It was exactly 4:44am. A huge clap of thunder. I jumped. Tucker jumped. As my heart tried to stop racing and I marveled over the fact that the thunder actually woke me (that rarely happens.. that's why if you know a tornado is heading my way at night, you should call me!), I remembered - I had a race to run.
As it started pouring down rain, I started thinking about some of the other races I've run in the rain. Most of them went well, so I shrugged my shoulders (well, not really since I was in bed) and dosed back off.
It was close to 6 when I woke up to a text (sleeps through thunderstorms, wakes to cell phone... clearly I have priorities). I knew there were only a handful of people this could be. Turns out to be Paige, who has decided that fending off a cold is more important than running the rain. But I'm glad I knew so that I could snag her bag and shirt for her.
I finally pulled myself out of bed, got dressed and headed out the door.
"Oh goodness. Well... let's rock this." I said out loud to no one in particular when I realized just how hard it was raining.
I made the drive into Nashville, passing no less than 3 accidents on the interstate (fortunately for my time schedule, they were on the other side). None of them looked serious, but I hope everyone was ok.
I got all my race stuff, and it wasn't long before Amy found me. We chatted about the weather like most of our fellow runners. The funny thing is that we may complain about the rain, but deep down we all know it can be kind of fun.
We set out together on the course and maintained what I felt to be a surprisingly good pace considering we were also talking pretty much the whole time. I'm terrible at math so I don't even try to worry much over my splits, but I know that we were hitting around an 8:30 pace for most of them.
The rain was unrelenting. It poured the ENTIRE time. The greenway that the race was held on is relatively flat, so we found a lot of standing water. It totally stinks to run with wet shoes and socks, but there's something about running through puddles and splashing all around that makes you feel like a kid again. Except now I'm 26 years old. My mom can't get upset at me now for getting a little mud on my legs and drenching my clothing. Haha.
I was actually feeling really good. I had a few moments where I kept wondering if I could maintain the pace or if I was going to peter out. Sometime after mile 7, Amy told me to head on. I didn't know if I had it in me to pick up the pace, but then I spotted a girl with a ribbon tied in a bow around her ponytail. It's not that I really have anything against this in general, but usually whenever I'm racing and see someone in front of me I pick something I don't like about their outfit and use it as why I need to speed up and pass him or her. Silly, I know, but it works.
I passed bow girl and then started making the loop for the last mile. I really wanted to slow down, but I also really wanted to do well. This was my first ever 15K, so I had an automatic PR no matter what. However, I kind of held back at the 10K a few weeks ago since I had a tough training week, and I felt compelled to try a little harder this time around. I passed a couple of guys and then started making my way to the finish line.
I finished in 1:19:58. This means I averaged 8:35 per mile! I was stoked for sure! I couldn't believe I was able to maintain that pace for that long. It's really exciting and gives me a bit more confidence going into the Chicago marathon. Granted, I have no intentions of running that fast there... but I felt good and strong today, and I feel like that's a direct result of how well my training has gone.
After finishing and determing that we didn't win any age group awards, Amy and I headed out. Fortunately, I thought to bring a towel to sit on until I could get somewhere and change clothes.
Anyone who knows anything about Nashville knows that one of the best places to have breakfast is the Pancake Pantry in Hillsboro Village. We thought that since it was pouring down rain that the line might not be as long, but we thought wrong. (Seriously, the line always wraps around the corner to get into this place, especially on the weekends.)
So not only did I run 9.3 miles in the pouring rain, I also stood outside in it for another 20-30 minutes in order to eat pancakes. (I did have an umbrella, so it wasn't so bad.)
I ordered the sugar and spice pancakes with cinnamon syrup and they. were. amazing. Seriously, I don't know why I don't eat here more often. I think the last time I went was when some friends were in town over the holidays in 2007!
All in all, it was a nice way to start my weekend. I got my training run done and now have two weeks to go until Chicago! I can hardly wait...
I don't have any pictures from today's race for obvious reasons. Thunderstorms aren't generally a good time to take out a camera and try to take pictures of people running. I even told my folks to just stay home and sit this one out.
Age group: 9/22