|Deb, Me & Dina PreRace. Yup, I am really that short!|
We were up and in New Albany bright and early for the race! We were lucky & the weather was AMAZING! Dina and I were able to find Deb @ the beginning and start with her which was awesome as this was her first official race as a walker! The start was a bit of a pain - a mix of walker speeds, no corrals, kicking each other's feet to get moving faster, smacking elbows and this went on for the first mile or more. I was close to killing people! They really need to consider corrals based on pace or separate the half walkers from the 10K walkers. Something should be changed as there were way more walkers doing the 10K then the half! Either way, with a little cursing, the first mile went okay. I have to admit, by mile 2, with still a ton of people, I was like "do I really have to go 11 more?" I pushed the thought out of my head and kept going. I was finally getting into a groove and I saw myself finishing. That pushed me through.
Fast forward to the turn for mile 4 and we saw a 70 year old and his wife walking the race. He was doing great and I had to push to catch him. As we were passing him, I told Dina what our last mile pace was and he started jogging. Why do people do that? I kept seeing people jogging a little or running. I was annoyed because this was a walkers-only event. I expected everyone to walk no matter what. I totally expected people to be pulled off the course for jogging or running but that was not happening either. They even said that in the race information but alas, it did not happen. We were pulling some of our fastest miles ever heading to the 6 mile turn to the half. As we were approaching the turn for the half, I came across a walker who was wearing a shirt that said "Why run slowly when you can walk fast?" He was also grunting with each step! I was worried that he was in some kind of pain! P.S. I need to look into buying these shirts or having someone like One More Mile Running Apparel make some.
For the half, you wind back to the start and head to the right. We went up along a long stretch of 161 where cars were driving down the road and we had a very small lane. I was a bit nervous about the cars but they seemed to be pretty respectful. This portion of the race had to be the worst - from the time on 161 to the turn on the really long Kitzmiller, we thought we were hours from finishing! There was not a lot of race support on Kitzmiller other than a water stop and I think one band. Otherwise, it was a very, very long road. We turned to the swanky area of New Albany and walked past million dollar homes like we have many times on Sundays. I still can't figure out why ANYONE needs a home that large! I knew we were doing great with our pace and I was mentally tagging backs of other walkers to pass them. Heading towards the finish, there was a couple I kept seeing that looked like they were on a Sunday stroll. I knew I had to pass them and with about a tenth of a mile left I did! I felt so satisfied! They even cheered me on as I went by! The best part about this race was some wonderful friends I walk with through MIT were waiting for me as I rounded the corner for the final stretch! I heard them scream my name and I almost jumped but their voices propelled me to finish in my best time yet! I do have to mention just as I was coming around the corner, a volunteer yelled "Go Laura!" I had enough in me to go, "It's Laurie dude!" 2 hours, 41 minutes and 8 seconds for an average pace of 12:18! I was thrilled!!!
During one of the MIT seasons, they reached out to New Albany Walking Club for a real walking coach and they sent us @Larrywalksfast. I consider Larry a mentor & I have learned a lot from him. Here we are pre-race:
|Me with @Larrywalksfast|
Okay, I will admit I stole my twitter name from him but he was cool with it! :)
Final race results were posted late Sunday. I was 31 of 359 walkers and I finished 2nd in my age category! There were people younger than me in the 20-29 category who didn't walk as fast! Funny, I think we must get faster with age! I am excited as I have won an age category award and this is my first one. Not sure what it is but we shall see! I am to expect it in the mail within the next 30 days or so. I am NOT that patient! Larry's wife took a picture of Dina & I post-race with PRs under our belts:
|Yup, I didn't grow during the race!|