I woke up at about 5am this morning for the race. Had my usual bagel with peanut butter, juice and this time a Slim Fast. My stomach can't handle the energy drinks right before the races and I noticed the Slim Fast has just about the same stuff in it. I tried those instead before a few of my long runs and I did fine with them. They taste 100% better too.
This was my 4th race, and last race before the marathon. As you know, I pulled my achilles and just got over the flu so I had 2 things I was watching for during this race. Most important was how that achilles would feel and secondly, if I could beat Mike Moses. JUST KIDDING!! HA!! Ok, not really kidding. I did want to beat him, but I knew I couldn't. And I was right, he left me in the dust. Whatever, his day to lose to ME is approaching.
Anyway, I was also watching (and feeling) how my endurance would be. Jim told me to run the 5K either before or after the actual race in addition to, but I decided to just enjoy today. I'm finally getting to know some people who I don't get to talk to anywhere but at the races so I wanted to visit a little. I'm glad I did, I saw many people....Chuck Johnson is one of my faves, he did awesome, coming in at 1st place for his age division. (YAY CHUCK) I saw Jackie and Sherry, who both did phenomenally well (GO GIRLS....we need to run together soon) Josephine (blue sneakers) was there (I love her!!) I got to talk with a lot of Zoomers too. Great group of people. The support I got from so many people today gives me the confidence to run that marathon. It's a wonderful feeling having people come and give words of support. I drove home today thinking about how well everyone did, and I'm happy to be a part of it all. I wish I could name them all here, but I know you all know who you are. xxxooo
SO...I took off at the starting line, a little quick but in much better control than I've had in the past. I kept up with Mike for about 2 minutes (LOL) then fell in behind him. I concentrated on finding my pace and realized I felt very comfortable as I passed marker 1 mile 9:30 minutes in. I kept that pace and walked the water table. Got right back into it and really felt fine. Of course now, sitting here, I can't help thinking I should have gone faster but I know I did the right thing keeping that pace.
I want to go much slower for the marathon, about 11-12 minute pace for that. Anyway, I saw Bethany around mile marker 3, as she was running the 5k AGAIN (no wonder she has such a killer bod) She yelled out good job, gave me a boost, and I picked up my speed a fraction. I saw my neighbor PJ (we call him the hunky fireman here in the neighborhood....lol) He's a Boca firefighter. He knows CPR. HAHA!! He's gonna kill me for this....heehee....When I saw the finish line I sprang into action! I passed 'em on the left, I passed 'em on the right....I flewwww....ok, I'm exaggerating a tad. I only passed 2 people and that was by mere seconds but it still felt great. I looked at my watch and saw I probably wouldn't beat my 30:52 PR from the last 5K. I was hoping to beat that. Oh well. But wait....guess what? I did beat it. By 2 seconds!!! I got a kick out of that.
The difference between the last 2 races was huge though. I was not as exhausted this time and my muscles are not bothering me at all, even right now. I see that my overall endurance and physical feeling is much better now. Which tells me this: I COULD have gone faster, but I was in control this time. I stayed on pace for once. This means more to me than beating my PR. My chances of finishing the marathon and actually doing well is coming into focus. I learned to pace myself above trying to win today and for me, that's a pretty big deal. I feel like I hit a new level of running this morning. I feel in control, healthy, ready, willing and able to run my first marathon in a week. I'd love to finish in 5 hours, but you know what? I'm going to that marathon in a new frame of mind: To finish happy. To have a good time. To talk with people along the way and relish the experience.
Jim told me I was an athlete last week. To hear those words from the person who has helped me all this way, who trained me and taught me this specific method to running a marathon was thrilling. It meant more to me than any medal I've won. As I stood there cheering on my fellow Zoomers and runners as they got their trophies this morning, I wasn't called. I placed 8th in my age division. I leaned over to Chuck and said..."I didn't win this one", But I felt more proud of myself in today's race than in any other race I've run, because today's race, I was in control. I ran this race as an athlete. So I did win.