A couple of months ago, we heard about a local 10K to benefit their volunteer rescue squad. We signed up – with me optimistically – and foolishly – having faith that I would be back to my old running self by then.
I have obviously NOT been in prime running shape and this race has been hanging over my head.
I ran 6.2 on Thursday, but stopped twice and the hamstring is still in rough shape. And my endurance is just not there.
But – unlike me – I was feeling positive and optimistic this morning – even when my alarm went off at 6:45AM and it was 35 degrees out!
Marc and I have an unspoken routine now on race mornings – I’m making coffee, he’s letting the dogs out – we’re getting dressed – all of this without saying much.
Then we take our obligatory pre-race picture:
This is the 2nd annual Harvest Run and the first year we did it. We arrive and see that it looks like it is going to be a very small turnout. I mentioned to Marc that the Empire State Marathon and Half Marathon is going on in Syracuse today which may have stolen some racers from this event.
We sign in, get our t-shirts and beginning pinning our numbers on. It was cold and cloudy but thankfully not much wind and we got to wait inside the building.
We line up and without any pre-race fanfare, we are off. I quickly pass a woman and older man. By .5 miles in, they both pass me and then we seem to even out.
This is the first time this has ever happened to me – the man fades and I end up running next to this woman. We run together, in perfect unison for most of the race. I have headphones on – she doesn’t – and we don’t acknowledge each other. We hit 1.6 miles and there is the water table with people to tell the 5K’ers to turn around. For the first time ever, I seriously consider turning around.
My hamstring is starting to ache a little and I realize that if I turn around for the first – and probably last time ever – I would win a 5K.
But I decide to soldier on and continue running with this woman. We are out in a long stretch of farmland and the whole thing is slightly uphill. I console myself by telling myself it will be bliss when we turn around.
Now I’ve run long enough that I’ve gotten pretty decent at knowing distance. And I knew we had to be close to 3.1 miles, but I didn’t see the turnaround ANYWHERE.
Finally they road directors come into sight and – the bastards – they went way too far. We turn around at 3.35 miles. But, gloriously, even though the wind is light, it is a relief to have it at my back and we are on a nice, sweet, downhill grade.
If you were a stranger watching us, you would have sworn this woman and I run together all the time – I mean we were in perfect sync!
Shortly after the turn around I pass Marc and I’m thrilled! I knew that if he kept it up he was going to be the first man to finish!
At 4.5 miles, the hamstring is yelling pretty well. I’m not consciously trying to keep up with this woman, but if you’ve ever run in a race, you know that you just unconsciously try to stay with someone.
I know that she has me at this point and I won’t be able to pass her at the end. So I purposely stop for water. I drink and she pulls ahead.
I finish it out and realize that I’m feeling pretty good. I cross the finish line at 54:44 which is dismal. But then I look at my watch and we came in at 6.7 miles. An average of 8:10 MM. Still wayyyyyy off my best time, but all things considered, I’m not heart-broken.
Another 2nd place finish.
Marc crosses the line in first for men – YAY!
The awards ceremony is short. No medals for the medal box, but we both received a heart rate watch and a cool 10K tag for our kicks!
It was still early and we had both gotten a little chilled waiting for the awards to start. So we headed home for a quick HOT shower and some more coffee before a quick run in to grab some groceries before the Dolphins game starts.
As we drove in, I was feeling really, really good. My hamstring hurt a little, and while the Achilles is definitely improving it was aching. BUT - I had just run 6.7 miles without only a 10 second stop for water. I started to think that my running career is NOT over.
And now I sit here typing this – and life feels like it is clicking back into place, little by little.