From the beginning...
So, the race started in Bristol, VA which is right about an hour and 15 minutes away... which meant with a start time of 8am, it was an early morning for my partner and I. I woke a little before 5, showered, gathered my gear, and booked it to the college to make my MR shake and meet up with J. We ended up leaving a little later than planned but got there with enough time to grab our bibs, make a bathroom stop, and see a few of our friends before J had to get on the shuttle to the relay point.
We decided a few days prior that I'd run the first 7 mile leg and J would run the 6.1--this was the furthest she's ever ran in a race before. I'm a little faster so it made sense to get me out there first and see what I could do.
After a few pre-race ceremonies, we started right around 8:10am... and I'll be honest, the next 7 miles were a blur. Literally. After a few days of rest (well, by my standards), my legs felt INCREDIBLE. After hitting mile 1 at 6:45, I decided to just freakin' go for it. Why not? The course was fairly hilly but I kept telling myself that NOTHING will ever compare to the race in Asheville. ha. There were probably around 200 runners or so but it spread out pretty quick and for the most part, I was in a pack of about 4 other guys.
|ha, I totally fixed my bib after seeing this. I was in a rush to get it on and yeah, bad all the way around.|
There were water stops at every mile but I made the decision to bypass them all. This isn't something I normally do but I was in the zone and didn't want to slow down. It was a neat race because we started in Bristol, VA and by the end of it, we were in Bristol, TN.
After mile 3, I slowed down a little bit but still had a decent clip going. In fact, I think I hit the 5k mark somewhere in the 21 minute range which is what I normally run it in anyway on a good day. Crazy. I didn't really have a goal for this race other than my partner and I wanted to win the female relay. ha.
|some pretty decent splits!|
The one mile I do remember is mile 6. It was brutally hilly. A few slow rollers mixed in with some steep climbs. Again, still not even CLOSE to Asheville. And plus, at this point, I knew I was close to handing off the bracelet to J so I booked it. There was one guy ahead of me as we inched closed to the relay point so I used what I had left in the tank and sprinted past him. ;)
I ended up hitting the 7 mile mark right around 51 minutes and handing off my bracelet to J. I was DONE! And ecstatic! I knew right then and there that all of my training this winter has totally paid off. I've been worried about this racing season because I've done 95% of my runs on the treadmill but I think adding in so much speed work has totally helped. I ended up averaging 7:10/mile--I was so, so, SO stoked.
|ha. my signature pose, clearly.|
After getting my medal, telling practically everyone I knew (ha), and finding water and Larabars (umm, best race treat ever?!), I hopped on the shuttle and ended up getting to the finish just as J was coming into the stadium. And she absolutely crushed her half of the race too! Our total time was 1:41 and some change. We both definitely had some awesome runner's high going on.
And better yet? WE WON! We met and really actually EXCEEDED our goal. We were hoping to hit somewhere right around 1;50. ha.
Overall, this was a great race. It was organized, the course was awesome, and the medals and plaques were killer. I would totally do it again and if you're around my neck of the woods, I recommend checking it out next year!
Have a great Monday!
Linking up with Healthy Diva Eats for Marvelous Monday!