Well, that was different!
I had a troupe of people helping me accomplish this little race, and I have to say that I don't know if I would have made it to the end without them! It was kind of a relay, and I was the baton, of course.
I started the race with Adam (Calcio) from the blog. He took me to the 3 mile point. He was pleasant and laid back--he's a young guy who has lived all over the world. It would have been interesting to talk to him, if I hadn't been breathing hard. During these miles, my main thought was that it was feeling way too easy and that I couldn't believe I was running faster than my usual 11 minute miles. By the end of those three miles, my average pace was 8:50. Calcio took off at mile 3 to finish the rest of race with a speedy 10 miles to finish at 1:42.
My husband James was waiting for me with 2 little 3 year-olds in a jogging stroller to take me through miles 3-8. It was REALLY nice having James with me for this portion of the race because, with the addition of the humongous stroller, he cut a wide swath through the wind. This portion was WINDY! Every time we turned, I thought that the wind would HAVE to finally be at our back, but it really seemed like it was either a headwind or a unfriendly cross-wind for 90% of the time. The course turned onto the Provo river trail for most of these miles, and I was immersed in the lovely sights and sounds of nature UNTIL my little son started crying, and wouldn't stop around mile 6.5. Other runners would run by and try to comfort him. It was aggravating/pathetic to listen to him cry and not be able to do anything about it, so I finally told James to take off and get him out of the wind around mile 7.4 or something. By the time I got to mile 8, my average pace was about 9:11 for the whole race to that point. I did slow down, obviously, but there were a lot of gradual inclines and that darn wind in this section, so I felt it was acceptable. If the race had ended there, I would have been quite proud of my efforts. But it goes on...
James ran the kids back to his parked car, and left to pick up Sasha from the finish line to take me the rest of the way. So mile 8 was the only mile I ran alone. I was still feeling pretty good on that mile.
Now comes the rest of the race, which I would prefer to leave out, but I will include it for the sake of posterity.... Sasha joined me at mile 9. I had been visualizing exactly how the end of the race would go: Sasha would appear, he'd tell me to go faster, I'd respond appropriately, push myself through the pain and end triumphantly. That was the dream. But real life is sometimes cruel, and the main point of the next 4.11 miles was that I was rather pathetic and ended up with an almost embarrassing last couple of miles. Sasha tried everything with me, he sang "BINGO" and "Come, Come Ye Saints." I had told him that it would help if he would sing, but the truth is that I just wanted to make him jump through some hoops to show his dedication. (Evil Snicker.) I began to feel like there was a thick rubber band binding me to the 11 min. girl. I could pull against the rubber band for a short burst, so I could obediently go give Sasha a "low 5", but then the rubber band would snap me back into and even slower pace. I began to run with my eyes closed for most of the time. It is slightly unsettling to see someone running with you who looks like they are just taking the most leisurely pace possible, while you are running as fast as you can. So I just listened to the almost constant encouragement, and peeked out every once in a while to make sure I wasn't wandering into the road. The absolute hardest mile was 11, and 12 too, and 13 was no good either (he he). One of those miles (I can't remember which) was my only mile at over 10 pace (10:30 to be exact)). That darn stupid mile was full into the wind (Sasha does not stop much wind) and uphill too. It made me angry, which delighted Sasha. I think I punched Sasha 3-4 times during that mile. He encouraged me to get really angry, but of course, as soon as he told me to, all the fun of it was destroyed and I just kept dragging along. I took off my shoes with about 2 miles to go & finished in my socks. I thought it would allow me to fun faster without dragging all that extra weight, and it worked like a charm...for at least 20 meters. Very shortly I was back in drudgeville.
Michelle Lowry, the Queen of the Blog, joined us for the last mile and a half or so. I really enjoyed having her there, and I think she may have saved Sasha's life just by being close enough to be a witness. Calcio joined the party with about half a mile to go, and I was doing my best just to keep upright at this point. It was weird. I thought I would be battling pain, the way you do in a 5K, but I didn't. My knees, hips, feet, everything felt no pain at all. But WHOA, there was just a complete lack of energy that was almost impossible to wade through. It was hard to even care that I SHOULD want to go fast. But all I really wanted was to lie down and sleep. I think I did kick a little for about 50 yards at the very end. Whatever, I finished the darn thing, and I only walked through 2 aid stations (I kept getting gatorade up my nose, and those times I wanted to actually DRINK it) but I did walk just a few steps on a monstrous overpass climb, which was cruel beyond measure.
Overall, I feel kinda proud that I did it, and kind of embarrassed about those last few miles. My ave. pace was 9:26, or something like that. 10 miles at 1:32:08, which is a huge PR for me.
Sasha got the "quote of the day" award after the race. I looked at myself in the mirror and said "my face looks puffy to me, does it look puffy?" To which he answered "yes, but no more puffy than usual." Sometimes I think it's a really good thing that guy's so fast.