Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Spring Valley 4 Miler

This year I signed up to run the York Road Runners Club Winter Series. There are eight races for one {very low} price that I figured would keep me out on the roads for training. The first race I had to miss due to a wedding we attended, but this past Sunday I was able to attend the Spring Valley 4 Miler.

This race had me a tiny bit worried because it was the first one I attended on my own. Every race I have run, hubby and I attended together, whether he ran it or not. He's run a few without me, but this was the first one I went to alone. It's against my introvert/perfectionist {to make hubby happy - he says I'm Type A} nature.

So, I headed off to Spring Valley to run a distance I know I can run....just slowly. I got to the park and picked up my bib. The interesting this about the bib is in order to run all the races, you need to wear the same bib every time.

I don't know if I've ever had a number this low for a race. LOL! In order to keep the bib in good shape, I needed to wear it on my leg because I always mess up the ones on my stomach. So far, so good. The bib stayed in good condition to the end.

I had plenty of time to wait for the race to start. I didn't know anyone, so I wandered around. Nerves were hitting pretty heavy. I found the course map, but since I didn't know the area, it didn't help much. LOL!
I also took the obligatory pre-race selfie. It's not the best, but at least I tried.
The location for the race was pretty. Though driving in and seeing where we were had me nervous. I had a feeling this was going to be a bad race. It was hilly in the area and I started to think the race was going to be rough.
Pretty isn't it? The problem is those are hills. I'm not great at hills and I haven't been training on hills lately. Also, my hip flexor doesn't like hills. It always gives me trouble when I run them.

The race started a little later than I thought. Each race of the series has a one mile run as well as the longer race. I thought the one mile race was after the start of the longer race, but it was before. So we started later than I anticipated, which put me more on edge. Yes, this is not good for me.

We finally did get started and off we went! Down a small little hill, then up a ridiculous uphill. And that's when I knew it was going to be a horrible race for me. Not that I wasn't giving it my all, but I was out of my {running} league. Initially, I was in front of a few people, but I was at the back of the pack...not surprising.

And shortly after that, I went to the back of the pack. Before we hit mile 1, I was last. I was running my best, but still at the back of the pack...literally. I ran the downhills and flats, walked the hills. I started to see the person in front of my further and further away. A couple times I lost sight of him and wasn't sure I was following the right path. I admit this is always my complaint in races, not making race courses clear enough for all runners. If the back of the pack people lose sight of each other, how do they know they are still on the right track...especially when the course is hilly and windy.

Anyway... I finally reached the turn that led me back to the finish line and watched all the cars leaving the race. Oh it was disheartening. It was also a little dangerous as it was a downhill for them, an uphill for me on a very narrow road. I made it, with a high five from someone I knew from racing in the area. She is such a sweetheart!

I finished the race just under 60 minutes {I believe 57:--}. I don't know. Honestly, I don't care either. The goal had been under 55 minutes based on my 4 mile time at the Rocky Run a few weeks ago and had it not been for the horrible hills, I might have made it. Of course, I still would have been one of the back of the pack racers.

Post-race selfie. Don't let that smile fool you, I was pretty upset over this race. Not only did I finish last, but again having no idea on the course in terms of where I was going. I've only had that happen one other time and I DNF a duathlon because of it.

This race made me think of a few things as I was out there alone.

* About mile two I wanted to quit, but since it was a 4 mile race if I turned back I had to go the same distance as if I kept going forward. I went forward.
* The running people of York County are fast.
* For all the cheers I received when I crossed the line, I didn't feel like they were necessary.
* I know if I lost weight I would run faster. I kept thinking how much faster as I was walking up the hills.
* I need to get better at consistent training. Sure, I can run 4 miles, but not at a good speed. Sometimes races like this make me realize what a "bad" runner I am. {You don't have to tell me just going out there is the important thing, when you are last, it hurts.}

The next Winter Series race is a 10k. I have a feeling I will be last for that one too...

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