|500 runners at the starting line!|
There were numerous benefits to this being our second annual race including how smoothly everything ran Saturday morning. Everyone had a job and we knew what needed to get done and even our race directors Scott and John didn't look nearly as stressed as last year. The huge benefit for me was not feeling at all nervous about running four miles! Last year I remember not being able to sleep well at all and having a very upset stomach that morning. Last year I had trouble concentrating on my volunteer jobs before the race but this year I was happy to help move stuff around and work the packet pickup table. This year I wasn't even 100% sure I would run if we needed more jobs done...but it didn't bother me. I've run the four mile race course many times in the past few months of training and I knew in my heart how much I'd improved even if I didn't get an official time and the race experience.
But I did get to race and it was a blast. This year I was the one having to weave in and out of people as I passed them through the first mile. I started out really strong despite the crowd and was surprised when my Runkeeper app told me my pace was averaging under 11 minutes for the first half mile. I knew I couldn't keep that up the whole four miles so I purposely tried to slow up a bit while still keeping my pace well under 12 minutes per mile.
|Me, in the home stretch.|
This year we had several runners carrying loud speakers with music in backpacks for the rest of the runners around them to enjoy. I had my own music and verbal pacekeeper so I hated the backpack runners and it motivated me to pass them when I could. Apparently they also made announcements like citing statistics about orphans but I didn't hear those. They had several signs posted along the course with those stats and those were highly effective for motivating me. They reminded me of my running mantra "For the glory of God and the rescue of orphans!" that I always tell myself when the running gets tough.
It did get tough because I was pushing pretty hard and running alone. I had started out with my friend Laura but we got separated in the crowd and I started much faster than her. Unfortunately she lasted longer and passed me somewhere after mile 2, looking perfectly comfortable as she jogged by. So not fair considering she didn't train, but I must remember that she's more than ten years younger than me and carrying a lot less extra weight too. I found myself getting discouraged and actually slowing a little when a few people would pass me. It should motivate me to run faster but it didn't really, once they were past me I gave up any hope of overtaking them again.
|Stephanie, Amanda and Deb...my Katy Fit training partners for the past 3 months! |
This was Amanda's first race and now she's off to Army basic training.
The bad part was forgetting to puff on my inhaler before the race, something I've found makes a massive difference in my long, hard runs. Maybe it was mental but I found myself breathing much too hard in miles 3 and 4 so I did slow to walk for a few very short spurts. I could be kidding myself but I feel like if I'd used my inhaler and started closer to the front of the pack I might have shaved even more time. I also continue to battle a sinus infection that my antibiotics don't seem to be getting rid of, but that wasn't a huge issue during the race.
But I'm still super thrilled with my finish time of 47:57. My goal was 48 minutes, or a 12 minute pace and I met that goal. Last year my time was 53 minutes so this year is a big improvement. Mike photographed my finish and he says I looked far more comfortable at the end than last year when he thought I might cross the finish line and keel over. However almost all my friends and the vast majority of my age group finished ahead of me so I am motivated to continue training and knock my time down even more next year. If an 82 year old man can finish the race in under 30 minutes I should be able to do it in at least 40. More about future goals in upcoming blog posts.
|Forlorn Hope entertaining the crowd after the race.|
After the race I took over photography duties and enjoyed hearing Forlorn Hope entertain us. Apparently Scott was talking non-stop over the mic while the runners were out on the course and at one point he suddenly said "And now Mike Hubbell will entertain us with some showtunes" at which point he handed the mic to my good natured husband standing nearby. So without skipping a beat Mike busted out the first few lines of John Denver's Country Road. It kills me that no one got that on video but at least a few of my friends heard it. Also while I was running and my kids were having a ball in the bounce house my normally shy husband was chatting up our celebrity award presenters, Mrs. Texas International and Ms. Katy. He posted this photo on Facebook and was very popular in church the next morning.
All in all, Run 4 the Children was a huge success for our 1:17 adoption ministry and a happy day for me. I'm so grateful to everyone who came and ran, all the sponsors, all the volunteers and especially my fellow 1:17ers whose prayers and efforts made it happen. I believe the Lord greatly blessed our day. I truly cannot wait to do it all again next year.
|Many adoption groups and agencies were represented, including Alliance 14:18!|