You know what feels amazing?
Today I ran in the 20th Annual Putnam County Fall Classic Half Marathon.
I finished 13.1 miles in 1:45:31. That comes out to a 8:03 minute per mile pace.
And turns out, I placed 15th overall out of 75 total runners. That is a far cry from my 59th place finish last year for the same race.
A little over a month before my race, I looked at the results from prior years for this race. I compared my estimated pace to finishing times for females and I thought I had a pretty good probability of a top finish. I was thinking I could very well finish top 3 female in my age category or top 3 overall female. Even though I envisioned it happening, I didn't honestly think that I could come in first! It still seems so surreal, but I am living in the moment and loving every moment of this accomplishment.
Photo Credit: vobphoto.com
I somehow kept track of the females in from of me during the race. There was 1 girl (who I believe finished 1st overall female) who was ahead of me from the start and I never saw her again. I was holding 2nd place overall female for a while. Around mile 3 I heard some heavy breathing that sounded female coming from behind me. Around mile 3.5 she passed me. I kept her in my sights for a while but eventually I lost her. Around mile 8 another girl came up behind me, asked how I was doing and eventually got ahead of me. I kept her in my sights for a couple miles but eventually I lost her too. I was a little disappointed because that meant I was in 4th for female. What made it worse was that none of them looked like they were over 30. I could only hope.
During the last half a mile, I could smell food from the Founder's Day street fair that was going on at the finish line and it was shockingly making me sick. Lol normally my first thought after long runs is food. I came across the finish line and was so pleased with my time. I was estimating if I had a good day I would finish around the 1:50 mark, and if I was having a great day I could possibly finish in the 1:40's. Guess I had a great day. I changed my shoes and drank some Powerade and eventually did get something to eat.
Right about the time we finished eating and were getting ready to head home, they were doing awards. They gave out awards for the 5K first. They had top 3 finishers for both males and females in each age category; 70 & up, 60-69, 50-59, 40-49, 30-39, 20-29, under 20, and overall. After they did the half marathon...and had to announce all those categories...again.
As they got closer to my category I started praying. When they finally got to my category and announced the 3rd place finisher the time was in the 1:50's, I thought to myself "Wait my time was faster than that." They announced the 2nd place finisher and her time was in the 1:50's too. Again, I thought to myself "Wait! My time was faster than that too!" When they announced 1st place and the time was "1 hour, forty five minutes..."
I knew it was me.
I like reflecting on this 1st place finish. I like looking at my mileage log.
It proves that hard work and dedication truly does pay off.
xoxo ♔ Meg