Getting up that morning was challenging, and I was glad I had packed all my race gear and put it aside before we left for vacation. I had to get up extra early, too, since I was picking up my packet that morning. I also intended to run a couple of miles to warm up before the race (so I could get closer to my training plan's long run goal of 10 miles), but I didn't follow through on that intention. I decided it was more fun to hang out and chat with the ladies from the local Moms Run This Town chapters. It made me feel happy to have buddies to meet up with and talk to about race paces and running shoes and such.
|Multi-chapter MRTT pre-race pic|
(Happy birthday to Crescent, center in red!)
We made our way to the starting line. I knew that I would be running slower than my MRTT buddies, but Melissa was kind enough to say that I ran at the same pace as her and Beth when folks were planning their paces. I did run the first couple of miles with Melissa and Beth in my distant sights, but my feet went numb and I lost sight of them after I stopped to adjust my shoelaces.
|Beth and Melissa, rocking the race|
and having fun!
I was so frustrated when my feet went numb. I was hopeful that the wider shoes were the solution after my last couple of non-numb runs. More frustrating was the fact that I didn't have LockLaces on my shoes (regular laces are better to lock in a narrow ankle), so adjusting my shoelaces involved actually stopping and sitting and untying and loosening and re-tying. And I had to do it a few times along the way before I got it right. I lost a lot of time, but I kept a good attitude about it and reminded myself this was a training run, not a race. You use training runs to learn, and those shoes now have LockLaces on them!
With Melissa and Beth no longer in my sights, I found that I was listening to a conversation between two runners behind me. At some point I realized I knew the female voice, and turned around to see Gina and her rabbit ears. She introduced me to Nicolas, who is training for an ultramarathon. I ran with them for a bit until I needed to stop and adjust my shoelaces again.
|Gina and Nicolas|
Then I was by myself again for a bit, when I saw two women that I recognized from the promo pictures from last year's race. I asked them if they were the women in the pictures and we had a sudden moment of twitter follower recognition! It was Tina and Angela, who I follow on twitter and live vicariously through because they have pretty cool social lives. They wear some of the cutest outfits to races and do them together and look like they are having so much fun. They recognized me from twitter, too, which made me feel good. I was happy to meet them in person and spend part of the race with them.
|Tina and Angela rocking|
the super-cute outfits
I was able to pick up the pace for the last couple of miles once my shoelaces were loose enough. I felt excited when I finally saw the track in front of me and knew I was close to the end. As I entered the track I heard my name called over the loudspeaker and I put my arms up in the air triumphantly. I actually felt tingly all over as I ran on the track that I've run on so often on Tuesday nights with my training program, and so often for the local races. I've run on that track dozens of times. It is familiar to me. A place I feel comfortable and accomplished. I was marveling at the fact that I felt that way on a track. I sprinted when I reached the final straightaway; there was no one between me and the finish line for the full stretch. I crossed with joy and exhaustion.
|the finish line is in sight...|
Despite my lost time over shoelaces and general tiredness from vacation travel, I beat last year's time by 33 seconds. I was glad that I hadn't run slower than last year. I jumped into a quick post-race picture with the MRTT ladies and then rushed to my car to make it to Freddy's Youth in Motion fun run.