Friday, June 7, 2013

Race 19 of 40 - The Dexter-Ann Arbor Run

So I sit here on the eve of Race 20, writing about Race 19. It's hard to focus on the memory of the Dexter-Ann Arbor Run (DX-A2) when I'm a little freaked about race 20 tomorrow - The Kona 10-Miler. But, we'll get to that in a minute. 

So - the DX-A2 - a race that I wasn't really planning on running. I was registered for the Cassie Hines Race in these Shoes 5k at Stoney Creek with my friend Vicki. We ran this race last year, its first year, and it was a lot of fun. But then...I saw a picture of the DX-A2 medal on Facebook. Seriously, you guys. This was THE medal. The medal I HAD to have. Just wait! 

A bit of history - the DX-A2 started in 1974 as a 15-mile race. It was soon changed to a half marathon and a 5k and 10k were added. it happens...this year...2013...was the 40th running of the DX-A2. And the medal was a huge "40". Absolutely could not be more perfect for my forty race quest this year. At first, I wasn't going to run this. I had committed to the other race with Vicki. I didn't want to back out on her. But then I thought about it. And I know that Vicki is awesome and would totally understand. And that if she found out about this after the fact, she probably would have been MORE upset that I didn't just do it. So I backed out on Vicki (which she, of course, totally understood) and  I signed up for the 10k.  It was also lucky that for this 40th anniversary, they were giving medals to ALL finishers. In other years, the half marathoners would be the only ones to get medals. But, trust me, I absolutely would have run the half if I had to.

I actually got to Ann Arbor super early for this one. This was a first for me; I wanted to put in extra miles BEFORE the race. I have the Kona 10-miler tomorrow (kinda anxious about this one, have I mentioned this?) and last Sunday was really my last chance to get that one last long run in before the Kona. So I got to Ann Arbor about 6:30am, grabbed packets for Becky and I, then threw on my shoes for a nice little pre-race run. I graduated from Michigan, and don't get back to campus that often. So this was a nice little treat to get in a run AND walk down memory lane. I ran to the Diag (made a big X as I crossed both ways, DIAGonally),  over to the Cube, ran through the West Engin arch, up to the fountain, etc. it was so much fun! Nice little pre-race 5k. (I posted a picture of the route) :)

So, to the race itself - Becky did this with me (personal best 10k for her!!) and Marcela found us too! I ran *most* of the race with Marcella. I could tell she wanted to run faster; I kept telling her not to slow down for me. But she insisted she wasn't in any hurry. The course itself was beautiful. Paved roads starting in downtown Ann Arbor and winding our way north. It was pretty much just out and back (we ran halfway, then turned around and ran back). As I said, Marcela stuck with me *most* of the way. We got to mile 5, she looked at me, gave me a quick wave, and *poof* she was gone. Don't worry, Marcela! I will never ever ever be mad at anyone for leaving me behind. I feel better about that than feeling like I'm holding someone up. :) 

And that last mile was TOUGH!! I felt like I was more tired than I should have been - I had to keep reminding myself that this wasn't actually mile 6 for me; this was mile 9. And then there was a big hill at the end. Dear race directors, why ya gotta put a big hill at the end of a race?! SO not fair!! But I made it! I ran up that hill with a little help from LMFAO - "I'm Sexy and I Know It" (It's a great running song! Don't judge!!) and I was awarded the most perfect medal. As Nicki said on Facebook when I posted the picture, "It's as if someone peered into your heart then created a medal" Totally right!!

So that was race 19. Now...race 20 is tomorrow. The Kona Run 10-miler. This one is definitely creatingsome anxiety. The folks at the Kona Group have put a pretty strict time limit on this one. Due to traffic and safety, we are limited to two hours to complete 10 miles. That works out to 12:00/mile. Now, back in April, I finished a half marathon (13.1 miles) and averaged 11:21/mile. In fact, for the first 10 miles, I was closer to 11:00/mile. So I have nothing to worry about, right?! RIGHT?! And, just last Sunday, I ran 9.3 miles in about 1:42. Pretty close to 11:00/mile.  Again, I'm freaking out for nothing...right?!? The answer probably really have nothing to worry about. But still...I'm SO close! And this course has one HUGE hill at the beginning and rolling hills throughout. And I normally run on flat streets. All I keep thinking is "what if...?" What if I get a cramp? What if I get a blister? What if, what if, what if? 

Also, the Kona Run is the second leg of the Kona Group's Triple Crown. Complete the Shamrock N Roll (Irish Wonder Woman was all over that, just in case you forgot), the Kona Run and The Wicked Halloween Run and I get an extra medal! Three races - four medals! So just more to freak about - if I don't finish this, I don't get the Triple Crown medal! Now, believe me, I KNOW I am being completely ridiculous and I have no reason to freak. But...I am kinda...  

So I've had some pasta and some beer to get some carbs. Probably time for a nice hot shower. Maybe some sleepy time tea? Definitely a Tylenol PM!!! Get a good night sleep then get up tomorrow and rock up some hills at less than 12:00/mile!! I'm SO ready!!! I think...

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