Saturday morning we drove out to College Park, the whopping 8 miles away. It was about 50 degrees and sunny. We got our numbers and sat in the car for awhile. At 745 we got out and went to the starting line. There was also a 10K, and people were concerned about the split, but I remembered it was well marked. People seemed happy I knew this. At 758, I mentioned the hills and I hoped my legs were ready. D goes, "Hills?" I said, "Oh yes, the last 2/3rds of this race suck." He kind of just looked at me. We kissed and then they said, "Go." Despite the chip there was no starting map. There weren't that many people (500?) so it wasn't a huge deal.
We ran down Main Street to Rugby where the 5Ker's turned left. I knew I was going fast, but I felt ok. There was this teen (14-15ish) who kept trying to keep up with me. Well, he would run past, get a side cramp and then walk, I would pass, and this would repeat. I wanted to tell him just to run my pace, because he was annoying me, but he eventually figured it out, and kept my pace for about 2 minutes. I hit 9 minutes when I should walk break but I still felt strong and I wanted to see if I could get under 12 minutes on the first mile. We turned down Napoleon, I lost the kid, and Mile 1 clicked by at 11:59. YES! Boy Scouts were handing out water, but I didn't take any.
Off Napoleon you turn on to Walker. I thought about what comes down, must always go up. I tried to keep a decent pace but my legs said to take a break. Since I missed the 9 minute, and I knew there were more hills, I took about a 45 second break (pretty much walked up the rest of the hill). Turned onto Victoria and struggled but kept running. Finally got onto Lyle that was kind of Flat, and then had a huge downhill. Some people passed me on the down hill, but I knew there were more uphills. So I tried to keep as steady as possible. On Pierce it was steep/rolling. Somewhere around here was Mile 2. I missed what my time was. I would run up about 3/4 of a hill and walk the rest, and then run again. I seemed to pass a lot of people this way. Cambridge was just a long hill, I kind of cursed, but told myself to go. There was a green lady and a purple lady (purple was walking REALLY fast), that I wanted to catch. Purple also ran all the down hills. I was in passing distance of Green Lady when she made a mistake, she missed the sign to turn on to Hemphill. I'm not sure how she missed it but the Volunteer got her back on track. I "made my move," and passed her. Meaning, I ran at the same pace. Ran down Hemphill to Virginia. On Virginia the first 2 10kers and the cops came by. Yeah, I'm slow. Oh well. I couldn't catch Purple. Onto College Avenue. Ah the last hill. I got up to Purple. I saw D. I started walking. hahaha! I got to the crest and resumed running and ran onto the track for my lap. Purple started running. Some other lady (Blue Sweatshirt) came from nowhere and took over us. I had half a lap to go, and Purple was slowing. More 10kers were coming. Actually the ones that I said were probably going to win (age group winners). I passed Purple on the turn. The announcer was saying she was trying to catch up. Told me to put some umph into it. I kicked the time. I knew she was behind me and coming up. I sprinted. I beat her barely (2 seconds).
My time: 41:15. Not my best but since I've been hurt and undertrained, I was happy with it. It was 1 minute+ more than last year.
D met me and got me some water. We went and got our T-shirts. I asked if he placed. He said no, and thought it was weird I asked him. He said he was sure he got in the top 10 of his AG. He came in 38th over all (out of 253). And he said, "THOSE HILLS."
We went out for lunch, later. While out, I got an email that said I placed 4th in my AG. 4th, PEOPLE! I don't care how slow I am, but that is probably my best finish ever. 4TH!!!!
So we'll do the race next year. One of those women might turn 45 and I could place 3rd!