So today I ran my first race since ending my high school cross country career. I signed up for a local 4 mile race on the lake.

The day started out very chilly.  It was 15 degrees and WINDY.  Fortunately, I had a good cheering section – my husband and my best friend (thanks guys!).

So I got there and grabbed my bib and was immediately super excited…  I got my lucky number!

Yeah, it’s a horrible picture, but oh well.

I was surprised because a co-worker of mine who has run the race before said there was only about 50 people there when she did it.  But today there was 179.  So it was a decent group.  I was never alone when I was running.

The course was pretty hilly, and I wasn’t expecting a LARGE hill in the very first mile, so that set me back a little bit.  But it wasn’t too bad and I managed to get up it alright.  At the first mile marker a volunteer was calling out pace times, and I heard “47” but didn’t know what the minutes were.  And I started my Nike+ before the gun went off so that wasn’t all that accurate.

There were smaller hills interspersed throughout the course.  None were that bad.  The worst part was running along the lake where the wind really picked up.  It was COLD and the wind was strong enough that it was pushing me sideways.

Mile 2.5 – 3.0 was a LONG hill.  I passed a couple guys that had passed me earlier but stopped to walk.  I was determined to make it all the way up without walking – and I did.  At about mile 3.5, one of the guys from the hill and two others caught me and we ended up running along together until the finish.  At that point, someone they must have known was cheering and telling them to put on the speed burst, and the other two took off.  The guy from the hill and I couldn’t start sprinting that far out, so we kept jogging along.

When I got close enough to the finish that I could see the clock (about 100 meters), I was psyched.  The time still started with a 3!  I typically run 10:00 miles, so I figured I’d be around 40:00.  So I took off and started sprinting with everything I had, leaving my hill guy behind.

Me and my hill guy when I took off.  Wohoo!

Run run!

Crossing the finish line! (from my friend’s iPhone)

I ended up finishing in 37:07, which is 9:17/mile.  I got 111th overall, and 7th in my age group.  1st in my age group was only two minutes ahead of me, so not bad!

Afterwards, I felt like I could have picked up the pace on the flatter parts, but I’m happy with how it went considering I haven’t raced in 12 years!

I’m looking forward to the next one!  Perhaps then I’ll get into the 8-s!