Running the Rails…

Saturday was my final race of the year (at least I think so…lol. Runners reserve the right to change their mind last minute should anything irresistible pop up). 

The Edaville Rail Run

  
It’s a 5 mile (or two mile) jaunt through the grounds of Edaville Railroad and its cranberry bogs. 

It’s flat. And it’s trail. And it’s pretty. 

I ran it on my own two years ago as my first race since being cleared to run after “The Injury”. And I ran it last year with my sole sister Karen as her first 5 miler. 

Both were amazing experiences. And this year I was again going to run it with Karen as a “sole sister social event”.  We both had other friends we’d convinced to run too. And Karen’s sister Julie was going to do the 2-mile as her first ever race. 

Saturday morning I awoke early as I usually do, and shortly after got a text from Karen… She was out. Sick as a dog and while my first thought was “the race doesn’t start til 10 you might feel better by then (runner logic. Lol)” it wasn’t gonna happen. 

My second thought was “oh sh$t. I gotta RACE this thing now.” 

I looked at my time from 2013 – it was 48:58. And I set a goal of 45:00.  

While I’m not really in 9:00 half marathon shape right now, I figured I’d be able to pull it off for a shorter race. 

It was a beautiful morning, mostly. 40’s and sunny. But with 20mph winds gusting to 40. Yeah. Windy. 

Before the race I found my friend Jenn, gave hugs and hellos and tried to shake off the nerves. 

When the gun went off I wished her luck and said “see ya at the finish”

And off I went…fast and hard. 

I knew the course would narrow about a 1/2 mile in and I wanted to get around as many people as I could. 

Long strides, quick feet and the thought that I can slow down later when I have room, if I need to. 

Omg the wind! Half-mile in, an arctic, nose-freezing, knock you sideways blast. Eek! 

It’s okay. We got this. 

And when my watch beeped at a mile and it said 8:50 I thought “perfect” and dug in. 

Note my game face. 🙂

  
All business now. Because I knew I naturally speed up. And it was gonna hurt. 

The ground was a little soft, but level. I peered out over the cranberry bogs, saw the lighthouse that stood at mile 2, and thought of Karen. And how last year she declared this the most beautiful course she’s ever run. And I smiled. 

Rounded the corner to the lighthouse and up the only hill before the finish and settled in behind another runner on the side by side tracks. And then crept up and passed her. 

Through the slippery soft sand. Gazing at the scenery. Thinking of Karen. And Paris. And a friend Karen lost last week to PTSD, Luke. 

Keeping them all in my mind, knowing I wasn’t just running for me, kept me strong and motivated. 

And at mile 3, watching my pace continue to drop, I knew I was gonna reach my goal. 

I just kept smiling. And running. And posed for the camera. 

  
Because I was having a blast. 

And I started picking people off. 

Not a soul passed me the next two miles. And I passed several. 

And near mile 4 I heard the strains of “Gonna Fly Now” and thought – I already am.  🙂

I high-fived that volunteer for his excellent choice in music. 

And around mile 4 1/2 I spotted Julie. Gave her a quick cheer and a wave and bolted toward the finish, which I could already see. 

And the truck parked at the base of the final uphill was playing “We Will Rock You” (darn right!!)

Because this race was mine. 

Grinning ear to ear I dug deep for any last kick I might have, and went for it. 

Crossed the line in 42:40. Holy smokes! 

Must have been the wings…

  
I waited by the finish line, and cheered both Julie and Jenn across. So proud of both those amazing ladies!!

And so proud of myself. I didn’t realize how much I needed that validation that I’m still fast, until I got it. And I’m happy to hang up my safety pins for the year and just train. 

Gotta go out on top right? (Plus it’s only like 54 days til Disney. Gotta focus)

Happy Monday my friends. And Happy Running! 

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