|I look ready to kick some a$$!|
The race morning was beautiful and unseasonably warm for mid-March. The sun was peeking over the coastline as I drove into the resort area. I was very nervous for my first race back, but I felt cautiously optimistic. I knew that I had trained enough to make it through the race even if I wasn't going to post my best time. My goal was to simply be present during the race and finish strong.
|Oops, excuse the extreme close-up of my finger!|
This was also the first longer race or event that I've done all alone. I went to packet pick-up alone, I drove to the race alone alone, stood in line for the bathrooms alone (but I did chat with a really nice lady!), found my corral alone, ran alone, and finished alone... Poor hubby and the kids were stuck driving around looking for a parking spot as I crossed the finish line! That was a very different feeling. I was missing my best friend, the person I've done just about every triathlon, 5k, half-marathon, duathlon with, but it was also an opportunity for me to be courageous and independent, to push myself before and during the race. It was a good experience for me.
I could feel my nerves setting in as each corral started the race, but I tried to keep my breathing even, and I settled into an easy pace. Looking back, I feel like I could have possibly pushed myself a little more, but I was afraid of my breathing getting too tight, and I didn't have my inhaler with me. The first three miles were pretty easy. At mile 3.5, I stopped for water, which was probably a mistake because then I battled a cramp for the next 1.5 miles.
I have to admit, I did stop to walk once because I was getting a bad cramp and starting to feel mentally defeated. Thankfully, an older lady running with an American flag, put her hand on my back, pushed me forward a bit, and told me, "Don't stop! Rock on, girl!" That was all I needed; I thanked her, and I pushed and found my way to the finish line.
Here are my splits from my Garmin. Not my best (I need to stop saying this), but pretty good considering I only trained for about a month or so.