We lucked out and The Pilot was off so he could stay home with Megatron. I met up with my usual crew of running friends at 7 am. Yes, this event is so fun and popular that even the runners show up to walk. And most of them are often humbled by the athleticism of some race walkers. Nothing like getting schooled by a race walker walking an 8 minute mile!
I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for this race. I decided it might be a "game day decision." Ha. I didn't want to go all out for fear I'd irritate my already cranky hip flexors. I only have 3 weeks left until my big race so I'm getting a little protective of myself. I also wanted to get back home to my boys so I didn't want to "just" have fun and go at a casual pace. I did know that I wanted to line up at the start line much earlier than I did last year so that I wouldn't get stuck behind people who walk slower than my easy pace. I ended up going quite a bit further than a 10k last year because I was zig zagging around people.
So a group of us lined up right behind the competitive group and it was all fun and games for a mile. Then part of the group picked up the pace. I wasn't ready yet so I didn't follow them. No matter if I'm running or walking, it takes me a good 3 miles to get warmed up. Unfortunate as that may be! So a few of us hung back. Slowly though, I started to pick up the pace. Then I got to mile 4 and decided to kick it into another gear. Poor Katy and Ralph who were with me at that point. I was watching my Garmin and realized I could get a new PR. So I decided to go for it.
And I went. Each 1/2 mile was faster than the previous. With less than a half mile to go, I was a woman on a mission. I sort of zoned out and just went all out. So much for taking it easy on the hips! I must say, it was kind of fun to start passing people at the end. Normally at the end of a race I feel like I'm dying and am about to crawl over the finish. But I felt great! Ralph turned back to go find more friends to finish with and poor Katy was behind me, cursing me. And just like that, I beat last year's time by 5 minutes! I have a new PR of 1:32:37. Not bad considering the last time I race walked any distance was....at last year's 10K. Oops. I've focused so much on running this year that I've only been taking short walk breaks here and there. Of course I couldn't help but wonder what I could have done had I actually trained....