Saturday, September 17, marked a busy day in Davidson, North Carolina. Not only was it Green Day, where the Davidson Lands Conservancy brings together vendors and booths that highlight sustainable practices on the Town Green AND featured a release of a red shouldered hawk from the Carolina Raptor Center; it was also the Run for Green - 5K, 10K and Half Marathon. Over 650 runners on a beautiful morning in the Piedmont. What a great way to start the day!
Yours truly ran the 10K. 6.2 miles. This was my first attempt at that distance and my first race since my stress fracture. It was odd. I wasn't really all that nervous. I ran the route the previous week, so I knew I could make the distance. I think that was a huge confidence booster right there. It was a little chilly, around 52F, and I was questioning the no-sleeve shirt I had on. I stuck with it though, just kept my jacket on until the last possible moment!
You could feel the electricity in the air. Everyone was chomping at the bit....ready to get on with it! You see, we were all chasing something; a place in the top 3, winning an age group, chasing a PR, running down a nemesis or as one of my friend's boyfriend enlightened ...sometimes girls in skirts makes boys run faster ;-) Regardless...it was time to go! On your mark, set........BANG (or whistle in this case)
So, my running pal, Ellen, and I ran. Fast at first, with everyone else down the quick hill to the 1st greenway, and then we steadied the pace a bit. Faster pace for me, slower for her ;-) The first two miles went by like a blink of an eye. Easy, fun...golly I felt great! Some slight inclines here and there, but nothing dramatic. We then got a nice big downhill to catch our breath...unfortunately, that nice big downhill will end up being the uphill from hell around the 4.5mile mark. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
We started the 2nd greenway, and I think we both were feeling pretty good. Every once in awhile I'd catch a peak at our pace. Sometimes I saw 9:30, sometimes 8:30...there may or may not have been a 7:15 in there for a split second, but that didn't last long! Passing mile 4, I began thinking that I should slow down or I wasn't going to make it to the end. Around 4.5 or so, we met Patrick Johnston Lane (aka: uphill from hell) head on. Or for me, it was head down and truck my big 'ol butt up it like the Little Engine That Could. And I did! Maybe I could have walked it faster, but I wanted to RUN the whole distance. It was my own personal goal!
Now, from here on in, it seems there is nothing but inclines until the finish line. And I'm not really making this stuff up. Good news? I only had one "omigosh-I'm-gonna-die" moment and that was with only like .75 to go. At around .5-.25, I can't help but speed up. I mean...that's what I do. My legs just go faster. I don't tell them too. I think they just want to be done, so they go as fast as they can go. So they did. I even passed someone going UP hill.
So a public apology:
All in all? A fantastic day! Probably one of my best runs. Ever. And what makes it even better?
You guessed it....free beer. Cheers!