You would think that after Ironman, I would be taking a break from racing for a few weeks. While that probably would have been the smart thing to do, I couldn’t pass up two races this weekend.
Saturday was Al’s Run 8k for Children’s Hospital. I do this race every year, and I didn’t want to skip it. It was my first run since Ironman (actually my first workout of any kind besides walking). I ran the entire race with Steve, and we finished in 36:11, or 7:17 pace. Though it was over a minute off of my time from last year, I am surprised I was able to run that fast. My legs were really feeling it the last couple miles. I took 9/225 in my age group, which I was happy with. I have no pictures because we rode our bikes to the race and I couldn’t bring my camera.
Sunday was the North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon. The kind people at The North Face were nice enough to offer me an entry to this race, so I really couldn’t pass it up. I though if nothing else, I would just run/walk it for fun. This was my third year in a row participating in this event. I did the half marathon in 2009 and the 50k in 2010, and it is one of my favorite races of the year. It is incredibly well-run, the trails are beautiful, and the race swag is awesome.
I started the race towards the back of the pack, and there was a huge bottleneck in the beginning. I took the first few miles slow, and then tried to crank it up a little. It was sort of an experiment, because my legs (quads) felt like they were on the verge of blowing up for pretty much the entire race. I decided to just go for it, push myself, and see what happened. It was fun because I was picking people off the entire race, and I really never got passed. I made it my goal to reel in one person at a time. It is a fairly hilly course, and while the up-hills were hard, the down-hills just plain hurt. I saw my friend Joel volunteering on the course at mile 7, and he told me to get moving. I saw him again at mile 10, and he told me that it was almost all downhill to the finish. I told him my quads were killing me, and he basically said to suck it up and let ‘er rip.
I did just that and was able to catch another girl with a mile to go. I ran the last mile in 7:08 and felt strong crossing the line. I couldn’t believe how fast the race went by, and I finished in 1:47:42, or 8:14 pace. I was 7th overall female out of 176, and less than a minute away from winning my age group. I wish I would have pushed it a little bit more in the beginning, but I really can’t be upset about anything considering what my body has been through in the last week.
After the race I got to meet ultra running superstar Dean Karnazes, and I got him to sign my bib.
I heard him tell someone that his next goal is to run a marathon in every single country in the world in one year. Awesome.