The Reeds Lake Trail Blazer run was a last minute addition to this year’s race schedule. It was the first year for this 4th of July race and it was a fundraising run to benefit the new Reeds Lake waterfront park and trail. I almost didn’t do the race for two reasons. Number one, it was a funny distance (4.5 miles) so I really didn’t have a PR on the line and number two, I wasn’t feeling up to a race.
On race morning though, I dragged myself out of bed, and had a quick breakfast of a banana and toast. My stomach was a little upset with me which didn’t help out with my mental pessimism.
When I got to the race site, I bit the bullet and paid the extra $10 for race day registration. I guess that is what I get for procrastinating.
As I was waiting around at the starting line, I was having serious regrets about the race. My legs felt tight, my stomach felt funny, it was hot and humid, the rest of the field looked faster than me, I was tired, etc., etc. I eventually got in the starting coral, lined up behind a large group of girls who worked at the local running shop – they were dressed the same and had “G-A-Z-E-L-L-E-S” (the name of the store), painted on their backs. I was sure that they were going to mop the course with me.
As soon as the horn went off, all my apprehension disappeared immediately. It was amazing. As soon as I started racing, I felt great. I took off like a shot. In the first half mile, I settled in behind a couple that I recognized from past races. However, by the first mile, I was feeling so good that I decided to pass them. As the race progressed, I continued to pick people off. In fact, in the final 2.5 miles I passed about 15 runners and didn’t get passed once! That group of “G-A-Z-E-L-L-E-S” women – gone. That guy with the M-Dot tattoo and IM Louisville shirt – eat my dust. The tall, sporty, skinny chick who was toeing the starting line – bye bye!
I crossed the finish line in 31:12 for a overall pace of 6:56 (6:53, 7:12, 6:53, 7:05, 6:16; final half mile). This earned me 14th overall (out of 384 runners) and 5th in my age group. This is by far the best finish I have ever had and am super happy with it. I would have thought that 14th overall would have earned me a top 3 finish in my age group, but there was only 3 age groups: 0-24, 25-39, and 40+. Oh well! I am super happy with how this race turned out.
So, what did I learn? Don’t let a sour attitude ruin a race. Roll with punches and turn that negative energy into something positive.
Stay tuned for a full 4th of July Weekend Wrap-up. I’ll hopefully have it done by tomorrow, but I’m too tired to work on it anymore tonight.