"Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don't have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up."

Monday, September 13, 2010

City of the Lakes 25K Race Recap

I don't even know where to start in regards to a recap for this race. There is so much to say. The weather conditions for this race couldn't have been more ideal. It was mid 50's at the start of the race with a windspeed of about 2-3 mph. Jeremy and I got to the start of the course at about 7:00AM (race started at 8:00AM). I like to get there early just to make sure I'm ready to go. We waited around for quite a bit, and then I hopped in line for the portapotties in preparation for the race. I saw two guys that I recognized from the Bootcamp class at Lifetime that I had been a part of. I also met the men's XC coach for Minnetonka High School. We both acknowledged that when coaching, your own personal training program is somewhat sacrificed for the sake of your runners. Although it can mess with you mentally, the joy of coaching and being around student athletes is FAR worth it! My parents got there at about 7:40. It was so nice to have them cheering me on.

I was ready to run a 25k (aka 15.5 miles). I approached the front of the start line, wanting to get a head start on the pack of 1,200 runners. As I looked around, two minutes before the gun went off, I realized there were mostly men around me. There were very few ladies up near the line. But I decided to be bold and stay up front. The gun went off and we were off. The course was a figure eight, two and a half times around Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun. I knew this course. I ran this race last year, and Jeremy and I had run these lakes last weekend as a part of my 22 mile run. What I forgot was that when we ran the weekend before, we ran on the path alongside the lakes; however, the race was actually on the parkway (the roads next to the lakes). The parkway is far hillier than the actual path. Regardless I felt strong. I ran the first mile a lot faster than I had planned to run. I wanted to stay in control, and not exhaust my legs too quickly. I ended up running 7:21 my first mile. Jeremy found me on his bike just after the one mile and cautioned me to slow down. He knew if I tried to keep that pace I'd crash and burn at some point. And I took his advice.

I saw my parents numerous times along the course, and they cheered loud and gave me high fives, it was great! They were often near large hills, so seeing their faces got me up those hills each time. My dad is known to run alongside me for parts of the race, and it ALWAYS makes me smile. As always, my biggest fan (my husband) was on his bike ready to support me a large portion of the course. I cannot express the overwhelming comfort I experience when my best friend is on his bike alongside me. I could hear the gentle whisper of his wheels rotating amidst the soft slapping of shoes hitting the pavement. One of my XC runners, DC, was also there cheering me on. He is by far the loudest fan I had, and it was much appreciated. I could here him cheering from a distance. I even had another runner turn around and say, "Who's Bree? You have quite the fan club, that's awesome!" Two co-workers, Dana and Mary, were also there cheering me on! It was so great to have their smiling faces there, reminding me that I was capable of doing the task at hand. I also had a good friend, runner, and former client, Sarah, there cheering me on. With such a big smile on her face, I couldn't help but smile and waive back! I was so blessed to have so many people supporting me.

For most of the race, there was a girl near me who appeared my age. She'd pull ahead, until we got to the hills, that's where I'd take her. Once we got over the hills we'd often be side by side, or she'd pull slightly ahead. I knew I wanted to keep pace with her, because she was in my age bracket :)

At the Half Marathon split, I crossed the line at 1:41:08, which is a new half PR for me! At that point I was slightly in front of my competition. I don't know how much further she was behind, and I was too afraid to look back, in fear that she was right behind me. At mile 14 it started getting really tough. I had a sideache like I have never experienced before. It wasn't just on one side--it was on BOTH! I often thought about stopping to stretch it out. But two thoughts crossed my mind.
1. "The pain of discipline is FAR LESS than the pain of regret."
2. You've got 1 1/2 miles left, do you SERIOUSLY want to walk now, when you've come this far.

I slowed my pace (not by choice), sucked it up, and kept running. I finally hit mile 15, and knew the end was right around the bend. As I hit the straightaway towards the finish, I picked it up, and gave what I had left. I could see my Dad, Mom, Jeremy, DC, Mary, and Dana. They were all cheering for me.

Before I share my results I want to share my results from last year. Last year was my first year running this race, and I did it in 2:07:50. There is always more pressure when you do a race for the second time. My goal was to beat my time from last year. Realistically I was hoping for 2:05:something.

Time: 2:00:22
Age Place: 16/65
Female Place: 53/246
Overall: 53/653 (actually finishers)

I did it! I shaved over 7 minutes off my time from last year. Not only did I beat my time from last year, but I beat my goal of 2:05. I came close to breaking the 2 hour mark. I am very pleased with my time. AND, final accomplishment.....I beat the girl in my age bracket! Many goals were accomplished at this race!

I did not feel the strongest physically, but what I am very happy with is that I felt EXTREMELY mentally strong. The mental strength is what I will need for Chicago Marathon.

I am ready for Chicago--10/10/10.


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  2. Bree: You rock!
    This is one more step towards preparing for Boston, so run like the wind!

  3. Bree: I am honored to be featured on your blog. You once again have proved that you can do anything that you set your mind to do. Remember, always aim high and drive for your goal the body will carry the mind's will!
    Love Dad