Elissa are you running the Kelley race at OBP?
That right there is an exact Facebook exchange I had with a friend on Thursday.
So, for the race itself. We had one of those freaky fronts move through Friday night and the miracle of low humidity was given to us as a gift. When I got up Saturday morning, it was only 64 degrees with a forecast high of 78. The break in humidity alone was enough to make me want to
As I hydrated and ate my oatmeal I had to fight off pre-race jitters. I had them bad - almost like this was my very first race ever. Mr. Helen smartly decided to get the heck out of the house and went off to work for a couple hours saying he would see me at the finish line.
This race is unique because it's free so to register for it, you send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the race director and about a month before the race, you get your Bib in the mail. There's also race day registration but I always do it ahead of time and since the start of the race is only 5 miles or so from my house I can arrive in a leisurely manner, literally at the last minute.
I got there about a half an hour before and immediately hit the restrooms then took off for a half mile warmup jog. Back to the restrooms then back to my car to get my Fuel Belt. Even though this is a well-supported event with water stops every couple of miles, my stomach cannot tolerate Gatorade so I've learned to wear my own water system and carry my own energy/hydration drinks. As it turned out, yesterday I was on a completely different drinking schedule than where the stops were located so I was really glad I had my belt on. When I would come to a water stop, I used that water to refill the one water bottle I was carrying. It worked out great!
The crowds were as big as I suspected. Strangely enough I didn't see a lot of runners I knew, except for one couple who happens to attend the same martial arts dojo as me. While I knew they take part in lots of 5Ks I had no idea they ever ran distance. And when I said that to them they responded that they woke up and "just decided" to do it. Oooookay. If you're not a runner you won't understand this, but that immediately began to mess with me mentally.
What do you mean you just decided to do it? I've been training my butt off for 12 weeks! Oh. My. God. I'm going to get beat by people who "just decided to do it." I''m going to be dead last. I'm going to be last in my age group. I'm going to suck. Oh. My. God.
I immediately began to use the positive mantras I had practiced and put a stop to those thoughts. Because, after all, it was not about them at all, but it was all about me.
The gun went off and I was really happy with how I went out, forcing myself to run slower than I felt like I wanted to. I got a lovely surprise when I saw our fellow blogger Karen Anderson and her husband sitting on the ocean wall yelling my name and encouragement. Most of the miles feel like a blur today but I do remember thinking at one point that this was first time I could remember having so many people around me so late in the race. You know that hill at mile 8? The one with no shade and no water that feels like 100 degrees even if it's only 78? Yep, that's exactly how it was. My mantra: "I eat hills for breakfast. I eat hills for breakfast." And I fast walked it more than running it. My reward? On the crest a guy that I had seen at the beginning of the race but who then took off really fast... I caught up to him - and then passed him! Ahhhh, little victories.
As I neared the end, I continued to pass other runners. As I went by a woman who seemed to be alternating jogging and walking I told her to walk to the corner and then run like hell for the photo! She laughed and thanked me and told me good luck.
I came around the corner and there was Mr. Helen screaming his head off. The most exciting thing about seeing him? I knew he had my food!!! He was using my camera instead of his own so these photos aren't the best but here's a few shots of me running to the finish: