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This is my first real race report, but my second race. After having read some others I know what people expect, so this should be a more comprehensive report. I actually sat down last night and typed notes out so that I wouldn't forget. We'll see how this goes.
The Twilight Race was set to start at 4pm in the park. This is a sports/amusement park that houses rides for the kids and a sports arena for the local baseball team. During December they decorate for Christmas and play Christmas music as people are driving through the park looking at all the lights. It's very nice. It was a nice day for the end of December, around mid fourty and partly cloudy, a great day for a race. Most of the snow and ice on roads had melted, so I wasn't worried about getting too cold or slipping on anything. It would take us about 45 mins to get there and I wanted to arrive at 3:30 to be able to pick up my packet and prepare. Everyone was going. On the drive down Nadia started to complain of an upset stomach. Oh great. You see my daughter has gotten my husbands sensitive stomach. And the ride down is up over a mountain and can be very windy turny. When we got the bottom of the mountain we stopped at a gas station to get gas, snacks and water for her. She has a tendency to look out the side window and get motion sickness. So the rest of the ride was 'how's your tummy? Are you going to throw up? Look out the front window!' It was not a good way to ride to a race.
From the time getting off the interstate to actually pulling into the park I was chiding myself "this is stupid, why am I doing this? This is insane! I have better things to do with my time.' I'm not sure why I do this. Maybe because if I'm an abysmal failure I can say to myself 'well I told you so!' I can be my worst critic. I must've voiced some of these ideas and Andrew scolded me 'stop second guessing yourself!' I reminded him that he does it all the time! The drive down wasn't a very good one.
We got there and tried to find where to pull in, there were no signs. We parked and I ran to the registration table. (I had loads of time, but for some reason when I am nervous I always think I'm late. But it was some sort of warm up, I guess.) I got my packet and headed back to the car to help Andrew. I found out where I was supposed to start at and pinned my race bib on. I super stoked about that. The last one didn't have a bib, just a little tag they tore off.) Time got close and I headed towards the back of the pack. There were about 250-300 runners and I knew I couldn't handle a whole bunch of people passing me, I am so negative on myself. I ended up standing beside a woman who was looking for her friend and screaming for her. I think her name was Diana. The race coordinator was on the loud speaker giving instructions and here this woman is yelling in my ear. I was about to sock her. Finally Diana came over and they were chatty, but then Diana started yelling louder than the previous woman for her husband to come over. It was so annoying. One of the things that I don't like about races is running alone. I hate waiting for the 'go' or the pop to signal the start. And I actually hate the countdown and the actual 'go' command. It's very stressful to me. I dunno I'm weird. I had so many stressors pre-race, I was sure I wasn't going to do very well.
They hollared go and everyone tried to start running, but no one actually could. We all just sort of started trotting. I had someone hit me in my back, I'm sure not intentionally. We eventually thinned out and got going. I appreciated the man yelling for us to set our pace, as I was eager to bolt and get out of all those crazy people, but I didn't. The race consisted of three loops through the park with slight grads up and down, paved the whole way, a very easy race (compared to the last one, ugh!). I did not run the whole thing, but did run a good portion of it. I power walked very short portions of it, just enough to recover. I was encouraged that while running I was actually passing other runners! I was also encouraged that while there were pros out there (with their garmins!) there were also newbies, like me. Everyone was running, old, young, male, female. There was even a young woman in a wheelchair being pushed by her father and brother. They passed me. :) The last half mile I thought I was going to loose it in both ends. Sorry, but I always get some sort of tummy trouble when I run.
Towards the end I passed a woman and her young daughter. I overheard say to her daughter that her time was 28 mins (by the way I never want to run a race with Nadia for my time. I know that would stress us both out!) and was shocked that I was doing so well. It gave me a boost and I huffed it even more. I could see my family standing and wow, is that ever a booster too. Nadia was yelling 'Go, mama, Go! or maybe it was Run mama run!" I can't remember, it was one of the two. I could see the clock running up to 32 mins and being the OCD that I am, I sprinted so that I could finish at 32 mins even. I don't know what my actual time will be, as they had trouble tearing it off, but I know what my time was. And the song I finished my run to? The Hallelujah Chorus sung by an African American choir. It was very fitting.
Some things I learned:
- when I have a late race like this, I need to almost over hydrate the time before.
- I need to bring fruit with me for when I finish.
- Stop comparing myself to others!
- Bring a friend to run with.