If you didn't run the Runnin' Of the Green today, be sure to put it on your race schedule for next year. What a FUN FUN race. The course is just awesome with several big hills, you will never get tired of the terrain. It's a fast course with big ups and big downs, but also some fun twists and turns. Running in downtown Denver amongst the tall buildings is also a blast. I got a nice long warm-up in before the race, about two miles, with Steve and my friend/occasional training partner Amy. My race outfit was quite festive today as I was sporting Troys high school green striped soccer socks up to my knees. I had on a green tank top and black arm warmers. I was certainly dressed to have a fun race.
There were thousands of people on the starting line, what a hoot. There was also a man dressed up like a leprechan who scared the buh-gee-gees out of me. They counted us down and we were off. I wanted to go out strong, yet cautious, and I managed to do that. The first mile was mostly flat with a little down and a little up. I came through at 6:39. Then we went up this big hill, turned the corner and went up another hill, turned another corner, and alas...another big hill. Mile 2 was quite slower will all those hills, I came through in 7:01. A little after mile 2 a guy on the side yelled at me that I was 5th woman. I was a bit shocked at that one, I mean there were thousands of people in the race. But I also heard him tell someone right behind me that she was sixth. I smelled a show down coming. So I picked it up.
I completely missed the mile 3 marker, but with it being mostly downhill I'm sure it was fast, it felt fast. Somewhere around 3.25 miles the lady in 6th pulled up on my shoulder for the pass. No way, today was not that day for me. She made a move and I matched it. She made another move and I matched it again. She was still sitting on my shoulder but I was determined not to let her get past that. Another move, matched it. Her breathing got labored and for some reason I found comfort in her breath. I was able to calm my own breath, recenter myself, stand up a little straighter and boom, she puts on another move. I match it. We run by Troy and Tyler and all our kiddos cheering. She makes another move, I match it again. We are getting close to the finish, two final turns and I decided, the time is now or never. I don't want this to come to a photo (aka chance) finish. I go with all my might, hard, hard hard. I pull ahead, turn a corner, she doesn't stick but I know she's right there. I turn another corner, see the finish and all I can think about is one last lap around the track all out. I go all out, I hear someone on my heels, I go harder. I come through the line and the person on my heals was another dude. So, fifth it was. A hard earned fifth. My last 2.35 miles (it was a 7K today) was in 14:12 which comes out to 6:01 pace. Granted they were slightly downhill, but that's a great pace for me right now. I think overall my pace was around 6:25.
I'm very much looking forward to additional track workouts. I'm ready to make this year even better that last and so jazzed to be starting off on the right foot.
My friend Amy that I warmed up with took 3rd overall woman in the race! Awesome job Amy! My friend Gaye ran right around 40 min, which is a stellar time for her (her inner runner has emerged). Steve had a great day of negative splits, and Andrea learned some lessons about not letting the race get away from her too early. Ann had a great run as well, her inner endurance athlete is here to stay, and her ponytails are CUTE. Geanie and Travis are back in the racing scene as well, and it was great to see them out there!
Overall time: 27:54 - by my watch for 7K.