On Sunday I ran the Sugar Land Finish Line Sports 30k. To date, this was the longest distance I’ve raced. After the debacle that was the Rock N Roll SA half marathon and then the gloriousness that was the 18 miler I ran a few weeks ago, I was a little unsure going into the race just how things would pan out.
To solidify that I am 65 years old living in a 25 year old body I went to bed at 9pm on Friday night. And by went to bed at 9pm I really mean that I fell asleep on the couch at 8pm but tried to convince Sean I was awake. Apparently he wasn’t buying it so I moved to my actual bed.
I spent Saturday morning catching up with one of my best friends at a brunch celebrating her college graduation, and then the rest of Saturday afternoon hiding in my house. By 9:30pm Saturday night I was back in bed. I’m a force to be reckoned with some weekends.
Sunday morning I woke up at 4am questioning my sanity – who signs up for a 6:30am race that’s 45 minutes away? Who voluntarily gives away their entire weekend to race anyway? Oh yeah, me. And Sean. Because at 4:45 I was waking him up and pulling him out the door… he’s a real trooper, that one.
We got to the race super early, had a minor miscommunication with Britt (I told her we were in one hotel when we were in fact in a different one. I should learn to read signs.), met up with Britt, and soon enough we were walking to the start line with our paparazzi in tow.
Be prepared for an onslaught of terrible photos. Clearly I have no shame.
It was pretty cold out Sunday morning, but after a lot of debating with myself I settled on shorts and a long sleeved shirt. Shorts were a good decision. The long sleeved shirt was an OK decision.
Britt and I decided beforehand that we would start out running together and just hang with each other as long as we could. If one of us was feeling particularly speedy or like we couldn’t keep up then we would split up, no worries. This was also a good decision.
Let me preface this by saying that I have never run an entire race with someone before. While Britt and I have done a lot of training runs together, I was a little worried about how running a whole race would go and if it was even possible. She is the BEST running partner ever and played a large role in how successful this race was for me.
Before we started Britt asked if starting in the 8:45’s was OK and then speeding up as we went. Outwardly I said sure and inwardly I said that was too fast. It’s a good thing I didn’t say what I was thinking inwardly because I don’t think I give myself nearly enough credit sometimes.
You are welcome in advance for the following photos.
The course was set up so that you ran a little over a mile out to a loop which was a little over 4 miles long. We rounded the loop three times. It was all on the same street. When we started out we battled the normal start-line congestion before finally getting breaking free of the crowds and settling into a good pace.
Despite the fact that I look as though I’m about to kill someone, I actually felt pretty good. We were running in the 8:30’s the first couple miles and just kept speeding up.
Britt and I switched off chatting and running in silence the whole time. By the second loop of the street I was pretty bored with the scenery but there was some comfort in knowing exactly how far we had to go before looping again. By the second loop the first place runner lapped us. NBD. There was also an awesome HIGH 5 dog that we high fived every time we ran past. Good addition to the race.
One complaint: the first water station we passed they were passing out Gatorade first, then water. The second water station we passed they were passing out water first, Gatorade second. Shoulda kept it consistent in my opinion.
Because we ran the same loop 3 times we passed the same photographers in the same spots 3 times. I did my absolute best to smile every time we passed them. I’ll let you be the judge of how that went.
Well I tried.
Apparently I got bored running and took a nap during the race. You try and run and sleep, it’s no easy feat.
Around mile 12 I started to have a slight problem. I kept telling myself that I didn’t actually have to stop running to go to the bathroom. In fact, I told myself that for 4 miles. Also no easy feat.
When we hit 13.1 at 1:51 Britt yelled out to me that I had just PR’d in the half. Ha! Take that SA!
Britt and I were cruising along in the 8:20’s by the time we reached the last set of bathrooms on the course and I made the decision to pull over. She asked if I was sure but I had to stop – less than 3 miles to go or not.
I made it in and out in record time and literally came out of the bathroom sprinting. I wanted to catch up with Britt at that point – we had run over 16 miles together, there was no way I didn’t want to finish together. So I – somehow – busted out sub 8 minute miles until I caught her a little after mile 17. I don’t really know how it happened. I’m incredibly happy it did though.
When we hit mile 18.1 a gentleman yelled out to us that we were keeping a good pace and that the finish line was in less than 1/4 mile. Um, no, it’s a 1/2 mile away. Double the distance you just said, sir. We rounded a couple corners before I yelled to Britt something along the lines of “WHERE THE EFF IS THE FINISH LINE”… and by “something along the lines of” I mean that is word for word what I yelled.
Sean got this shot of the finish line before anyone crossed it:
And here we come:
As we passed that guy he yelled out “good job ladies!”… If I were him I wouldn’t have let two girls pass me though. But he’s looking a little rough there and while I don’t want to speak for Britt I’m going to anyway and say that her and I were both feeling pretty darn good. If I’m wrong, Britt, let me know.
Because Sean likes Britt more than me (rude), he managed to get this AWESOME shot of her finishing while I am blocked by the guy in blue. We both had our hands in the air because we CRUSHED it.
As soon as we stopped running I hurt. However while I was running I felt great the.entire.time.
I went into this race wanting to hit sub-9 miles the whole time. I was aiming for around an 8:45-8:50 pace. I went into this race wanting to finish under 2:50.
We both crossed the finish line with a time of 2:37:56 with an average pace of 8:29.