Yesterday, I left off being paced by strangers through the first 5k.
That first 5k was awesome. I had almost forgotten what it’s like to run a pretty super huge race. This race was basically perfect.
For one thing, there were tons of runners, yet I never once felt crowded or trapped in a certain pace.
Another thing that was completely awesome – as we were running up to the water stop, there was a humongous sign saying “Water Stop 1.” All the mile marker signs were also very large. It was nice that everything was so large. When you got tired, you were able to see pretty far into the distance and get excited about the next upcoming mile or water or Powerade.
I was genuinely surprised at every mile marker from 2 to 5. “Mile 5 already? Are you kidding me?” I was actually still keeping up with Randy and Terry. I couldn’t believe it.
We were having a grand ol’ time. Terry is a cross country coach. Of course he wasn’t struggling one bit. He pointed out some fun buildings around town. Randy was doing his first half marathon! He was full of energy and always ready to keep running.
Somewhere along our run we passed a White Castle. Oh, precious, precious midwest/east coast. I wanted to run off the course and grab a slider. Of course I didn’t, but I will not go back to Los Angeles before I have at least one!
It started to rain partway through the run! I had bought a new waterproof phone case at Ragnar last weekend. (They were on sale, and my old phone case was completely falling apart.)
Though I enjoyed my new case, I had wondered whether I really should’ve bought it. (All money is money that could be going toward future races).
When the rain poured down on us, I knew it was an incredibly wonderful purchase.
I didn’t mind being rained on one bit. It rained just enough to get us a bit wet and cool us down, but not enough to make us soaked and uncomfortable.
After I hit mile marker 5 with Randy and Terry, I wonder if maybe, just maybe, I can stick with them ’til the middle of the race. Sure enough, I do! I’m a little exhausted by this point, but feeling amazing. I’m very happy to be going faster than usual.
We hit 6.55 miles in under an hour and 30 minutes. As we get closer and closer to mile 7, I am feeling that I am not going to be able to keep up. Quite honestly, I’m pretty flabbergasted that I’ve made it this long with them. So, I’m gonna go ahead and call this a win.
I’ve warned them that I’m not gonna be able to keep up with them through the whole race. When the time comes, they should run ahead and not feel bad about it.
They had said that if I could make it to mile marker 8 with them, they’d walk around Churchill Downs to take in the scenery/ambiance and such. I pushed. I tried. I couldn’t go that fast anymore. I said something along the lines of “I don’t think I can make it!” Meaning, “I don’t think I can make it at your pace. Please run ahead.” But all the people around me who heard that jumped in immediately with loud encouragement. “Yes you can! Don’t give up!”
I really appreciate the sentiment, but boy, it was a ton of people jumping on me at once! Don’t sweat it guys. Nobody freak out. I’m not dropping out of a race with a six hour time limit. I’m just slowing down from my new stranger friends.
Note taken. I’ll have to be more careful with my wording and volume in the future.
I was able to stay with Terry and Randy until we hit mile marker 7, when I happily let them run ahead. I did the next mile with a mix of walking and jogging. I certainly wasn’t going to slow down too terribly much. These boys worked too hard pacing me toward a PR for me to let them down now!
Will I ever see them again? Will I make them proud by getting my PR? Find out more tomorrow!