A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Four on the Fourth Race Report

On Monday morning I joined 40+ people from my running club to run a 4 mile race in a nearby town. This race is an annual club tradition and this year we had an amazing turn out.

I mentioned last week that I was hoping to run this race at between an 8:09 and 8:15 pace. Well, to be honest, after my little adventure on Sunday night I had to adjust my expectations.

And what adventure was that? Well, those of you that have sensitive stomachs might want to skip this part.

I was making dinner (steak for Jason, BBQ chicken sandwich for me) and was using a serrated bread knife to slice my ciabatta roll in half. And I made a rookie mistake with the knife. I didn't get my left index finger out of the way. Yes, I sliced my left index finger open.

After a chaotic few minutes which ended up with me laying on the kitchen floor soaked in sweat and Jason talking me down from hyperventilating we were able to bandage my finger and eat dinner. After dinner, though, I decided I'd better go to the emergency room just to make sure I didn't need stitches.

Of course, considering it was 8:30 PM on a Sunday there were no "urgent care clinics" open so off to the "real" ER it was. Where we proceeded to hang out until midnight. That's when the doctor decided, after an X-ray and a tetanus shot, it didn't need stitches. All it needed was a little glue.

You can click here if you really want to see the "after" photo.

All of that meant I didn't get to bed until 1:00 AM when I had a 5:00 AM wake-up call. And although the relay taught me I can run pretty well on very little sleep, I knew I wouldn't be 100%. So, new goals: run negative splits and average an 8:30 pace.

I did stretches with the group and then a 1.3 mile warm-up and was happy I'd readjusted my expectations. The warm-up felt rough. The air temperature was warm and the sun was blazing hot. I'd basically already decided to run in just my shorts and sports bra but the warm-up solidified it.

I started WAAAAY in the back. All part of my master plan to not go out too fast. Also, I would like to state up front that the photos in the post are my attempt to say it's okay to run in just a sports bra even if you don't have the world's most chiseled abs. At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

The first mile felt good and I cruised past the marker at 8:42. A little faster than I had originally wanted but not too bad.

I waved to a relay teammate who was volunteering and picked up the pace a little bit. At the water station I got splashed with water (good!) and took in just enough to wet the inside of my mouth. I distracted myself looking for other OPRC runners since we could see the racers who were already headed back on the "back" portion of the out-and-back course. I finished mile two in 8:25.

I tried to pick up the pace some more during mile 3 but I didn't want to burn out too early. There's a big hill during mile 3 and another during mile 4 (at least, big for our area) so I knew I had to save some for that. I held steady at 8:25 for mile three.

Which meant I needed to pick it up again for the last mile. So, I did. It was rough and I was pretty miserable as I crested the hill just before the finish line. Still, I finished mile 4 in 8:09.

I had been concerned that my finger would throb or hurt during the run but it didn't bother me at all. Yay!

And after the run I was able to stuff my face with all the goodies the club members brought to our post-race picnic. I was in charge of fruit. Watermelon always tastes the best after a hot, sweaty race.

The club members in attendance!

In the end, I finished in 33:50 for an average 8:28 pace and 17/44 in my age group. Not the 8:09 or 8:15 pace I originally hoped for, but I hit my revised goals almost perfectly and got a PR of almost a minute. Which means I'm happy with this race. Nothing like triumphing over adversity. And I think it also says a lot about having realistic goals. And having a great support group.

Four on the Fourth by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details