This year I didn't train for the race, so admittedly I was a little nervous. My first Bloomsday I ran a 1:26:06, and my second I ran a 1:24:25. The River Run last weekend put my expectations in check (to not expect the same time when I don't train for events), but I know myself and my desire for improvement and PRs, so I guess I didn't know what to expect from myself this year.
The morning was absolutely gorgeous. The sun was shining, and 47,000+ people from all over the country (and some elites from outside the country) filled the streets of Spokane. Just like I remembered, the energy and volume was amped up, and everyone was excited to run, roll, walk, or jog that 7.46-mile course.
A few minutes before my corral (the green group) started, I threw my long-sleeved second layer up on the stop light (which is tradition at Bloomsday), snapped a few photos, double-checked my laces, and said a little prayer.
|My shirt is the light blue wad below the green light.|
|Lots of people under a blue sky.|
But that hope passed relatively quickly as Doomsday Hill came into view. Of course, I knew that it was coming and I knew how long and steep it was, but that made no difference as I came around the corner and felt all the wind get sucked from my sails. I breifly attempted to run the hill as I had only one year before, but I slowed to a walk after a few steps, and I didn't really start running again until I hit the sign for Mile 5.
Mile 6 wasn't easy. I was tired, and I knew my overall pace had slowed quite a bit. I jogged when I could, but miles 5 and 6 averaged to a 13-minute pace. My self-talk was pretty negative too, which is never a good sign. "It seems like I have been running forever! This course is long, and I haven't even made it through the neighborhoods yet." And I found myself annoyed at - not motivated or entertained by - the bands/singers. "She sucks! I should be over there singing, and SHE should be running this race," I thought to myself.
I don't know what happened to me, but I transformed into a different runner in the last 1.5 miles. I sped up and ran all the way to the finish with a half-grin on my face. I felt my overall pace improving, and I enjoyed the sun on my shoulders, the funny messages on the shirts of other runners, and I started to feel proud of myself for running a longer distance than I have in a while. I'm not really sure what happened; I guess I just hit a temporary low point mid-race.
I crossed the finish line in 1:32:34, which is a 12:24 pace overall. It isn't fast or impressive or a PR, but I gave everything I had on the course, and it is representative of what I can do and who I am as a runner right now. I'm more than okay with that.
|Remembering previous Bloomsdays; happy finisher this year.|
|Pretty day to hang out by the fountain post-race.|
P.S. I am working on a creative piece about Bloomsday that I wrote in my head as I was running...