Good morning! Happy Monday!
First, let me start off by wishing everyone luck who is racing in Boston today! I can’t imagine the feeling of being a part of something as wonderful as that marathon and can’t wait to hear and read about all of the recaps that will come afterwards!
This past weekend, I had my own little running adventure. I ran my third 10K and decided to register on a whim about a month ago. It is a race that I have run before and was one of my favorites…it isn’t the easiest course but it was at my alma mater and I absolutely love when I get the chance to go back to one of my favorite places, Saint Vincent College.
(the campus and Basilica in the background)
In addition to being on my former college campus, the race is a fundraiser for a cause that is near and dear to my heart. The race is to honor Trooper Kenton Iwaniec, a Pennsylvania State police officer. Trooper Iwaniec was killed on his way home from a shift one night by a drunk driver. His family has since turned their tragedy into a crusade to get impaired drivers off the road. You can read more on the official organization website here and also get more information from my past race recap here. I briefly got to know the Iwaniec family through working at my former insurance job and I love to support our local and state police agencies so this race is important on more than one level for me.
Last time I ran, Lee decided to run the 5K portion while I completed the 10K. For him, the race resulted in months of breathing treatments afterwards due to a surprise attack of his asthma. Needless to say, he was not interested in running with me again this year. However, like any good supporter, he woke up early and accompanied me so I wouldn’t have to go it alone. In addition, he knows a ton of other local police so he knew there would be some colleagues and friends to hang out with while I ran.
We woke up bright and early and arrived to pick up my registration packet. My bib number was 3. As soon as I saw it, I was pumped. I have two numbers that I love…3 and 8. I, immediately, felt a sense of calm and took it as a sign.
(I was ready but anxious)
Before the race, there was an opening ceremony that included a presentation of the state police colors, the national anthem, and some emotional words from Trooper Iwaniec’s family. They, then, held a one-mile fun run and a couple other activities for the kids and then it was our turn to go.
On a side note, I had done two training runs for this race in the last few weeks…one at five miles and the other at three. I had absolutely no idea how I would do but my inner competitor was hoping for a PR.
The course is a 5K course and the 10K runners, obviously, run it twice. I can say for the first four miles, I felt amazing. I had no burning in my lungs, the weather was perfect, and my legs were ready to go! After mile 4.5, we moved into the toughest part of the course. There is a portion that is ALL uphill…it’s a road with a constant grade that also has three sharper hills that pop up until you reach the top. I knew the second hill climb on the second lap was going to be the hardest part for me and I was not wrong. I knew I only had a little over a mile to go when I reached the last steep hill, but my legs felt heavy…and I stopped to walk. I walked for probably only 20-30 seconds but it felt like an eternity. I never walk during races but, for some reason, I didn’t freak out. I listened to my body and just did what felt right. As I was almost at the top, I broke out into a run again and pushed myself to almost sprint the last leg of the race.
(thank you, Lee, for being my photographer)
I ran into some traffic as I got closer to the finish line (there were walkers finishing) and I even plowed through a group of girls (sorry, ladies!!) as I entered the finish line corral. A race volunteer was yelling, “Runners coming through!” but no one seemed to move…so I had no option because I had nowhere to go and I wasn’t slowing down. Because of the crowd and spectators, I missed the finish line clock and had no idea what my time was. I, actually, did not even care. I finished and I felt good.
I found Lee and he showed me his stopwatch that he started when I crossed the start line (he’s the best hubs ever!) and it was stopped at 51:16. He seemed to think he was pretty close and I immediately got excited! We headed inside to grab water and snacks and wait for the results. As we waiting, we checked out some of the police demonstrations that were going on…which included a few K-9 units. Love them!
For whatever reason, there was a glitch with posting the results and they were taking forever. Unfortunately, we had to leave before I saw them because Lee had to work that afternoon. I anxiously waited and waited and waited for the results to be posted and they finally were up last night!
My final time? 51:23!!!
I shaved two minutes of my last 10K PR! I came in 4th in my age group and finished 26th out of 119 10K runners! I couldn’t have been happier!
I think I can officially say this is my favorite race!
Something to share: If you’re a runner, do you have a favorite race? Do you know someone running in the Boston Marathon today?