Let me start off by saying the goodies at the Coastal Delaware Running Festival were AHHHMAZING!! They sure know how to make a runner feel special ☺️. Starting with registration, there was an option to personalize your bib at no extra cost! At the expo, the reusable grocery store swag bag contained a race t-shirt, magnet, AND glass! At the finish line, I received a nice medal in addition to a very cool truckers hat. PLUS, there was a full buffet at the finish line for the participants!. . .with plenty of vegetarian options! 🙌🏾🙌🏾 I skipped the buffet because A) the line was too long, and B) my legs were sore, plus C) I had to dash back to the hotel so I could participate in this livestream by The L❤︎VE Project about Self-Care! Wait, there is more! After the race, I got an email to see my pictures (which is pretty standard), but it included an option to download the pictures for FREE! Check me out!
On to the race! I felt moderately prepared for the race. My weekday training runs were going great, I was maintaining a consistent pace that I was comfortable with. The only hiccup was the week that I was scheduled to do my longest run of 10 miles, I wasn't feeling well and didn't end up completing my run. Although I did a fair amount of cross training at least twice a week, and running at least 3 times a week, this meant that I hadn't run more than 8 miles at one time, and that was two weeks prior to the race. The 8 mile max may not have been so bad if I were logging higher mileage with my runs, or running a little more frequently during the week. I started off the race semi strong and in a pace where I felt comfortable, and a pace that I'd trained; but somewhere around mile 4, I just got tired. I dragged and struggled the rest of the way. I didn't necessarily hit the wall, but I felt defeated all the same. I decided to walk run, but because it wasn't my plan, I just wasn't into it. I didn't gain my mojo back until the second half of mile 11. Even with that being the case, I finished in 2:15. I've learned to set A, B, and C goals for each race, so my finish time was within my secondary goal time frame. After all, it wasn't as bad as it felt. My pace per mile increased as the race went on, and it wasn't very pretty (see the picture of me on the boardwalk in the slide show as a reference, I look pained! LOL!😩 .I started with a 9:09 minute mile, which was my exact goal time, and ended with a 10:20 minute mile 😳. Still the results have me around the top 50 percentile for all categories, which means I did better than half of all the participants, women, and women in my age range 35 - 39. It sounds so much better when you put it that way! Plus, my time was 8 minutes faster than the half marathon that almost wasn't last month, #winning!
What is quite ironic is that I thought it would be a relatively easy-ish race because it was a flat course and my regular weekly training runs in my neighborhood include quite a few hills.However, the flat course proved to be harder to navigate because I didn't have anything to gauge when I should put forth more effort (gearing up to go uphill) or pull back (going downhill). Trying to run a consistent pace with no obstacles was tricky for me. Then I thought about how race courses with ups and downs vs. a flat course is a little like my life. I believe that I am tested with difficulties, trials and tribulations to overcome for personal growth, development, and ultimately positive change. I appreciate the satisfaction and victory of overcoming obstacles and achieving ease after difficulty. At the same time, I thought a flat course would be easy, and some ways it was, but just like life, the right thing to do, or the least complex thing to do isn't always easy. It's the challenges that make me dig deep and keep pushing forward!
One thing is for certain, no matter how the race turns out; through the good, bad, and ugly, seeing my family near the finish line makes me smile and gives me a boost every time! The love and excitement in our children's voices as they cheer me on, and the constant support of my husband makes me realize how fortunate, blessed, and loved I really am ❤️🖤