Well, I ran my 7th Riverbank 25k Run ( they call it 5/3 Riverbank Run now, but it does not roll off the tongue as easily…)
This was one of my first races where I was not nervous. Not even excited nerves. It’s still a toss-up if that’s a good thing or not. I totally went into this race without expectations. I know I have tried to do that a few times before this race, but it never worked. I ended up putting pressure on myself- sometimes it helped, usually it did not. I have dealt with some health issues for a few years and it they cause me to not perform where I want to. I still
get pissed off about it, but that does not change anything. I could stop running (ha) and competing for fun (haha) or just wallow in self-pity ( as if). That is so not my style though. So, where was I?? Or right, race day!
When I woke up at 5 am it was already 64 degrees! Ha..the low overnight was in the high 40′s low 50′s so this was a bit off. I was fine with it and really, what could I do about it anyway?? Nothing. Just deal with it and go on about my business. It’s the weather. Run.
After seeing Matt and Amara off for the 5k, I still had over an hour before my race was to start. I ate breakfast and drank water and took supplements and did all the other things runners do before a long run. It never fails. It does not matter how early or prepared you are for your event, there is a glitch. Not a huge one, just could not find someone. It’s actually funny, because something like this happens to US every time. I might add, that I was not worried, nor am I complaining. I might get worried if a little hiccup did not occur every time. My buddies and I ( Mary, Andi and new friend Charles) lined up by the 9 minute mile pace group. I was a bit worried that this was too fast for me, but I was ok with slowing down if I had to. Not worried about it at all this year. :-) And we were off!
I had to pee. I had to pee BADLY. In all of my years participating in races I have never used a porta potty during a race. I just hold it. Not today! My whole group ( minus Charles) ran about .89 of a mile and rushed to the potties! I am glad I did too…whew!
Things were going well. We were keeping a 9:30 or better pace I think. Mary and Charles pulled ahead around mile 6. That left Andi and me in our Tough Chik uniforms. People notice you when you match I guess! I was really warm from the start and was really good about hydration. I don’t think I did so well with fueling, but at some point ( mile 10 or 11) I was just not wanting to chew anything but gum. I was happy to drink every 15 minutes though. I felt fine overall and was not trying to break any records! I did see my running partner from last years 25k- at mile 7. I admittedly got a bit choked up because of how last years 25k went. It was really good to see her and to hear her cheer for me!
My favorite miles are the last 3 miles. They hurt the WORST no matter how fast or slow you go, but the CROWD is crazy!!! It’s usually mile 13-15 where I am on the verge of tears or hyperventilating trying to stop them. It was really no different this year. I made it until I saw a running buddy on the side lines..she was visibly crying. She was so moved by a blind man running the 25k that it brought her to tears. Yes, I figured this all out while running! :-) I saw him many times during the race- it was amazing. That was about half a mile or so to go…The crowd is sooo loud and thick that no matter how fast or slow you are – you can’t help but pick up your pace! I did just that. I HAVE to pass a few people at the end or else! So I did. I also heard my name announced as I crossed the finish line ” Marsha Gragorjeski from Grand Rapids”, well he got my city right! What a day! See you next year 25k!
Overall the race was a success for me. My butt cheek and neck performed lovely! My time was 2:38:59 ( 8 seconds slower than last year- I had a potty break and several walk breaks this year. Not too bad I think. ) But what do I know?!?! My worst race time for this distance, but I think I was smiling the whole race. I had fun. Who knew?!?!