I went to bed Friday night around 10 to try and get some sleep for the race. I woke up at 2 AM, and found Mr. Right in the living room still working. By the time I finally convinced him to come to bed, I was awake and had a hard time going back to sleep. It seemed too early when my alarm went off at 6 AM.
We ended up being about 30 minutes early to the race (I had pre-registered so it only took me a moment to sign in.) So Mr. Right and I found a quiet spot to just hand out.
The weather forecast called for rain, and I was hoping that it would hold off till after the race. However, the clouds made for a beautiful pre-race skyline.
Around 8, we all gather at the starting line for a few words from the SMARM president - the race was to benefit the Smoky Mountain Area Rescue Ministry. He spoke of a young high school student who recently contacted SMARM needing assistance with his utility bills. His mother had recently passed away and his father was an alcoholic. Without help from SMARM, he would have had to drop out of school to get a full time job to pay the bills.
Being the sappy dork that I am (not to mention sleep deprived) the story brought me to tears. The National Athemn was followed by a prayer and we were ready to race!
The official race photographer was on the side of the road at the most challenging hill. I was quite annoyed by the people that walked up the hill until they saw the photographer. Most of them took off in a sprint up the hill when they knew they were being caught on camera.
There was a race volunteer at the 1 mile mark, letting everyone know their pace. I was running just under a 11 minute mile. Right before the turn around (it was an up and back course) there was a drink station. I've never had water during my training so I just passed the station up.
After the turn around there was another hill. Not quite as long, but more steep. As I was heading toward the turn around, I noticed my fitness instructor on her way back. Walking.
I ran the whole thing and my fitness instructor didn't.
She still beat me on time, but I was very proud of my accomplishment.
Not too far past the turn around, it started to rain. It must have been about the time the first runner came in (I was a little over half way through the run). The sprinkle felt nice, but when it turned into a down pour I was wishing that I had worn a visor or something to keep the rain from dripping down my face.
I had challenged myself to leave nothing on the track - I was going to give the race my all. When the finish line/clock came in site, I started sprinting. I passed a few people within the last 100 yards and came in just under 34 minutes (33:58) - which averages just under a 11 minute mile.
My next goal is to get down to a 10 minute mile - which I'm going to start work on today!