Oh, you KNOW I finished this race – a 10-mile women’s race in Fountain Hills – but just not as planned.
A few things were off:
I hadn’t made myself run at all last week after the HC race. I know a week off will not hurt me, but mentally I was feeling weak because of it .
It was cold and I have NO CLUE how to dress to run in the “cold” ( –> 40s at start).
I slept through my alarm and woke up thinking it was still raining. The whole day before was super rainy and I was trying to decide if I would do 10 miles in that kind of rain. Fortunately, I didn’t have to decide, it was a clear day…the “rain” sound was my toilet that has been running for a week, but that’s another story.
I got to the race and realized I forgot my headphones. I was a sad panda. I dug through my center console and only found an old phone headset that obviously didn’t work.
All in all, I was rattled. 10-milers were going to go first, so I got in the shoot, but really until three minutes before start kept considering stepping out and then just running with the 5kers.
My mini pep talk was that it would start to feel warmer when I started moving. Even without running last week, I had 10 miles in me. Yes 10 music-less miles sucks, but I could do it. Plus, the hills would make me fast! Well, the downhills would make me fast, the uphills were a pain in my keister! I always assume running outside in Arizona = flat. No one told Fountain Hills.
I knew I’d be very happy and proud of myself for the rest of my beautiful Sunday if I did it, so I turned off the brain and just ran.
It was a tough course, but as the most challenging I’ve been on, it was actually pretty fun once my runner’s high kicked in (it only took about five miles, or HALF the race). I was proud of the parts I ran fast and I guess proud of the parts I tolerated and just got done.
At mile six I decided to have a Britney dance party with my fellow runners because I couldn’t take the silence anymore, so I turned on my music using my phone’s speaker. I had debated carrying my phone at all once I realized I didn’t have headphones, but I wanted to track the run with my Nike app.
Then at about mile eight the whole thing died – no music, no feedback – but, I could see the fountain so I knew where I was going and all of the volunteers and spectators (FH is a very friendly town) kept saying it was just about flat until the end at that point. Oh, except for the MONSTER turn around that was straight down then straight back up.
I picked one last target on the final loop before the finish line – a woman who had stopped to use the lovely amenities the same time I did at mile three and was wearing very bright colors – and kicked it up to get past her and finished strong in 1:44:45, slightly above my usual delightfully average placement for overall and division.
I thought the beginning of the race funk meant I was a little burnt out on racing (plus my EVERYTHING is feeling those hills today), but the race bug is persistent, and I’m checking out 2013!