I started this years Tour De Carrboro, with the 4 of the Fourth.
Whew. This turned out to be a difficult race for me for a lot of reasons. The biggest one being a lack of training since my last race. After the 5K on June 16th my legs hurt incredibly, so I slacked off. I concentrated on getting stuff done for my move and job and such. All of a sudden this 4 miler crept up on me. Had it been another 5K I think I would have felt more confident, but alas, it was a 4 miler.
I woke up this morning with no idea when the race was starting and not knowing where it was. About 6:30 I check the net and discovered where it was and when. Then I attempted to wake up with coffee, and all of a sudden it was 7 am. I couldn't find any shorts, Eventually I found a pair of cotton shorts that I don't usually wear for running and went with them. I never had tme to eat breakfast! Luckily the race was not far from my house. I arrived at 0745, for a race starting at 0800!!
I got my number, lucky number 209, and my pair of socks. They have American flag style ribbons on the cuff and on the foot actually say "Four on the Fourth July 2007" so sort of an interesting pair of socks, no t shirt for the series. I pinned on my number and got my shoes on, did a few stretches.
Then I saw my co-worker Anne! She has been running for a long time but keeps a 12 min mile pace, so we decided to start together. This race was not chip timed, so I had to convince her to start near the front. She was not entirely convinced, so I ended up mid pack. I know they want slower runners to start near the back, but when a race is not chippped, I am in now way going to start 2 mins back!! Chip timing evens out the field, especially because the start seemed to have a bit of a bottleneck.
So the race started, this time I did hear the gun Bam! (Very appropriate for our noisy holiday). I started off at a comfy pace, which was somewhat faster than Anne. I waved bye to her and didn't see ehr again during the run.SInce I've been joggin with the dog, it felt very strange to not have the dog with me, my hands felt very free!!!
Somewhere at mile one, a lady came up beside me and told me she wanted to pace off of me because she felt my pace was slow. I explained to her that I had not been training and it was likely I would be walking. She told me I had the same pace of her friend Joyce and that she was going to call me Joyce (ok that was odd, I think…)We ran together for a while, and eventually I stopped and walked. I'm not sure if I wanted to walk, or if I just wanted to get rid of the lady who kept calling me "Joyce"….
The miles were marked well with the cute cardinal, and I didn't miss seeing any of them. I got a bit annoyed by the cheering section because they kept announcing things like "halfway there!" when we were actually about .4 miles from the mile 2 marker. This of course kept getting up my hopes.
The course was a little hilly, up and down and up and down, but not too bad. The temperature was great about 70 and breezy, which is very unusual in NC in July. Everyone running seemed to be in good spirits except for one teenager running with her Mom who kept pushing her to "Pick up the pace" which I thought was pretty horrible. I was behind her for a few minutes and I could tell by the way she was running that she was a. not a natural runner, b. not enjoying the race, and c. not actually trained or accustomed to running… It was not fun to listen to and eventually I was able to really pass them and not have to hear it anymore, but through mile 2-3 that was what I heard. The mother kept looking behind her as if she was very concerned about people passing. Frankly, we were the back of the pack, so i don't know why it mattered.
Anyway, I finally came into the final stretch with the lying cheerers who kept saying "You are almost there" it turned out almost there meant i had 0.75 more mile!!!
I did manage to stay ahead of Anne the entire race which thrilled me. But other than that, it was not a great race due to my lack of training. I ended up doing about an 11.15 min mile.
I am now inspired to start back to training and we'll see what happens next.
Happy 4th of July everyone!!!!