November 26, 2016
I turned 30 on November 24th. This was my first race competing in my new age division. I was more nervous than excited. I've competed in the 20-29/25-29 year age division since I started running. The women in the 30-34/30-39 year age division are fast!
This was my third year running Ryan's Run. Ryan's Run is held each year on Iron Bowl weekend in memory of Ryan Colburn, who was an avid sports fan and loved the Iron Bowl Rivalry between Alabama and Auburn. Proceeds from this run benefit the Frazer Youth Worship Arts Program and the Ryan Colburn Youth Scholarship, which supports youth with disabilities to attend the National Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs Conference. Participants are encouraged to wear their favorite team colors.
This race came two weeks after running my fastest half marathon in Pensacola. I followed that half with an 18 mile long run. I could tell that my body had not fully recovered. My legs were sluggish and my weekly runs were slow leading up to this race. I didn't have any goals in mind at the start of the race. I was just going to see how I felt once the gun went off.
I weaved through several runners at the start and was positioned third female (or so I thought) by the first turn on the course. I was neck and neck with Kaye, who I recognized from several other races. She was fast! If I could maintain pace with her it would be a real confidence booster.
I encountered the first hill just past Mile 1. I was determined not to lose momentum on the climb. To my surprise I passed Kaye at the top of the hill. I was certain that I was second place female. That was until I reached the turn around on this down and back course.
|Downhill stretch before the turn around|
A woman in a Boston Marathon hat was way ahead of me and the woman in front of me. I was third place female. I was going to try my best to maintain that position, but the woman ahead of me wasn't slowing down and Kaye wasn't far behind me.
|My position after the turn around|
I passed the 2nd place female as I approached the mile 2 marker. I worried we would be back and forth to the finish. I could hear cheers for Kaye from volunteers on the course. I knew she was gaining on me. I tried to pick up speed. Kaye passed me as I made the final turn towards the finish line. I pushed harder, but it wasn't enough to catch up to her. She crossed the finish line three seconds before me. It felt amazing to hang with her for the majority of this race.
I crossed the finish line in 24:30, my second fastest 5K to date. I also finished 3rd overall female. It turns out my new age group didn't matter for this race. My 30's might not be so bad after all.
|3rd Overall Female|
I enjoyed catching up with members of the River Region Runner's group after the race. They are a great group of people. I really should be more involved with them.
|Beth and Chris from River Region Runners |
|My #1 spectator Michael came to cheer me on.|