4th in my age group out of 290.
12th woman out of 1,367 women.
95th overall place out of 2,715 people.
I ran this race last year and didn't review it favorably. But, I'm highly susceptible to peer pressure. So when my trainer brought up running it with me, I agreed.
Which is how I found myself, stomach twisting in knots, at the start line on Saturday.
I tried not to be too nervous. I was supposed to train hard for this race and kill it, but my trip to India and my illness afterward ruined that. So, I was just there to do my best. My trainer was there to kill it, but I was just there to do my best. I kept repeating it Saturday morning, so I'm repeating it now.
When the gun went off, my trainer took off like a bolt. I wanted to push myself, but I didn't want to go out too fast, so I picked a comfortable pace.
The first mile had guys with fire hoses face blasting the runners, and a river crossing. It was early enough in the race that the cold water was uncomfortable. Mostly, I just hate being cold. But, it didn't take long for the dampness to feel good. After the first mile there were almost three miles of hill. Not hills. Hill. I was mentally prepared for this, though, even if I hadn't been physically training. My strategy was to find a pace where I would not have to walk. I could slow down if I needed to, but I would NOT walk. I knew the moment I walked, I was mentally giving up a little bit.
So I didn't walk. And, in doing so, in maintaining a comfortable, steady pace, I started passing people. Lots of walking people. My quads burned and I wondered how long I could keep going, but I was passing people. And the people surrounding me were now almost entirely male. It was odd. Where were all the ladies? But, it also felt good. Maybe I wasn't doing so bad.
This is a hard race. It's meant to be a hard race. It's not the Warrior Dash. While it allows for the walkers and the gawkers, it also attracts a much higher caliber of runner. Maybe it's being on a military base. Maybe it's because they've been doing it for over 20 years. But there are some bad ass mother fuckers who run this course. The winner of each race usually comes in under 40 minutes. That factors in the giant hill and a mile of muddy obstacles. Holy shit, right? Yeah, holy shit.
So it was weird to be passing people. Had I started too far back, and was just now getting up to the people at my pace? I had no idea. I also had no idea what pace I was going. I wasn't going to drag my Garmin through the mud, so I was flying blind. And I felt fucking awesome.
I flew down the downhill. I hit the obstacles with force. I leaped over the walls without assistance. I pulled myself through the mud. I ran up the slippery mud slopes. I got my sun glasses knocked off when a fire hose hit me square in the side of my face. They sunk into the mud pit before I even realized they were gone. A sacrifice to the race gods.
With less than a mile to go I passed an aid station and the woman working there yelled "top ten women!" "Me?" "YES YOU!"
What the fuck?
I took off like my ass was on fire. No one was going to pass me now, because holy shit you guys. Thousands of people were out there today. How was this possible?
I pulled myself through the last mud pit and sprinted across the finish line.
Battle scars I didn't notice until I crossed the finish line.
I found my trainer at the finish line. I was only 38 seconds behind him.
Whoa again. Dude is fucking fast. But he had a bad race day.
He was stoked for me, though. Because 56:47
I know, not that impressive for a 10k. But, for THIS 10k, fucking impressive.
So, how come I was the 12th?
Two waves of people. Results pooled them together. *sigh*
But, my standings are pretty fucking cake, for that many people? I am impressed with myself. My trainer and I already have plans for how we're going to train for and KILL this race next year. This is me with only a few weeks of training under my belt. Shit. Races this fall are going to be fucking AWESOME.