A Beautiful Day for a Run

    Yesterday I ran my second 10K race; that would be 6.2 miles to be exact. I was more nervous for this one than the last time I did it. Matt and I ran this same race together last year so he was a nice tag-along buddy to alternate with, and I had been following my training schedule perfectly (running 3 to 4 times a week and sometimes more miles than it said). This year, however, Matt decided to focus on lifting weights and opted out of the run. I have also been more busy with school and wedding planning and could only run 2 or 3 times a week...so the nerves kicked in that morning.

    The alarm rang at 6:30 (yes 6:30)...I had to be in Downtown Houston for 8 am...and I am not a morning runner to begin with. Matt could tell I was nervous/tired so he made me two eggs over-easy and a banana for a good race-day breakfast. So sweet! We hop into the car as I drink my electrolyte drink... being prepared now after getting dehydrated last week.

    We arrive to the race start 5 minutes early and I had made myself so nervous that I needed to use the restroom haha...As soon as I got in the porta-potty I heard the race gun go off...it had started with me in the restroom! I run out and run to the back of the crowd that was still walking slowly towards the start line. I wave to Matt and cross over the line.

    I like to leave my music off for the first half mile or so because as I weave through all of the walkers it is fun to listen to the things they are talking about with their friends. At the turtle pace I hear one woman say, "Why was I so nervous, this is just my pace!" with a laugh. Photographers appear during the race on certain parts and the man run-walking strangely next to me lifts he yellow muscle shirt and flashes the first one we see.

    I have decided that when I do this race next year; because I will be doing it next year; I am going to try and bring a camera to take pictures because you can get vantage points of this that you can never see otherwise. My music is on, but low and I hear the crowd standing next to the road cheering. I cross over the one miles mark at 13 minutes and tell myself to stay slow and controlled for now. At around 2 miles I see the 1st place winner going the opposite direction...there is NO way I could do that. Minutes later I see the first girls...a few of them looking pretty manly and another wearing her little sports bra with a six pack; over-achiever.

   I get water from the people sticking their arms out with cups. These are the worst things to drink out of while running...a drop gets in my mouth while the rest splashes on my face. I throw the cup in the trash and feel like I just swallowed an air bubble. I finally cross over the 5K mark where my stomach ulcers start to scream at me as they do during my longer runs these days. (That is why I finally went to the doctor for them) They will not hold me back anymore...  As I turn to go the opposite direction, the sun is now in my eyes, "O yes this is where it got hard last year". I see another girl behind me with a thin figure and sports bra...she is just lucky! I decided it is time to turn up my Girl Talk mix Kristen gave me, zone out, and cruise a little. This is where my little strides become longer and my abs start to help out my legs. 6K, 7K, 8K.

   I pass up a big man that then comes around me to pass me; we stay with each other for a few more minutes until I pass him up again and run a little faster as I see the 9K sign. I pass up the water (it held me back last time) and come to a huge hill (disadvantage point Erika ;)), but then shortly hit the huge downhill...ahhhhh. The over pass takes the sun out of my eyes and I feel in control again...although I now have a cramp on the right side to go with my ulcer pains on the left. I start to sprint the last bit, turning into the street where I see the finish line. The people in front of me are un-catchable so I slow down a little...and pass at one hour and 4 minutes... Not as good as I wanted, but I did start the race in a porta-potty...;)

Nikki

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