To start out the day, I woke up at 4:30 in order to head in time to make the 6:30 race time. James usually takes longer to wake up and get moving in the morning. For me, when it is race day, I pop out of bed so fast. I get so excited to race, I am surprised I don’t sleep in my running outfits before races :). After I woke up, first I made James his coffee, this way he would move a little faster and get out of the house on time and I ate Lara bars new ALT bar. The Lemon pound cake flavor is my favorite so far.
Since we are new to the area I wanted to have amble time to travel to Peoria, AZ. Google maps said it would take about 40 minutes from our apartment. I found out last minute about this race and would need to sign up when we arrived, as well as get in a little warm up jog before the gun goes off. This race was a totally different league compared to the races James and I have participated in over the past 2 years. Most of the races in Kirksville would have about 50-100 runners. In this race, there were over 1200 runners and walkers signed up, from what I heard on an overhead speaker. I think James was amazed with the event. People were everywhere. watching, running, walking, you name it. It was definitely a great experience for James to see.
The race was started in waves every 10 seconds. The first group was for those wanting to run the 4 mile loop at roughly a 6 minute pace or faster. Each wave went up from there, 7 minute pace, 8 minute pace, and so on. I jumped up with the first wave. My goal was to hit 6 minute pace for all 4 miles. I have been having a little pain in my right leg for the past few weeks, therefore my training has decreased from 40 miles per week to 20. I have been doing lots of elliptical workouts, but it is not the same as running. Also with traveling for the past week, I was unable to run much or exercise for that matter. To be honest 6 minute pace I thought would be rough. I am in a new area, I am racing in 90+ degree weather and the atmosphere is just a little bit different. I noticed when the gun went off there was one younger girl who took off, I checked my GPS and it said I was running 5:15 pace. UH.. OH… I better slow down. I tried really hard to be very conservative the first mile and take it one mile at a time. This one no ordinary 5k, it was a 4 mile race!! I hit mile 1 at 6:00. Perfect!! Mile 2 was 6:02, Once again not too bad. Then mile 3 hit. This is where we turned around. There was no longer a breeze just heat beating down on my head. I had poured water on my head when I ran past the water station around 2.25 miles. But this is Arizona and the water I poured on top of me dried pretty quickly. I slowed down to a 6:11 for my 3rd mile. I tried to refocus and gather myself together. I had some negative thoughts creep in my head because my head felt so hot. I have not run in weather like this since I was in college, which was 6 years ago. I ran some outside while in Missouri, but I did most of my runs on the treadmill because there always seemed to be thunderstorms and snow. 😉 I am not really sure what my last mile was but it had to have been around 6:07, since I crossed the finish line in 24:24, which is a 6:06 pace. Just 6 seconds off my goal. I am proud and I ended up placing 2nd over all for the female and 44th out of 900+runners. The top women finished in 24:20. Next time I will get the gold!!! James also ran very well. He said he had never felt that hot before. He finished in 34:14 which is about an 8:33 average per mile. His goal was to hit 32 minutes. He was pretty close given the weather was a major change for the both of us.
After the race we both cooled off for a while and went to Cantina Laredo for lunch. It was really good. They served us 2 different types of salsa. One was more traditional and the other was warm and spicy. The menu was well-marked for all the gluten-free options. I picked the Tacos de Pollo. They were so good. I would order these again. The food was very fresh and light. I loved it.
James picked the Enchilada de Espinaca, I could not try it since it was not GF, but it looked amazing and He enjoyed it.
We ended out 4th of July at Aloha Yogurt for some desert. The off to bed. We missed out on fireworks, I think we were both pretty exhausted from the sun.