It is hard to reflect on this weekend. I guess I should start at the beginning, but if you have been in America in the last 24 hours you will know how this is going to end….maybe.
I talked to my coach a few weeks ago about how to adjust my training plan so that my legs weren’t burnt out for my first 10K of 2017. He suggested doing an easy 6-8 miles on Saturday for my long run instead of my scheduled 10. So, that is what I did. I planned to do 6, but when I found out that two women were willing to adjust their mileage too and do a run/walk with me I went ahead and did 8.
I was with the big group until a little bit after the first water stop when they went a 10:40+ pace. I wanted to stay between 11-11:20 so I wouldn’t burn out so we pulled back. It was a different route than our normal long runs which made it an interesting morning.
I was so thankful to have two wonderful women to run/walk with for those 4 miles. We had good conversations and even checked out the Polar Plunge events that were happening during our last half mile. It paid off because we ran in to one of our Team Fearless team members who was about to race!
With that being said I am so thankful for the Saturday morning experience that I had. However, there was a part of me sad that I couldn’t/didn’t do the extra miles. The group had an awesome run and there was a full group of them instead of just the three of us that I have been used to running with. The intermediate and beginner plans were the same for the first time in weeks! I wish I could have stayed with the large group, but I am glad I saved my energy and still had some wonderful company along the way.
That brings me to Super Bowl Sunday.
Yeah. I will start out by saying I am an Atlanta girl born and raised. I can’t imagine ever not being a Braves, UGA, and Falcons fan. It is really hard to be a Georgia sports fan. We always seem to have intense games that get the heart rate up, but ultimately end in disappointment. Even so, I will always be an Atlanta/Georgia fan.
I signed up for the Flat Out Events Game Day 10K before I even knew that my Falcons would be in the Super Bowl. I was VERY excited to wear my jersey and actually be representing a team playing that evening! I even borrowed a Tutu from Janet to take my costume to the next level and let everyone know who I was representing!
It has been almost 20 years since they were last in the Super Bowl and I really don’t remember it much, because I didn’t grow up in a football family. My husband is a die hard fan so it was a very special thing for him. He has missed a lot of games over the last few years because of deployments, but it made my heart so happy that he wasn’t going to miss this.
Back to the race. I met up with some of my J&A Wolfpack before the race. Tara led me through her warm up so I was properly stretched and ready to go when the race began. Stretching has been a big thing for Team Fearless over the last few weeks. I really don’t do it enough.
Then we were off! I started off a little too fast, but nothing too bad. My first four miles I stayed pretty consistent. I really wanted to maintain a 10min mile.
- My first mile was dead on 9:58.
- I picked it up a little bit for mile 2 9:50. Still pretty consistent.
- Mile 3 – 9:52 staying pretty even at the water stop Kelly and Tara caught up to me (both of whom were doing incredible negative splits) and I pushed myself to keep up with them for a little bit.
- Mile 4 – 9:49 Doing well!
- Then I tripped. I didn’t fall, but the way I caught myself tweaked my knee a little bit. I already have knee issues so this was a red flag for me to slow down and focus on finishing and not on my time. I did a run/walk for the last two miles staying between 10:30 and 12minutes.
The last 400m I thought of the Wolfpack Relay and tried to run it out. Another woman in a Matt Ryan jersey came up to me and said “if you push me, I’ll push you.” And we did! You can actually see us cross the finish line and give each other a high five here.
This was a hard one. I was doing so well up until I had my knee issues. I was on pace to shave 8 minutes off my PR set by the Wicked 10K. With Shamrock and the Princess Half right around the corner I couldn’t risk being out of commission. I listened to my body. But I still had doubts. I wondered if my knee hurt as bad as I thought it did or if it was mental. I questioned if I should be pushing myself or if I was giving myself an easy out. I wondered if it even mattered not running my normal long run the day before. Maybe I shouldn’t have been trying to PR and I should just stop looking at my watch. So many thoughts were racing through my head. It makes it hard to feel the endorphin rush at the finish line.
Even with all the thoughts I still took 6 minutes and 30 seconds off my 10K race time. (Last 10K was the Wicked 10K in October.) Even with my walking I crushed my last race time. My inner thoughts still kept me from enjoying it. I kept thinking all of the what-ifs and replaying the moment I tripped through the end of the race. Today Tasha and Janet grabbed me out of my head though and now I am feeling much better. Both of them complimented my PR and several people on Strava gave me kudos on my PR. It feels good. They can’t hear the voices in my head, they just see the time and the PR and think it is worthy of celebrating. And you know what, it is worthy of celebrating!
The after party was a lot of fun. Races with my J&A team are so much better than being at a race alone like I had been for so many races in 2016.
Now, I wish my story ended there and for the most part it does for the sake of this blog’s theme. As you know- the Falcons started out strong last night and then were defeated by the Patriots in an amazing come back. If it hadn’t been my team I would praise the Patriots for it. However, it was my Falcons and I wanted it so badly for them and especially for my husband who took the loss pretty hard. It was very hard to witness my husband go through that range of crashing emotions. I hope we won’t have to wait another 20 years to try again for a ring.