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Post-race thoughts after IBM 10K

These were my thoughts I posted after my 2nd 10K race – IBM 10K in Austin, TX in October 2010.  I initially posted them on FB, but I wanted to post it in my blog so I have a record of it along with the rest of my running thoughts…so if you’re a FB friend, this might look familiar!

I think a lot when I’m out there running, usually. Stef said a few times she looked over at me and thought something like “there’s a lot going on over there right now” and she was probably right =) Here are some of the things I thought about… Less than a minute after the race started, Stef and I looked in front of us and saw a blind runner and her guide. Talk about confidence and grit. I knew this was going to be an emotional race. Stefini wanted to run the race with me. She could’ve run it faster, but she wanted to stay with me. It put a lot of pressure on me because I didn’t want to feel like I was slowing her down, but I knew she meant it that she wanted to run with me. Her time wasn’t as important as it was to run with me. Damn, I love that girl. We were bookin’ it right from the beginning. I kept looking down at my watch and thinking “I’m running way too fast.” I thought about Nancy and what she has accomplished this year and it helped me to start seeing past the skepticism. I can’t remember what our pace was at Mile 1 but at Mile 2, we crossed at the 23 minute mark, which was really more like 22:30 since we started about 30 seconds after the gun went off. I said to Stef “I have to slow down!” because I was so worried I was going way too fast and I wouldn’t be able to sustain the pace throughout the race. My last 2-mile timed trial 2 months ago was 23 minutes, so I beat that in my first 2 miles of my 10K! I kept alternating between helping myself not panic and really trying to listen to my body and how I felt (thank you, Nancy!) I felt fine. My breathing was fine. My legs felt fine. The only thing bothering me was my sunglasses b/c they kept fogging up. Took them off for awhile and solved that problem =) When we were about half-way done and I was in awe that I was able to continue this pace, “I Hope You Dance” by Leann Womack played on my iPod. This was one of two songs that were played at Ivy’s funeral. Chokes me up everytime I hear that song. I used to think that Ivy “danced” in her life, not knowing that her life would be cut short. (if you don’t know what song I’m talking about, look up the lyrics online – then it will all make sense.) The older I’ve become, it makes me sad to think she never really “danced” at all. She never was able to make the changes she needed to do more for herself or her life. She had more to give, but she didn’t get the opportunity. I have the opportunity. I seized the opportunity awhile back. When I was out there today and the song started playing, I felt like Ivy was singing this song to me. Pushing me to keep living a life I can be proud of. Patting me on the back for perservering through some tough times. Hugging me for believing in myself. At that point, I felt like I was running for both of us. It was a beautiful moment. I knew once we took a right on Gracy Farms from Burnet Road that there was a pretty steep hill in our near future. I looked ahead and saw many people walking. I knew that wasn’t going to be me. I dug down deep and pounded up the hill. Sweet victory at the top! Stef turned to me at one point before we hit the Mile 5 marker and said “we can beat your 1:15:00 goal if we try.” I knew she was right. I told her to give me some time and that I’d pick up the pace in mile 6. We shortly thereafter passed the Mile 5 timer that said 57:38. I was in disbelief. That meant we’d run 5 miles in 57 minutes. Wow. I’d never run 5 miles in under one hour. When mile 6 arrived, I was ready. My legs felt so strong and capable at that point. As we picked up the pace, my face was burning because I was working so hard. I hadn’t felt that hot the entire race. But it was a great sign that I was pushing myself hard so I kind of liked it! We passed several people that last 1.2 miles and finished it in about 13 minutes, which means my last mile was under an 11-minute pace. Another personal record. This was just a great race! I’m so happy that Stef joined me and ran the whole thing with me. Her friendship means so much to me. It’s always great to see her. Next up is the Gazelle Run for the Water and hopefully she’ll join me for that one, too. It’s a hilly course through West Austin, but it’s supposed to be beautiful. The IBM 10K was definitely not a “beautiful” course, but that’s okay. They can’t all be perfect. I’m soooo glad I’ve discovered running. It’s brought me so much positivity over this past year. I’m pushing myself mentally and physically in ways I’ve never had before. It’s making me a firm-believer in the notion that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Life is sweet. Life is good.

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