Tundra Trailblazer Nicole: Update

Over the weekend I decided last minute to register for the local Dick Lytie 15K run being held. Years ago when I trained for my first marathon I ran the 13.1 mile race with a friend as a training run. All I could remember was the hills. On Friday night  when I mentioned to my husband that I wasn’t running the Dick Lytie and instead planned on running with the training group he questioned why not. Saturday morning when our son decided to wake up at 5 AM I looked online (what did we do before cell phones and FB pages for all our last minute details) and decided since they had race day registration what the heck. The hills would be a good training before the Zumbro 17 mile trail race I have next month (did I mention I’m super duper nervous about this race!)

Fast forward to the run. Small race, local route. By no means am I fast so I hung out near the back of the  pack of runners and tried to force myself to find a comfortable pace. The first mile felt like I was running out of my neighborhood. Long straightaway and then you turn left and there is a nice long uphill. Not bad, used to that. In true Nicole fashion I didn’t look at the run route so I had no idea where we were headed, where the split for the different races would be, and if there was water / porta potties along the way. Good thing for big yellow signs and friendly volunteers. I’m not sure why I decided to wear a baseball cap but the wind kept lifting it off my head until we made the turn downhill. At that turn, I finally felt warm and there was a hilarious couple playing jams and dancing with a boa. It’s amazing how much spectators can make or break a run. I usually try to find a runner who’s about my pace and stay slightly behind them. Maybe I annoy them or they aren’t even aware of me but it keeps me focused. If I don’t do that, I play games of chasing the next person and then the next… I can remember a woman after the Green Bay Cellcom Marathon thanking me and telling me I was kept her going at the end. She stayed a few strides behind me from about 22 miles on and I didn’t even know she was right behind me until we ran into Lambeau Field for our final stretch.

At about 5 miles in I started noticing my left foot going numb (usually happens on runs longer than 4 lately) as we made the trek up the biggest, longest hill EVER. Oh Church Road – you’re the worst! I did make it to the top but I did have to sit down and remove my shoe to get some feeling back into my foot. Anyone else have this issue? At that point in time I was so happy I was only running the 15k and not the half. Those poor runners had to do that hill loop again. It wasn’t until about 8 miles when I finally checked out my watch for the distance. With about a mile to go I was feeling cold but ok. To me this was a good sign, I’m right where my training should be. It’s crazy how when you follow a training plan the runs just falls into place. Trust the Process. Don’t over think it. And if you know me, I over think EVERYTHING. I’m excited for another 9 miles this weekend (once I recover from yesterday’s leg day!) Seriously if I dropped something today you might still find it there tomorrow. Anyways, I finished my first 15K and I really enjoyed the distance. Hope to see you out running this week!

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