Finishing the Blast was totally awesome! I had so much fun at the run yesterday morning - the weather was pretty good and being one of about 2,000 runners was a great feeling. The race started at 8am and I finished in under 1 hour, which was one of my goals. I actually had a better time on the run than I've had the entire 2 months of training when we've done 4 mile runs. Here's a great group shot of the gals I've been running with:
Here's how I finished: my total chip time was 54:14 - that's a 13:34 pace per mile; in women ages 30-34, I finished 184 out of 221 runners, and overall I finished 1757 out of 2056 runners.
I started out strong, felt very confident and comfortable for the first 2 miles of the run. There were 2 water stops along the route and they definitely came in handy when I felt like I was in need of them. There was a long gradual up hill in between mile 1 and mile 2 that was pretty brutal. I really focused on pushing through some of the pain that my legs were feeling and finished the up hill with a power walk, then went right back into the 2 and 1 interval run/walking. As we approached the 3rd mile, I told my running friends that this was the spot I was worried about, we were coming up on the approach to a really big hill and it's also the area where my negative emotions have gotten the best of me on previous training runs. The gals were really encouraging and one friend told me to focus on the upcoming water stop and not the up coming hill. We pounded through mile 3 and then it was time for Handasyde hill. We started the hill on a run interval, our coach encouraged us to at least try running for 1 minute, so I picked up my feet and marched up the hill. I made it on a run for about 1:30, then it was a power walk to the top. Once we hit the down hill, we only had a half mile to go and it was smooth sailing from there. As I came down the street where the finish line was it was so awesome! People were lined along both side of the street, cheering everyone along and I spotted JJ there, ready to snap some pics as we ran it in. It was really fun to see him and that gave me a little boost to pick up my feet and "sprint" it in for the last few seconds! Here I am approaching the finish line:
Something I haven't touched much on in these training run posts is about what the Hyde Park Blast actually raises money for and what the event supports. The Blast was started 10 years ago by 2 local residents who wanted to have a community event that raised money for good causes and aided in the fight against cancer. Since 2001, the event has raised over $220,000 for several local organizations like Cancer Free Kids and the Wellness Community and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
My next post will have some of the official race photos and some candid shots from the awesome after party, which let's just say, I might have enjoyed a little *too* much!