Team Brunazzi after the race.
I knew going into this that I'm not in PR shape so I dropped that hope before I left home. I thought 27 minutes would be a good goal given that the temperature was a little lower this morning. I know Shane always wants a PR and this was Gabby's first race so her only goal was to finish. I pointed out a group of teens that didn't look like local track stars and told her to beat them, which I believe she did!
By the time we registered the race was already out of shirts except for XL. We opted to take some of last year's leftovers off their hands instead. I ran a quick half mile warm up and the hung out with our group until it was time to line up.
Never look a tech tee in the mouth... even if it is the wrong year!
The race start was crowded and it didn't seem like most people were lining up according to their abilities. There were little kids in front of me and a woman who definitely looked faster than me right behind me. I tried to plant myself at the middle of the front of the pack but I couldn't tell who was walking and who was running so I gave up.
When the race started there was about 2 minutes of mass chaos while everyone figured out their pace. I went out way too fast and was actually ahead of Shane for a little bit. Once we made a couple turns the runners spread out and it was easier to try to pull back. The first little bit was a slight uphill and then a slight downhill. I checked my Garmin and I was running sub-8 minute miles. Time to pull back more!
The middle section of the loop was a long uphill which really got me. I think this is where I lost most of my time. Once we finished the hill runners turned right and ran downhill for a short distance. Then it was a gradual grade up over some train tracks and around a bend to end up back where we'd begun. We ran this loop twice and by the second time around I was really have trouble keeping my pace sub-10 on the uphill. I repeated, "It's supposed to hurt" to myself over and over again.
What really helped was that there was a man right behind me on the second half of the second loop and I got it in my head that I didn't want him to pass me. When we got to the railroad crossing he tried but I gave a little extra and put him behind me again. As we approached the finish he kicked again and once again I caught him. Maybe 10 feet before the finish he was breathing down my neck and gave one last push. I tried but he threw himself across the line before I got there. I wanted to be mad at him for beating me in the last 2 feet but really I'm mad at myself for not having one more kick to out-race him.
My official time was 27:46. After I finished I found Shane and he said he'd done 22:16. I tossed him my water and went back out to find Gabby. I was surprised to find she wasn't far out from the finish line. I turned back and ran with her to the chute. She finished strong in 33:18!
It ended up that I was 4th in my age group. I was a little disappointed but I would have had to run a PR race to get an award so I didn't feel THAT bad. Shane took third in the 30-39 age group! Unfortunately for Gabby teens seem to be finding the joy of racing this year. The 15-19 age group had NO runners last year. This year there were at least more than 3. Gabby didn't get the medal we'd promised her but we did take a pic of her wearing Shane's and post it on her FaceBook page saying she'd won the race! Hey we gotta have fun somehow right?!
Shane with his medal
After the race we stopped at IHOP for some lunch and I mowed down the International Crepe Passport! I could have eaten another full meal too! I'd post pictures of the food but if I'd pulled out my camera to snap a pic it probably would have gotten eaten too!
After we dropped Gabby off at home I realized I had 4 miles for the day counting my warm up and cool down but I was scheduled for 6. I asked Shane to drop me off roughly 2 miles from home and I ran the rest of the way. It was definitely a little hot for my taste but it felt good to have all my miles out of the way early on.
Now I just have to convince Gabby she can race with us tomorrow! And maybe a Firecracker 5k on the 4th.... and maybe next weekend too..... I hope I've created a monster! ;)