Hey guys! Thanks for the support!
I've run the LL Bean 10k for 9 years now, something I do every year with my dad (his 24th year) and sister. It's a fun race which usually brings out some notable names and LL Bean gives great prizes, like gift certificate for the top 3. I looked at past results to see where I could potentially place. The winner usually runs in the low 37's and second place isn't far behind, but third place varies from 37-something to 40. Gauging my current shape, I thought 3rd place was an attainable goal and, plus it'd be cool to win "prize money."
So, the race went off. The first mile is fast, downhill. The clock said 5:45. Yikes--fast! I chilled out for a mile and re-grouped. Mile 2 was about 12 min and I was feeling pretty strong, in about 8th place. I picked it up a little and started moving up. Right around mile 3, I saw a familiar figure with silver hair just ahead of me. With my focus on her back, I started working hard....I couldn't believe I was actually getting closer to Joan Benoit Sameulson--she's my idol! Right at the 4th mile, I passed Joan! My freaking idol! I was passing by freaking idol...I managed to calmly spurt out, "that's it Joan. " We were at the base of a huge hill, and I said to myself, you are going to look like a real jerk if Joanie passes you on this hill...so I kept moving. I was in 4th place at that point and at mile 5 I could see the 3rd place ponytail in the distance. I looked down at my watch, 30:24 (pr for 5 miles!). I decided I still wanted the money! I started passing a bunch of men. At some point, I was pretty sure I didnt want "the money" anymore and was just fine with 4th, but the other voice in my head screamed, "what the heck, you better get third..she's right in front of you!" At mile 6 mark one of the fans yelled "oh it's going to be a race for 3rd"...just as I was about to pass. All I could think was I hope she doesn't kick! I finished...4 seconds ahead, 3rd place! 37:25! Very psyched! Last year, I ran 44:01.
I jogged around and cheered for my dad to come in...finished in 1:00.36! Looking forward to my award, I waited in the sun with sister and stretched. They called the first placed woman, Emily Levan and announced she had broken the course record, so in addition to her 1st place prize of $100 to LL Bean, she was getting another $100. 2nd place was called and she was handed a envelope with a gift card as well. I was beaming, couldn't wait for my name to be called...3rd place...Gretchen Chick, congratulations. Yes!! I shook hands and then looked down at my award...a FLASHLIGHT...I got a freaking flashlight?! There must be some mistake! I've run this race for 9 years and the top 3 always get money! But no, not this year.
Well, I'm sure it'll come in handy one of these days. But it was a fun a race. Next Tuesday will be my one year anniversary with the club. I'm in great shape, and with all sincerity I wouldn't be without you guys! You all are motivating, inspring, and you make for a pretty awesome support group, too. Basically, you rock! I look forward to many more workouts and swweeeeeeet races (with better prizes)!