This is my 3rd time running Boca. It's one of my favorite races because of the beauty all around. I'm usually so busy looking around that I miss all the mile markers. Every time I get to the 3 mile marker I feel so surprised!
This is the first race where I decided to get the t-shirt in my size. I always get them for my husband, who gets a kick out of wearing these shirts when he doesn't even run. I felt a little remorseful as I put the shirt in the car, wondering if I should run back in and switch the size. But I didn't.
Reg and I made our way to the starting line and chatted with everyone. We were just behind the elites, who were the sub 6 minute pacers. Let me just say this...they're mostly the 16-19 year old track team with their skinny little legs that become a blur when the starting horn goes off....whateva! LOL
I was talking to some friends and lost Reg, but I figured after our half marathon disaster, he was staying away from me. Before he disappeared though, he pointed to some orange cones. I promised him the orange cones on Boca Grande wouldn't get him. These are runner friendly orange cones. He didn't look convinced. In fact, I think he was having flashbacks...
So the horn goes off, we start running. After about 3 minutes I realize I forgot to turn on my Garmin. SHOOT! I hit the on button and kept going, looking up ahead for Reg and the people I try to keep up with. I was surprised to have Ed, Josephine and Mary still in my sights. Well hey!! I decided to hold my pace instead of thinking I was going too fast. That's what happens to me when I race. I get worried about going out too fast, which makes me hold back. Endurance training is hard to kick, but I'm making a huge attempt to switch out to short distance thinking...
By half a mile in, the crowd thinned. Seemed pretty early for that, but what do I know??? As I passed the 1 mile marker I heard a hello and looked to my left. It was Reg!! Turns out he had gone to the back of the starting line, not realizing he was facing the wrong way. He said when the horn went off and the crowd ran off he was left behind. *chuckling right now* teehee!!! (Reg, I'm sorry for laughing but that was the funniest thing I've ever heard....LOL!!! So anyway, Reg had to book it to catch up. He ran with me for a little while and then took off.
At about 2.75 miles out I heard someone running behind me, catching up. I kept my pace and watched a woman run by me. I decided she wasn't in my age group, so I let her go instead of hip-checking her like a pro hockey player. When I saw mile marker 3, I was feeling good so I kicked it up a notch or two and ran by Little Miss Passer. I was right behind Mary! No freakin way!! I thought about trying to pass her, but I had "Sylvia's Mother" by Dr Hook playing on my "NEW iPod SHUFFLE THAT MY SWEETIE GOT ME FOR VALENTINE'S DAY" . It's hot pink too, my fave color!!!! Lalalalalala!!!! Anyway, kept me kinda mellow and feeling the '70's love so I stayed right behind her instead. I could hear Little Miss Passer behind me and planned to keep her there just in case she WAS in my age group. I'm no dummy.
Ran through the finish line and was pleasantly surprise to see the runners who are usually at the water stations by the time I come through. Turns out I had a new PR folks. Lemme say that again: I GOT A NEW PR FOLKS!!!!! YES!!! My last PR was 27:25. My new PR is 26:34. Almost a full minute shave!!! Oh, I'm liking this. I'm also shocked since I've been having all this trouble with my muscles, but I won't look a gift horse in the mouth.
Another very sweet thing happened after the race. A man I've never seen before came up to me and told me he saw me coming out of nowhere. He said I was flying toward the finish line and said it was pretty cool to watch. AWWWWWW Mr Runner Friend, how sweet you are! Wish I knew who he was so I could ask him to post those beautiful words here for all to see....lol
I saw Little Miss Passer and called out to her...we laughed and sat together for the awards. Her real name is Dianne and she's from Syracuse, NY. She's in the 55-59 age group (coulda fooled me). I was glad I didn't hip check her. She was a nice lady!!!
The awards ceremony was eventful too. I won a door prize. You won't believe it, but I got a second t-shirt with a paid voucher for next year's race! I was thrilled about the t-shirt because now Bobby has one too!
I placed 3rd in my age group, Reg placed 3rd in his too, at 25:28 (GO REG!!!).
Next race is Saturday up in Tampa. The Gasparilla 15K. This will give me a chance to find a decent distance race to run while I'm figuring out my new limitations. Full marrys are out. Might attempt another half. I want to see what this 15K will leave me feeling.