30. I kind of freaked when I realized I hadn’t given myself enough time for travel but in the end, with a quick jog into the park, and frantically finding my place in line, I was there ready to run @ 8:27. I regret not stretching enough before hand, as well as forgetting my knee brace. My knee was not happy with me afterwards. 🙁
So, the race begins and I maneuver my way between walkers and runners. I found a good pace, around 10 to 12 min/mi and I began watching my clock. I decided to run 2 minutes and walk 1, a program designed by Jeff Galloway. I think it helped to keep me at a good pace, as well as conserved my energy for my sprint at the finish.
I’m usually a counter when I’m not wearing my iPod, however, there were so many people to look at, so much beauty around me, that I never once even counted (which actually is annoying to me).
There was a small group of runners that I kept pace with and felt a certain, unspoken bond as we made our way around the park. My first water transfer as well as drink ended in a coughing fit…next time I’ll just walk and drink. 🙂
There was a family that I caught up with, two parents and boy around the age of 5 or 6, and they were running together. As I ran passed I heard dad say, “well, I know, but the quickest way to get there is to run. Let’s do two minutes.” As they took off for their two minutes, I fell back for my 1 minute walk. I watched them and was so inspired that when I began running again, and passed them, I congratulated the little guy on such a good run. 🙂
The only real problem I had during the run was the feeling of needing to use the bathroom. Towards the end, if I ran more than 30 seconds I felt this really strong urge to have to go. I simply took sprinting intervals with walking and when I hit the top of a hill and saw a time clock sitting @ 35 minutes, my mind clicked back to my goal of a 36 minute run. I decided then that I’d run past this clock before it hit 36, it didn’t matter to me if this wasn’t the finish clock, I’d set a goal, and damn-it somewhere, on some clock, I was gonna meet that goal. 🙂
As I ran past the clock and back into a quick walk, a runner came running up the hill to meet a girl in front of me. “It’s just right down that hill, around the corner, do you see? That’s the finish line,” she told her. I definitely knew I was running across that line, no matter what decided to expel itself from my body. 🙂 I picked up my pace and started for home. I left the group, wanting to encourage them with a, “we’ve done it, now let’s push hard and finish it,” but instead I just drifted away.
My breath quickened, my arms swayed, I made the turn, hit my first track ramp and heard the announcer calling out names. It was then that I looked to my left and saw my husband and daughter waving me on. 🙂 There was a man in front of me, a good bit ahead, and he was being encouraged to make his way in. It was then that I hear the guy announce, “and Toni Carrigan is making her way.” Sean later told me that I was the only runner he heard actually get the first and last name announced. I ran hard and finished happy. 🙂
I later spoke with my dad and found out there is a 4.4 mile race at his base in Fl. on Memorial Day. I’m gonna try and make it, and run again. 🙂
Thanks for all who’ve shared this time with me! Your words and encouragement have meant so much!! I did it and so can you!!!