Another race in 2014 is in the books…this morning I ran the Freedom 4 Miler. I ran this race last year but they had it downtown (recap HERE). This year it was in Forest Park, so it was like a new race to me.
The race began with us running directly on the surface of the sun. It actually wasn’t that hot (for St. Louis) but after standing there a while before the start I was sweating.
I stopped to take that photo and it was then I realized how iffy I was feeling. I’d only run about 1.5 miles and I was feeling nauseous. My leg was feeling fine but I was just not feeling like running. I know I started out too fast–my first mile was about 9 minutes which right now is a bit too fast for me for a 4 mile race. So despite my loose goals of finishing under 40 minutes while running continuously, as we approached Skinker I moved to the side and walked. This was just one of those days where running feels harder than other days.
I’m never going to enjoy the feeling of being passed but I handled it pretty well. A woman pushing a double stroller passed me, which always amazes me. Then a couple of people from the Big River Running Training Team passed me which motivated me to start up again and try to keep them in my sights. This only lasted for a minute or so and then I walked again. Once I start walking it’s really hard to get back into run mode.
As I turned right onto Skinker near the 2 mile mark I heard chanting. I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from at first and then realized it was a pack of soldiers at some point behind me. As the chanting got louder it made me feel like I was being chased, which was incredibly motivating. I ran again.
On Lindell I stopped and walked some more and encountered a few other people running/walking. I was in a weird position because when I ran I was faster than the people around me but then I would walk and they would pass me again. It was an ongoing game of leapfrog.
I considered just giving in and letting them pass me but I looked at my watch and saw 3.50 miles had passed and figured I could run for half a mile, so I got moving again.
The last straightaway was the same as the start, in front of The Spanish Pavillion.
I could see the clock in the distance and the time was still beginning with a 3, which is when I realized I had a chance to finish under 40 minutes (I’d stopped looking at my pace after I began walking).
I crossed the finish line and Doug Vaughn from channel 4, the emcee, read my name, which was fun (he read everyone’s name). I saw the clock time was just over 40 minutes but I also knew I didn’t start when the clock started so I was hopeful I still broke 40 minutes. And I did!
I’m really not sure how I did that as I felt like I walked quite a bit, but I guess my running was quick enough to make up for it. I really need to get my pacing together.
I am certain I could not have done it without these motivators.
There would have been no shame in being passed by a bunch of buff soldiers; I just really felt like they were chasing me and I wanted to get away. 🙂