Holy cow, it’s a wet and rainy day here, folks! Anyone else experiencing a drizzle or down pour?
Even though it was raining cats and dogs during the Nate Race, I finished in 23:53 and placed third in my age group!
When I woke up this morning, I thought I would be running the race solo, but my dad surprised me; he woke up early this morning and wanted to join me—the more the merrier! We left the house around 7:30 a.m. and arrived in Canastota just before 8 a.m.
As soon as I nabbed my “swag bag,” I started digging for my race bib and crossed my fingers for an odd number. I’m not overly superstitious, but I definitely prefer odd bib numbers to even ones.
I didn’t have my phone with me during the actual race, so I couldn’t snap pictures along the way. A true road race, this course defined flat and fast—it was basically an out-and-back run. Since it was so level—virtually no hills and only a handful of turns—I was hoping for a strong performance. However, it started raining (hard!) as the runners toed the start line, and my iPod died just after mile one. Yikes! (It was such a rookie mistake not charging my iPod the night before a race. I should know better by now!)
Although I was apprehensive to be running without music for a good portion of the race, I was really glad there were markers that designated both kilometers and miles; the signs helped me maintain a smart and feasible pace. (I really do need to invest in a Garmin Forerunner, though.) Along the course, there were several locals on their doorsteps and spectators sprinkled along the street side; it was great to see so many people out cheering us on even though it such a yucky day.
Even with a dead iPod, I remained calm and executed my race plan: I ran easy for the first mile, slowly picked up the pace for the second, and laid down the hammer for the final 1.1. Looking back on the race, I think “running naked,” or sans music, proved to be a blessing in disguise. Without LMFAO or Kanye West blasting in my earbuds, I found it much easier to connect with my body and assess my stride and turnover rate. A lack of music also helped me stay in the race mentally; it was easier to set mini goals (like maintain contact with the runner in pink shorts) and ultimately pick people off. When I kicked it into high gear at the end of mile two, my mental game was still going strong: I could hear my mantras much better (like “you’ve been here before, you know this feeling, you will overcome this”), and I also did a better job of acknowledging negative thoughts (like “my legs are tired”), and then dismissing them. Overall, I think this is one of the smartest—if not the smartest—race I’ve ever run.
As soon as I crossed the finish line, I knew I broke the 24-minute mark; the question remaining was by how much. There wasn’t a race clock on display, so other than my body’s indication of how fast I ran, I couldn’t pinpoint an accurate time. After grabbing some water, walking around, and stretching out, I headed back to the finish line to cheer on my dad.
A kids’ half-mile fun run and memorial service for Nate followed, during which balloons were released into the sky. It was a touching gesture.
How did you spend your Saturday? Did you run a race or take the day off?