First, let me say that I was so overwhelmed by your guys’ support for my crazy NYC PR goal. I’m still undecided about what number I’m going to choose for my training paces, but your belief in me definitely gives me a boost in confidence ❤
The past 5 weekends, my kids have been participating in the Healthy Kids Running Series. Last year, my daughter did it, but was overwhelmed by the crowds and wasn’t comfortable running unless mommy ran with her.
Not this year though. Each and every single race, she ran with a HUGE smile on her face. Even the weekend that she was sick.
I had a feeling my son wouldn’t struggle. Even though he’s the same age my daughter was last year (and she struggled then), I knew he’d love being in the midst of craziness. That’s just his style, lol!
We remembered from last year that there was a Parent’s Mile after the last kids’ race. My husband and I didn’t participate last year (I don’t remember why) but we figured we’d run it this time around. I’ve never done a mile race and thought it would be kinda cool. I had very little expectations.
My husband went first. There was a good crowd of dads and right when the whistle blew about 5 of them took off! My husband didn’t, and I knew that he was going to run a smart race and not start out too fast. Sure enough, he started picking off runners as he ran but the first place dad (who was one that took off) had gained quite a bit of distance–too much ground for my husband to cover in a mile. He ended up taking second with a 6:10 clock time and 5:56 Garmin (his watch had him at over a mile–we thought it strange the big time discrepancy).
Then it was my turn. There were more moms than dads and as we crowded at the start, all of us chatted about not really knowing where to go on the course. One mom said, “I’m sure there’ll be one of you leading the way.” Another mom asked who ran 8 minute miles and me and one other woman raised our hands. I guess we’d be the ones leading.
Sure enough, when the whistle blew, it was me and her leading the pack. She had a couple of feet lead but I was just trying to make sure that I had enough in me to finish the whole thing. I didn’t want to burn out.
As we ran, I kept her close in sight and as we turned to begin the second (last loop), I knew I had to make a decision:
Should I speed up and pass her, knowing that once I did, she’d speed up and it would be a fight for first?
Should I maintain pace, and finish second, knowing that that was a done deal and I’d have enough energy for my Mother’s Day 5k the next day?
I had to choose quick and when we headed towards a straightway, I decided to go for it. I took advantage of being past the turns (each one we had to slow down for) and picked up my pace on the straightaway, gaining on her each second that went by.
We turned and I crept up behind her, passed her, and did a little surge. I could tell she was tired but not out for the count.
We kept going. She was right behind me, and I knew that at the last turn towards the finish, it would be a fight.
The last turn came quickly, and I heard her husband shout, “You got this Julie!! You know what to do!!” I was still in front of her and while I’ve always been confident in myself that my kick is strong, I dug deep for all the strength I had so she would not pass me.
Those last 10 seconds were the most painful I’d ever felt–Garmin said I was at a 4:56 pace!
And I won!!!!
The clock time read 6:50 and my Garmin said 6:53–either one, it was the fastest I’d ever run a mile.
There was no medal, no certificate–we weren’t running for anything, lol! Just pride, I guess. Ha!
When I finished, I high-fived the second place mom. She had ran track in high school (which explained her husband encouraging her at the final sprint). Her husband had taken third, behind my husband, in the Dad’s race. People came up to congratulate us, saying how exciting the race had been to watch. My kids kept yelling, “Mommy, you were the line leader!!” And my daughter gave me a huge hug.
But, I was feeling extremely light-headed and told my husband I needed to sit down. We still had a busy day ahead of us–a birthday party literally right after and a baby shower in the afternoon. I ended up spending the whole day extremely exhausted and when I crawled into bed that night, I could barely move. I had zero regrets for giving it all I had that morning; I saw something in me I had never seen. But, I knew that I was paying for it.
–Have you ever ran a mile race??
–Has it ever gone down to the wire for you in a race?
–Ever felt light-headed after running fast?