After the Army Ten Miler, I was itching to race again. I tried to put a positive spin on it, but I was really, really disappointed in my performance that day. I just KNEW I had it in me, and didn't want to feel like my first truly structured training cycle was a letdown.
On our drive home from D.C., I looked up a local race I had been hearing about: the Clarksville Go Commando Half Marathon and 5k on October 21st. It was actually kind of perfect. A local race, just 10 minutes from home. A half marathon distance. A pretty flat course that I had run a 10k on last year.
I told Casey I wanted to run the half, and he actually talked me down. It was definitely one of those moments where I was caught up with emotion, and hell-bent on running a long distance. But he could see how exhausted I was, and knew that I'd only be beating on my body but running the half. After talking about it for a while, we agreed to run the 5k together.
Casey got our packets on Friday after work, so we got to enjoy a relaxed morning and left for the 8 am race around 7:15. We took the shuttle the start line, and Casey played with Grace while I used the bathroom. We saw a lot of friends & co-workers, and there were tons of stroller runners, too! We just missed the half-marathon start at 7:30, but lined up with the other 378 5k runners a little before 8. The race team kept yelling, "Strollers to the back! Sub-20's up front!" So we took the liberty of lining up pretty close to the front...because, in my opinion, theres nothing worse than trying to weave through slow runners with the stroller!
My little family before our race!
We had agreed to run easy, just for fun, with no Garmin or stopwatch. Casey started out pushing Grace, and when we hit the first mile, I felt the urge to go faster. I offered to grab the stroller, and as soon as it was in my hands I took off! It was like I had a super power! At that point, I was the 4th female. By the time we hit the turnaround, I was the 2nd female!
I kept my pace consistent, and slowly closed the gap on the first female. I ended up passing her right as we hit mile 2, and continued to pull ahead all the way to the finish. Let me tell you, it feels pretty darn BA to win a race as a stroller runner! Grace and I squeaked in at 20:58 (6:46 pace), and negative split the race with splits of 7:04, 6:44, 6:35, and 6:31 for the final 0.1 miles!
Cruising into the turn-around!
We enjoyed some free beer and chocolate milk at the finish line while the Fort Campbell Army Jazz Band played and Grace danced to her heart's content! Since I won my gender and Casey won his age group, we hung around an extra hour for the awards. My prize was $100 cash and a bottle of moonshine from our local distillery! I was happy it covered our (very late) race entry fee!
Overall, I am so glad I ran this race. Casey was 100% right -- my body didn't need 13.1 yet, but my heart and mind needed a fast race. I got exactly what I needed to boost my confidence and finish October with some redemption!