The alarm clock went off at 6:00 Thursday morning. My nerves were on edge to begin with (stupid anxiety) and we ended up leaving the house 20 minutes later than we had planned. Then we had to park really far away (it felt like 1/2 mile) from the building where I needed to pick up my number. I carried Anna the entire way and my arms felt like lead the next day. There was a line for the bathroom, of course, but at least it was inside and these were real bathrooms. We were so short on time that after I managed to squeeze into the pack of runners at the start, I only stood there for two minutes before the gun went off.
I told Rich that I thought I would finish in 53 minutes. My "don't hold your breath because it probably won't happen" goal was 50 minutes. I should mention that I'm not a fan of running (or really doing much of anything) outside in the cold and normally don't ever do so. It was 30 degrees that morning with winds 15-20 mph. Ack! When the girls were toddlers, I bought a pair of cold weather (40 degrees and below) running tights and a fleece-lined hoodie. I wore those along with my compression socks, a short sleeve running t-shirt and a long-sleeve running shirt. I also grabbed a wool hat and fleece gloves.
I didn't really have a plan in terms of pacing myself so I just ran something that seemed not too slow but comfortable.
Mile 1 - 10:14
Okay, okay. I'm doing okay. I was a bit nervous that I had 4 miles to go. I didn't want to start off too fast. The last 1/4 mile of the second mile was an uphill. I thought for sure that I had slowed down to an 11 minute mile but...
Mile 2 - 20:20
Okay, okay. I can do this. Breathe. Breathe.
Come to me my sweetest friend
Can you feel my heart again
I'll take you back where you belong
And this will be your favorite song
Come to me with secrets bare
I love you more so don't be scared
When we're old and near the end
We'll go home and start again.
(Me singing to myself.)
Mile 3 - 30:42
Shortly after the 3rd mile mark, I came up behind three woman running together. Based on their conversation, one of them was a marathon runner. She was telling the other two to think of mile 4 as a recovery mile and to take it slow so that they could run the last mile as fast as possible. I thought that's what I was doing too. But I passed them. Then, I was quite surprised to hear the times being called out as I approached the 4th mile mark. I had actually sped up a little bit instead of slowing down.
Mile 4 - 41:00
I tried to open up and run faster but after 1/4 mile or so this long, climbing hill appeared. Sob. I put my head down and kept moving. My skin felt numb from the cold. It's almost over. It's almost over. Rich and the girls were waiting for me on the sidewalk before the finish. Allie came out with her arms open for a hug so I slowed down and went over to them. "Gross. You smell!" Uh, thanks.
Mile 5 - 50:43
All things considered, I'm really happy with my time. It gave me a little confidence boost. I may not be very fast but I feel like I'm back doing this running thing again.