On April Fool’s Day I ran a race. This was my first race since the Philadelphia Marathon in November and my first race in Colorado. I figured I should run a race before going to Boston, so I did. It seemed like good idea to know where I stood when I put my racing shoes on at a big event like Boston, besides on the starting line…..ha!
My decision to run the race came midway through the previous week. I had heard about The Grand River Gallop from both of the running friends I made here. The Grand River Gallop benefits the Grand River Health Meals on Wheels Program. Since this race was for a good cause I had no problem committing to running it!
I had a vague idea how the race was going to go based on how I’ve been adapting to living in a new place and the altitude. I haven’t done any workouts but I felt like I could run under 22 minutes. Honestly, I never would have guessed that I would run under 21 minutes.
When I arrived at the race I went inside to register. The woman at the registration table was really friendly. She asked me if I planned on competing. I thought this was odd but there was a walk involved with the race so it probably wasn’t a crazy question. I was freezing the morning of the race and I considered racing in multiple shirts. I even had a winter coat in the car just in case. For being so cold my misery level was very very low. I was also really calm about this race. I just wanted to finish so I could tweet “I finally ran a race. This isn’t an April Fools joke.” In retrospect that isn’t as funny as I thought it was……
Before the race I found a friend and we did a 1 mile warm up. I actually warmed up. After the warm up I decided that I didn’t need to race in multiple shirts so I opted to just wear a jersey and shorts. We went to the starting line and did a few strides before the race director told Phil he could start the clock. I suppose he was in the right place at the right time.
Then, the race started and I ran. I thought it was strange that I was in 2nd place overall after about 600 meters. At mile 1 my watch said 6:14 and I realized that I had gone out too fast. This explained why I was in 2nd place. The race was an out and back course that went gradually uphill on the way out and then gradually downhill on the way back. Somewhere before the turnaround I noticed cars driving on the course. I’ve never been in a race where the course was open like this before. Luckily, I no longer live in New Jersey or I would have been road kill! I was happy that all of the drivers seemed to be polite. I ran mile 2 in 6:40 even though half of mile 2 was downhill. I was slowing down despite my best efforts not to. My legs felt great, my lungs did not. To my surprise I was still in 2nd place after mile 2. At this point in the race I made a goal not let anyone pass me no matter what. When I made this goal I thought I sped up, but I did not speed up. I ran mile 3 in 6:45 and no one passed me. As I turned to head toward the finish I was shocked that I was going to run under 21 minutes.
After the race my lungs were burning for a while, probably because I am new to racing at altitude and because I just haven’t been running ‘fast’. I managed to do a 1 mile cool down before going to the awards ceremony. As the first female finisher I won 50 $1 coins.
Overall, I was really happy with how I ran. My legs are much more fit than I realized and I am sure my lungs will catch up soon! I feel more confident going into The Boston Marathon and I am very happy I decided to run this race!