I felt good, Mark seemed fine and together we acknowledged quickly and quietly that we were right on pace.
Mile 5 in to mile 6 is a lot of climbing. Long gradual climbing. We kept our head down and kept going. The hills are fairly easy for us because live in the land of mountains. Seriously, my runs are extremely hilly at home. I'm lucky if I can run up some of them sub 12 min/ mile pace. So on these mild hills, we worked at keeping our strides quick and easy and not letting the pace drop too much.
This is the mile we get to see our family. Yay!!! Our buddies were already out at mile 2 and 5 and now my parents and our kids would be coming up around mile 6. Without talking about it, Mark and I each started shedding layers.
I was hot and took off my Orange ( yes, orange! ) sweatshirt. Mark was ready with gloves. At the Exact same time, we both threw them at Mom and Hit her!!!! Ahhh!! Sorry Mom!!!! It didn't phase her.
Ten steps later, our boys. :)
I heard Cameron chuckle and say, "haha, they're together!" I gently tapped Nick on his head as I ran by.
Dad went into action.
There we were cruising up the hill at 7 min miles ( trying to cruise at least) and Dad started running along with us 'blasting' ColdPlay's Clocks out of his iPhone!
Now we're running along by Crescetn Beach. Ahhh, the beach. I grew up on that beach. I worked there and I played there. I was starting to wish it was summer and I Laying ON that beach. Snap out of it! Too much daydreaming....
I thought it was getting real at mile 5. Ha! Mile 7 was pretty honest. Time to dig.
Hey, isn't this where I was going to blow by Mark?
ok. Maybe not. I was enjoying our togetherness in this race for the first time. We both admitted after that we Undoubtedly pushed each other through. There were certainly times when I eeked ahead of him and forced him to fight a bit more and other times that I had to concentrate and consciously decide Not to let him go. He had a habit of Surging ahead of people when we came upon them. He didn't let the pass occur on it's on at the pace we had been running. Nope. He felt the need to Speed way up and surge right by them. This bugged me. But there was nothing I could do about it. I couldn't talk after all. I was too busy breathing. And if I let him go, I might not get him back and I feared I would drop the pace if left to my own devices.
I just did not know what I would do.
My training is focused on my summer Triathlon season. Therefore, specific pace work for this race was very scarce. I had to fight deep inside to hold onto the speed I wanted.
I needed Mark and his natural hard to figure out how he does it with such minimal training speed to push me.
All I remember is Mark busting out a funny comment that he and I had joked about earlier in the week. At least it was about running! I ignored him. How can he talk?
Mark always talks.
He was talking 2 min before the start!! I had to rush back 30 rows where he was chit chatting with an old buddy and grab him. "Time to go!!!'
A few years ago, in a triathlon, he started in the wave ahead of me. When I passed him in the water, he recognized it was me and Stopped and tried to Talk to me!!!!! There he was smiling and waving with his mouth moving away.
Seriously hun?? NOW??
So when he started talking I was not surprised and just let him go. He expects me to ignore him. All was good.
I was struggling. I should have had more of that gel. I only got a few tiny sips in. It was all over my gloves instead. I convinced myself I didn't need it in a 70 min or less race. But I think I did. Lesson learned.
Run run run run run.
Aren't we done yet?
I am not sure how Mark was feeling. But I was drawing inward.
I was reminding myself why I cared. Why I wanted to do well.
It's very easy to decide it's not so important. It's easy to say, "oh well, I gave it all I had. I didn't train specifically for this race anyway. I'll just focus on my first Tri in May. It's ok.....just get to the end."
Yup. It's soooo easy to do that. I remembered the last 3 miles on the Queen K back in October. I remembered just how painful and hard those miles were. If I could get through that, of course I can do this with more zest than I seem to have right now.
I was grasping.
Because the 10 mile "all out" road race does not = Ironman Hawaii. They both have their own and very different kind of "pain." I needed to find a little pocket of energy to RUN faster those last few miles and my memories from the lava fields weren't helping unleash the speed I needed on Sunday on the cold Maine roads.
Then, in the midst of my gasps for air and attempts to keep my body from crumbling onto the pavement, I heard:
"I love you."
what did he just say?
I just looked at him wide eyed?
Mark...he's sweet. But seriously, I'm in my own little world of hurt and he is able to speak a little pre-Valentine's message to me?
I'm a lucky gal....
7:00 was mile 9. I think I'm missing a split.
Mark and I were close.
We were running with all we had left. I knew we were on target but how does that last 1/2 mile get SO long ??
Both of us.
I've hung on this feeling before but I'm going to do it again. I'm thrilled. As I said, I've been running this race for as long as I've been a runner. Last weekend, at age 42, with my kiddos watching, I ran as fast as I ever have before. And I did it with my husband.
Can't beat that.
at least not 'til next year. :)
One final note----back to this picture.
My colors were not thought out. I took some warm hearted ribbing for my fashion sense at this race. (Even likened to Punky Brewster! It cracked me up. No hard feelings, I promise Kelsey. :) )
oops. Guess I run alone way way too often. I grabbed my favorite gear and headed to Cape! I made a pact with myself that from now on I will make every attempt to look at stealth-like and badass while racing as those speedy women who flew by me on Sunday. Because clearly it works!! I must say though, I was appreciated by parents and photographer friends who were waiting for us to go by!! You can't miss me coming from a mile away!! haha!