This morning I ran The River Run, a road race from downtown Henderson, KY to downtown Evansville. When I started c25k in January 2015, this race was my goal race. I ran the Evansville Half Marathon last fall, which is a longer distance, but this was the one I wanted to run. It's a 10 mile race that spans two states and crosses the Ohio River. I have been super excited for weeks to run this race because I think it's such a cool vantage point that you don't normally get.
A friend of mine also ran this morning and we started out together, even though I knew we wouldn't run the whole race together because she's faster than me. I intended to stay with her as long as I could, but I got trapped in the first mile behind a walker and she got ahead of me. I was able to stay about 10 ft or so behind her until the first water stop just before mile 2 where I got water and she kept going.
Mile 1: 11:52
Mile 2: 12:15
Mile 3: 12:06
The first mile was nothing but hills, up and down and up and down again. Every time I have run them, they completely kicked my butt. Not this time! I don't know if it was because it was the start of the race and everyone was around me or because I was just expecting them to suck, but I ran all of them. In fact the only time I walked during the first 3 miles was at the water stop. I wound up running my second fastest 5k at 37:31. At the point we had left downtown and the park along the river and were running through a neighborhood. There were several yard sales going on this morning and I felt a little bad for them. Talk about poor planning!
Mile 4: 12:26
Mile 5: 12:43
Mile 6: 11:43
Mile 4 lead onto the highway to go across the bridge. I allowed myself a small walk break after hitting the 5k point then kept running. Mile 5 was at the center of the bridge, but to get there, you had to go along the highway and up the approach span. Let me tell you, that is a lot steeper than you'd think!
I ran most of it, but did a few short walk segments to get up to the top. At this point, Alan and the kids were heading back to Evansville to meet me at the finish. I didn't know it at the time, but they passed me on the northbound bridge. Ewan was so excited because he spotted me.
I had been saying all along that I was going to take pictures on the bridge because how cool is it that you get to run across. I took this photo while running:
And then I took a selfie right at mile 5. I looked around before I stopped and there was no one behind me, but some guy came out of nowhere passing people and about knocked me off the bridge. Thanks dude! Once off the bridge, I let gravity take me downhill and to the water stop at mile 6. I looked at my watch and knew I was in contention to PR my 10K so I just kept going. My 10k was 1:15:38, a PR by almost two minutes. Let me just say right here that the energy on the highway crossing the bridge was incredible. From all the people on the road honking and cheering to fellow runners. I had goosebumps.
Mile 7: 12:49
Mile 8: 13:02
Mile 9: 13:03
After PR'ing my 10k, I took a minute long walk break. I don't know if it was because what I had been so excited about for so long was over, or if it was because the road had a very slight incline that you wouldn't normally notice unless you're running it, but miles 7-9 were HARD. I was tired and I just wanted to get there. I kept telling myself that every step was closer to the finish, my family and the doughnut they got me, alternating that with "you are one strong mother runner." I had adopted a walk/run to get me through mile 7 and the first half of mile 8. I looked down at my watch with about 1.5 miles to go and saw that if I ran the entire rest of the way, I would make it under my primary time goal of 2 hours ten minutes. So just kept going.
Mile 10: 12:30
When I got to downtown Evansville, my friend Rachel, who had finished before me, ran some of mile 10 with me, which was awesome because even though the end was so close, I needed the extra boost.
She stopped at our families and I just took off through the chute to the finish. When I crossed the finish line I was at an 8:32/mile pace. I have no idea where that last little bit of speed came from but I didn't care, it was almost over! Right before I crossed the finish, I heard several people cheering for me, but I still have no idea who it was. I was so focused on getting there that I didn't dare look.
My official finish time was 2:04:52, although my watch said 2:04:43. I PR'd by almost 10 minutes! The last time I ran 10 miles was a few weeks ago and I finished in 2:13:23. You have no idea how stoked I am about this. It's 12 hours later and I'm still on cloud nine. I have mentioned here that I'm running Disney next January, but what I haven't mentioned is how terrified I am of being placed in the last corral and getting swept because I got stuck at a bottleneck on the course. You have to show proof of time if you say you will finish in less than two hours 45 minutes. Well, this race just ensured my time verification and corral placement!
I am so incredibly proud of myself. I had a horrible headache yesterday and didn't get much sleep last night (I even had a dream that I missed the race!) so I wasn't sure how this race was going to go. Today was amazing and I am so glad I had the opportunity to do this!