My reason for heading out there was once again to run in the 10 mile race at 7am. This race is known for being hazy, hot and humid, but we actually enjoyed a nice breeze this year. (Don't get me wrong - it was still VERY hot). When I checked in, I discovered that I had been assigned race number 13. I walked up to my family and friends and announced that I knew now that it was going to be a great day. 13 is my lucky number, having been born on a Friday the 13th.
Our party was a bit smaller this year with Danielle being in England and the Brownlows opting not to come, but me, Michelle, and Bob were all geared up for the gently rolling hills and one great big one at mile 4.5. Now when they say a great big one, they're not kidding. We didn't run up this hill. We didn't even walk up this hill. We climbed this hill. I was more out of breath after that one hill than I ever was at any other point.
So my realistic goal for the day was to run it in 1:35. My lofty goal was to be under the 1:30 mark. I realized at the 5 mile marker that I was at exactly 45 minutes and that if I kept it up, I could break that 1:30. I ended up crossing the line in 1:28:37. I was ecstatic. It had to be because of the number 13, haha. I averaged an 8:52 min/mile which is booking it along pretty fast for me. I also beat my time from last year by a solid 15 minutes. Granted, I hardly trained last year and this year I was coming off of a marathon, but still... 15 minutes is a LOT!
After the race, we enjoyed some yummy breakfast foods and then checked out some of the booths at the festival. I found a neat little tote bag for $5 that's going to be perfect for carrying some books to the beach in a few weeks. Then we headed to Miller's Grocery for a terrific lunch, and I wondered why it is that I don't go eat there more often. Think quality homemade southern food... fried okra, green beans, cream corn, and other things of the sort like corn fritters. It was perfect for a post-race meal.
I'm sure we'll head back out there again next year. Maybe I can talk a few more people into joining us for this one. In the meantime, I'm hanging up the racing shoes for a few months... it's getting too hot for me so I won't be racing any more until September or so. But I have to admit, I felt pretty good at the end of the race... it was pretty encouraging to be able to finish that quickly and if anything, it gets me all the more excited about pursuing my 4:30 marathon goal at the Rocket City Marathon in December. I guess we'll see what happens...