You know...some races are better than others. This was not one of those!
The race was at Craighead Forest Park in Jonesboro, which is about 30 minutes away. I wanted to get up in time to get a light breakfast and water in me a couple of hours before start time, but I woke up late and was doing good to just get out the door in time to get to the venue. I went to the locale that was emailed the night before to be the registration area....it had moved. Finally found the registration area, got checked in (there were no safety pins, but luckily I had some in my car), and waited for the start time.
This was a really small race...only 29 participants...and one of my favorite venues, so I was hoping for a really good race.
Mile 1: The first half mile was down hill, which I loved!! My coach, Erin, had given me some pointers and warned me about going out too fast and sticking to my plan. I tried! I really did, but when I seen that the beginning was downhill, I knew I could go a little further before taking a walk break. I actually ran 6'20" before taking a 1 minute walk break. I was able to maintain a 3' run/1' walk the entire first mile and felt really strong, even though this mile ended in the trails.
Mile 2: Still on the trails!! I was not expecting this to be a trail run. I continued to stick to my intervals, but I had to slow my run portion way down to compensate for the terrain and the hills, which weren't as bad as some races. (I actually don't mind the hills for the most part). I was proud of myself for running UP the hills and sticking to the intervals and tried desperately to distract myself with the beautiful scenery of the park.
Mile 3: My legs are just done. The constant uneven terrain is taking its toll and I have to admit...a few dirty words slipped out as I battled to keep to the intervals. I really wanted to finish this mile strong and thought I might have a chance to finish in 40:00, but I just wasn't able to maintain. There was no water on the course and I was parched (I don't carry water on these short races because there is usually at least one water station). Thankfully, one of my running friends from CRAC (Crowleys Ridge Athletic Club), came out to run me in the last 1/4 mile and just kept encouraging me to not stop and keep running. I finished in 43:17, and 8 second improvement over the previous week. I'll take it. Especially on a trail run!
The finish line was actually a mile away from where I parked at the start line, so I had a nice cool down walk to my car....the awards was in a different area on the other side of the lake, so we had to change locations...again.
This race wasn't as organized as many of the others I've been in and I definitely didn't have the best attitude going into it, but sometimes life is that way. You don't always have control over what you're given, but you do have control over what you do with it.