The race. The run.

I race to run. I run to race.
Something about racing just inspires you to run more. To do better. To train harder and to be faster.
It’s strange.
Yesterday I ran my first race in two years (and my third ever race). The annual Harvest Classic in my hometown!

Last year I watched my family and husband run this race. I was about 20 weeks pregnant and just getting those pregnant aches and pains. Running that race wasn’t an option and I was slightly jealous.

This year, however, I was glad to be in on the fun.

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(My little sister, my mom, my brother and I all ran. Somehow my bro skipped this photo. Aw well.)

I started off the summer hoping to be able to train enough to be able to run the 8k (5mile) event, but as it turned out I was not able to get my distance up to that point so quickly. Instead, I ran the 2 mile loop and was quite happy with my decision. :)

Most of my runs leading up to this were 2 miles, so I was confident I could do well.

Going into it I told myself I would be happy to finish in less than 18 minutes, really happy with less than 17:30, and REALLY happy with less than 17. And of course I was dreaming for less than 16. Maybe next year? :)

I ran normally monday-wednesday. I noticed I had a really good day on tuesday after the weekend off and a short run on monday so I decided to try and do the same for race day. I took thursday off and ran a mile on Friday. I think this worked fairly well. I didn’t feel out of it during the race nor did I have any extra tiredness from running the day before. (My weeks average about 7-8 miles each…easy does it, right? I’ll definitely be working for more later as my shins get used to the impact of running that much.)

So on Friday night I really would have liked to go to bed early, but since I wanted to see my husband and I took a nap earlier I decided it would be fine to rest as usual. I went to bed around midnight…almost fell asleep easily…and woke up…and had my nerves kick in leaving me restless until 3 AM when I finally dozed off.

But.
As luck would have it
My little kiddo woke up and needed extra attention at 3:15. We stayed up til about 3:45 fixing his gas issues when we finally both went to sleep. I slept til 7 with one brief awakening at about 5.

Fun stuff. Lol.

At 7 I felt amazingly perky for having only slept 3hrs and 45 min. My husband made fun of me for being so excited. He is a slightly (14 years, tons of races, and thousands of miles) more experienced runner and may be just a little jaded about getting up early to race on saturday mornings:)

I ate just a little bowl of rice crispies at about 7:30 (if you’re wondering why I’m including such minor details, it is for my records to see what works and doesn’t..for future reference).

We woke the baby, drove to nampa, and while Israel picked up our packets I loaded Ranger in his stroller to be dropped off with my dad and sisters.

Israel drove himself to the starting line of his 8k to start at 9:15..and I hung out with my family while waiting for our 9:30 start time.

I warmed up with a couple hundred yards of jogging. It was just enough. :)

The race started about 10-15 minutes late, but the zumba instructors from the rec center entertained us/ warmed us up depending on participation levels.

The starting gun was fired and we were off.

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I think I started out a little quick. Maybe an 8 minute pace, so by the time we were just before the half mile point I was just starting to feel it. So I slowed down. The course was not marked. And I don’t have any sort of Garmin or smart phone to help me out so I’m completely guessing on paces and distances. That was the only thing that drove me crazy: I had no idea how fast I was going and no idea how much farther I had to go. It worked out fine, but it made me wonder.

There were just a few slight hills on this course…one just before the mile point and one just before the mile and a half. Other than that it was downhill or flat.
I stopped for maybe 6 seconds at the water station (at the mile-ish?) for a gulp of water and then continued. I walked for about 20 seconds somewhere between there and the next hill. I let a couple people by, but when these two old ladies passed me I had enough and started running again. I really wanted to run the whole time, but somehow I needed that few seconds of extra air.

I kept wishing I knew what the distances were.

But I just chugged along and passed all the people that passed me while I was walking and finally overtook a girl I had been trading back and forth for the front as she switched between running and walking.
It’s amazing how many times in a race you can think: I want to walk.
Maybe I should replace that with: I want to go faster. :)

When I turned the last corner it was only a hundred yards to the finish. i sprinted in as fast as I could. I love that last sprint. I think it might be my favorite part of the race.
I came in at 17:50. Just a few seconds faster than my 17:53 run with the stroller earlier that week, but still within my goal timeframe. It wasn’t as good as I was hoping for, but it was good and I can’t wait to better that time :)

Some of the factors that played into how my race went: only training with the stroller/racing without the stroller, knowing my pace/not knowing my pace, hils/not, sleep/no sleep, and stopping for water. Can’t wait to see how I do with other combinations of factors! :)
Israel got 4th overall in his race with a time of 28:42. Speedy man.
We hung out with my family, took advantage of all the free everything and sent Israel off to get the car (his was a point to point race) while we waited for results to come in.

I was glad we stayed. If we hadn’t I would have remained completely unaware that I had gotten first in my age group! It was quite a surprise and made me very happy :) (maybe it was just because all the faster people had done the longer race? But I’ll take it!)
It makes me want to keep doing the two mile race instead of the 5mile just to see if I could eventually place in the Women’s Overall. It would be super fun. Ahh dreams :)
Also I would love to run it on more than 4 hours of sleep at some point. :)

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(First time winning anything in a race!)

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