2013 Race for the Inlet
Race for the Inlet was an 8K race I participated in Saturday, March 30, 2013. It took place in the picturesque fishing village of Murrells Inlet.
Cliff picked up my race packet the day before the race and when I got home, he had all my loot laid out.
Included in the race packet were my Bib number, t-shirt, a lanyard, a couple key chains, a pen, lots of coupons, water bottle, etc. Also included was a koozie with a DUI logo and a finger printing kit. Were they trying to tell us something? Sometimes, you just have to wonder....what were they thinking?
I was excited! I was anxious to know how the interval training had played into my time/pace. I planned and prepared everything the night before.
I pinned the bib number on my shirt, placed the timing chip on my shoe, had a bag ready with a few essentials...hat, Garmin watch, water and a few mini Snickers candy bars. Hot dog, I was ready!
The alarm went off at 6 a.m., Saturday morning. Ugh!! I rolled out of bed and was jack slapped with a good case of "the nerves". What the heck? I should be used to race day by now. I know "the nerves" affects everyone differently. For me.....my intestines go haywire. The intestines say, "Out! Everything, get out"! And that happened not just once, but three times Saturday. "Ain't nobody got time for that"! Ha! (I do apologize, if that's just TMI). Well, then my mind starts playing games with me. I almost back out every single time. I have to fight through "the nerves" and make myself just put one foot in front of the other.
Cliff was not going to be with me on race day. He had a 3.5 hour bike ride scheduled with a couple of friends and a run afterwards. They are in training for Ironmans and Triathlons. So, he left a little earlier and scouted out the parking situation for me. That helped. One less thing for "the nerves" to get their panties all in a wad about.
I arrived to the race and began my warm up. The legs were feeling good. The temperature was very nice. I chatted with a few people I knew at the start line. The time was getting near to start, so we lined up and was on the mark. What happened to "the nerves"? Those wicked pre-race jitters? Well it's crazy how our mind can affect us and then, just like that....they're gone. They disappeared the moment I stepped foot at the start line. Always does.
I had set a few goals for myself and began to mentally run through them. Goals: 1) Finish in 1:06. 2) Run the whole race (except for water breaks...don't want to get strangled and choke to death right there on the 8k race course).....And, 3) Don't finish last.
And then we started. Something was a little different this time. I was not getting left behind. I was keeping up with everyone around me. Wow! That's cool! So I checked the Garmin and I was doing a 10:30 min/mile pace. I couldn't believe it. I ran a little taller. We were nearing the first mile and I had even passed some people. I noticed this one particular lady running beside me. We ran neck and neck until the first water break. We both stopped for water and quickly began running again. Then she started walking just a short span and I would pass her. She would start running again and pass me. This happened 3 or 4 times until finally somewhere around mile 3. That time, I passed her and she never caught me again. That was fun! Cat and mouse games....a girl needs something to help pass the time.
The course was gorgeous. For about the first mile, the creeks were visible. And then we turned onto streets lined with moss draped oaks.
As you can imagine, the adrenaline was pumping and my time was really great at the start. Over the course of the 5 miles, however, I grew tired and slowed down a little. But as I rounded the last corner and was into the home stretch, I felt the strangest sensation. I felt myself speeding up. I didn't feel like I was consciously doing it, but noticed that my stride had lengthened and my arms were really pumping. It almost felt like an outer body experience. Or, it could have been that bite sized snicker bar I inhaled at mile 3. Ha! But whatever it was..........I. Was. Running!
Finally, the finish line was in sight. And, just before crossing, I saw Cliff taking pictures as I ran across the finish line. Ahhh! That was a great surprise. He and his two riding partners had arranged their bike route to come see me finish.
That's me crossing the finish line. If you look closely, you can see my finish time on the clock in the background...57:29 min.
Wow, a great ending to a great race. I finished nearly 9 minutes faster than my goal time. I didn't win any awards or break any records, but setting goals and exceeding them was enough to give me a natural high. Cliff and his friends proceeded on and I stayed around for the awards. I knew I wasn't getting any, but wanted to support those who did.
Oh wait, in case you were wondering:
8K = 4.98 miles
Goal: Finish in 1:06
Actual finish time: 57:29 min.
Ran the first mile in 10:51 min.
Finished the last mile in 11:24 min.
Average pace: 11:34 min/mile
Average speed: 5.2 mph