Tag Archives: lovetherun

First 12k & Shalane Flanagan!!!

14 Dec

I realized I didn’t blog about my first race out here in the D.C. area until now; now that I just completed my second race here on the east coast. Both 12ks!!!

For starters, my first race in the D.C. area was actually in Old Town, Alexandria. The race: .US National Road Racing Championships, 12k. Holy heck was this race incredible! It was cold and I was faced with a 12k at 7am. I didn’t know what to expect. A 12k is 7.45645 miles and this was a fast course winding through the city. The race began with the elites. Do you understand what I just said? The elites!!! I was an arm length away, well maybe three arm lengths away from Shalane Flanagan!!! Wow! If you know me you know that Shalane Flanagan is my running idol and when I saw her, I had jitters! There she was in her signature style: her svelte body, her blonde hair in a pony tail, her compression socks…I was in awe. I swear it was like I was looking at a cover of Running Times or what have you… but this was real, she was right there in front of me. I wanted to drool. These elites are spectacular! They make me want to race harder and aspire to be more. When I saw her I thought to myself, what the heck am I doing at the same race as an Olympian!? Are you kidding me! I was elated, intimidated, excited, and freaking nervous!

Then the race started. It was cold. It was fast. And then there was a hill to get to this bridge (I didn’t know where the heck I was this point) and I just kept trucking away. I remember my lungs burning because it was so damn cold (or so I thought). I remember wanting to quit. Who runs a 12k, anyway? Then I reached deep down inside and told myself to keep going. I think the trouble was that I wasn’t familiar with the area and not having my bearings frustrated me because I couldn’t make sense of the course. And for that reason I have my Garmin. My Garmin kept flashing 6:47, 7:30, 7:45, 7:55, 6:30 and so forth. I was fast. I was slow. What gives? I found a tempo nonetheless. There were hills, people! At one point because the cold I actually took a 10 second breather. I did so because I read that taking a mini-break could actually help you more! I did it contrary to what I would normally and it helped me rebirth that fire inside to keep going and try to go fast.

Towards the end of the race there were these two girls that were ahead of me by perhaps 30 seconds. I was tailing them the whole time. They were never out of sight. I’d say right at about the 7 mile mark, with .45 miles remaining, I closed in on them. I had reserves. I used those reserves and sped right on passed them. The two women were not too happy and as I pounded the pavement gaining on them and passing them, this one gal to my left looked utterly pissed. She caught on back up and then I dug deep, thinking, “Not today, lady. This is mine!” And I gained a lead and she trailed in behind me 7 seconds later then the next girl 11 seconds later. Doesn’t sound like much, but every second counts!!!

The race was exhilarating.  My finish time was 55:52 with a 7:29 pace per mile.

I placed 5th out of 56 for top 8.9% in my age group.

I placed 59th out of 350 for top 16.9% in overall gender.

I placed 215th out of 713 for top 30.2% overall.

Not too shabby.

The trouble was I had more in me and today, December 14, 2013, I realized just how much more!

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