I like women. I like running. I like Boston. I like road races. So running the Tufts Health Plan 10k For Women was a no-brainer.
Well... until I realized it was the day after the Boston Athletic Association Half Marathon!
As part of Team Reebok, we got some sweet gear to train in...
... and we got to participate in a training run on a Wednesday night out of City Sports.
It was great to meet some of the Reebok reps as well as some fellow women running the 10k.
The morning of the race I woke up with happy and healthy legs - WOO!! I wasn't sure what to expect since just the day before I had set a PR in the BAA Half (1:48:16) by over 3 minutes.
I got up and figured out the best pre-race prep I could since my normal schedule was thrown off since the race didn't begin til 12.
But, I was excited to put on the Team Reebok uniform for the day!
I didn't have expectations for the Tufts run and was going to be perfectly content to use it as a recovery run... but we know me, once I got there I was ready to compete! :)
Especially since I was meeting up with some of the wonderful Boston ladies of Fitfluential and they are a speedy bunch!
Thanks to Amy C. from Running Escapades for the pic!
It was great to meet up with this group, especially since I had yet to meet two of the ladies in person before.
We also grabbed a couple pics with the entire Team Reebok crew before heading out to start our pre-race routines...
(Photo courtesy of Reebok's Twitter)
For me, that meant the port-o-potty lines! :P
But before I even made it to the lines, I ran into more friends:
My girl and fellow Weight Watchers Leader Melissa (aka @alifetimeloser)
and Sparkly Soul Inc headband peeps (aka @SparklySoulInc)!
Of course, I needed to pick up a purple Sparkly Soul headband to match my Reebok shirt :)
Once I made it through the port-o-potty line it was time to make my way to the Start Line area. They had corrals set up, but then they kept encouraging us to move closer so I ended up about 10-12 rows back from the Start Line itself. So I could see my fast friend Robin right up near the elite runners, where she belongs.
Thanks for the sweet outfit Reebok ... please ignore my cameltoe going on here! :P
I love when I actually am close enough to see the Start Line - it doesn't happen in too many races. ;)
Once the gun went off, we were gone!! It was amazing to see the flashes ahead of me of the elite runners taking off. They were wicked inspiring.
Now, the rules had stated not to bring headphones for runners safety and guess who was the knucklehead that paid attention to the rules ... yup! Me! So for the second-straight day/race I was running sans music/headphones. Thankfully there was - again - such an energy on the course that I didn't really miss my music.
BUT, from here on out I will always bring my headphones with me no matter what! :)
Thankfully the course was familiar as it is where I do all of my long runs for marathon training, but it is always a little different when you are racing. :)
The weather was accommodating and it was a great day to be on the pavement.
As my Runkeeper rang out during Mile One, I realized that I was actually running at a sub-8 minute per mile pace.
Now, I did look at my 10k PR before leaving the house and realized it was 49:28 (7:59 min/mile pace) set in June 2012.
So if I kept the pace up I was at, I would easily set a new PR.
There were two big turnaround points in the race - both before the 4 mile mark - and they were a great way to see how freakin' fast those elite ladies are! The winner - Hellen Jemutai from Kenya - seemed to just be blowing the rest of the runners out of the water. It was amazing to see.
As I neared the 4-mile mark, I noticed my friends from Racemenu and thankfully Alain was snapping pics once again...
Can we tell I was having a blast? ;)
As we headed to the final 1.5 miles, I noticed my friend Erin among the fans cheering along the sideline. It was great to see another familiar face since I originally didn't think I would know anyone along the course. :)
Additionally, there were a bunch of families on the sides cheering for their moms or dads, who were running. The little kids had noisemakers, posters and were looking for high fives. I was happy to high-five them back.
That is one thing I love about road races - no matter your fitness level or speed - you feel like a rock star as people - some you have no idea who they are - cheer you on and want you to finish.
Absolutely amazing feeling!!
Then as I took one of the final turns and as I saw Mile 6 in the distance, there was my dad! :) He had made it to see me by the Finish!
And he even caught me on video ... it was around this point that I KNEW I had a new shiny PR!
[embedplusvideo height="281" width="450" standard="http://www.youtube.com/v/AmWq7ww7nzc?fs=1" vars="ytid=AmWq7ww7nzc&width=450&height=281&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=0&chapters=¬es=" id="ep8881" /]
Isn't he a great cheerleader? :)
As I passed my dad, I saw the Finish Line. I gave it all I had. There was a girl I was battling with (in my head) since the beginning of the run and all I wanted to do was Finish before her. So I dug deep ... and did it!
I finished the 10k in 47:31 (7:39 min/mile pace) ... it was 1:57 faster than my previous PR at June's BAA 10k!
I finished 275th out of 5,431 overall and 109 out of 1,669 in my division.
I couldn't believe it.
Back-to-back races and back-to-back PRs!
You couldn't wipe the smile off my face. :) :)
Overall, the race was a great experience. The course was pretty flat, clearly marked and riddled with water stations, which runners love!
I owe HUGE thank yous to:
*Reebok for having me on their awesome Team Reebok (#getafterit) gear - the capri pants may be one of my new favorite pieces of clothing!
*Fitfluential for the opportunity to join Team Reebok
*My dad for driving me in to the race, making it back in time to cheer me on and for driving me home afterwards
*All of you for cheering me on in my crazy attempt to race on back-to-back days :P