For many of us, running is a quiet, solitary sort of sport - a time to meditate, concentrate, and focus your training,
but once in a while, a day comes along in which fellow running buddies really do make the difference....
Today was one of those days.
For those of you who've been following the Turtles blog a while, you know that I attempted my first 10K last month and finished with a decent PR (1:21:06) for a beginner who's a self-proclaimed 'turtle runner,' but dealt with amazing challenges post-race. A week later, an opportunity to tackle another 10K presented itself, and well, I took the challenge.
For the past four weeks, I've focused on building my endurance by stretching my long run Sundays into a distance that would prepare me for a 10K... 7-milers that were slow and steady. Today, I had a chance to put that training to the test....
The Founders' Day 10K turned out to be my funnest (is that a word??) race to date - not because of an amazing athletic performance (remember, I'm a turtle!), but because as my grandmother would say, "the fellowship."
Enter the turtle pack. A HUGE thanks to Hubby for capturing what turned out to be such a fun morning: clear, chilly, and filled with the laughter of three Central Florida's bloggy running gals who met up to run, cheer, chat, and eat... what an awesome day!
Morgan and I registered to run the 10K, while Tobi, who's currently on the injured, reserved list (listening to her body!), drove over to cheer us on.... how cool is that!?
The race began and Morgan in her super-quick Marathon-style, took off, promising to rally me in after she finished. (True to her word, here she came, in mile 6, smiling and waving like a crazy woman with boundless energy, as she doubled back after running her own A-M-A-Z-I-N-G race, and rallied me in to the finish line.. thanks little red!.)
I, in my usual turtle style, started slow and steady, and well, continued... slow and steady, with determination and close attention to my splits to make sure I would PR this one. And I did!
Mile 1: 10:57
Mile 2: 11:20
Mile 3: 11:45
Mile 4: 11:54
Mile 5: 12:45 (knee locked up... darn!)
Mile 6: 13:01
The course was beautiful, mostly flat and scenic through a wonderful neighborhood surrounded by a golf course. The weather was perfect: clear and in the low/mid 50s.
But again I come back to the fellowship.... As I trudged along through the end of mile 3, I looked up to see a woman standing off to the side with a giant sign that made me smile from ear to ear....
It was Tobi, and she was cheering her little heart out and snapping pics. Now that's the first time since I began running last year that anyone has ever held a sign for me and let me tell you, everyone should have that experience at least once! Thanks Tobi... you are such a wonderful new bloggy, running friend!
As mile 6 melted away, here came the crazy redhead with her boundless energy, and in we went... straight for the finish line, her telling me, "You look strong. You can do it." And me saying, "Okay, I'm exhausted and would you please shut up now?!" Ha Ha We got a kick out of this, but she reminded me, "Smile!" as I took off for the final .2 leg of the race... and I did!
Official time by my D-Tag: 1:14:20
7 minutes off last month's race... a new 10K PR... Yay!!
Let's just say it was a PR Day for both of us, but you'll have to check out the redhead's blog to see how she did.....
At the finish line, it was hugs from Hubby, more pictures, and bonus: hugs with fellow runners who are also part of the turtle clan - a special "shout-out" to Kathy and Dawn, who were waiting for Vicki, all running the 10K and/or 5K races today... what great fun to meet you guys in person (Vicki, we'll meet up on Thanksgiving for the Turkey Trot!). We also had a quick minute to chat with Betsey from Track Shack, who was waiting for our fellow blogger, Emma, to cross the line... what a day for bloggy running buddies! Wow!
Once the hugs were shared and pics done, off to breakfast we went: Hubby, Morgan, Tobi, and me. More laughs as we exchanged stories... what an awesome morning!
Today was definitely one of those days.....
My Thankful Three
Today, I am thankful for:
- Great running weather
- Awesome running, blogging friends
- Hubby, who continues to be my #1 cheerleader
Happy running, friends...