I wasn't exactly sure I was running this race until last week Friday when I finally signed up for it. I was taking it easy coming back from my minor foot injury and after I was able to run 3 miles without stopping and I felt great. I knew it wasn't going to be easy but I would be able to do the distance. And who doesn't want to feel like they are ahead on their calories on Thanksgiving!
I ran this last year and I was hoping to beat my time but I wasn't confident it would happen due to the lack of running. In order to do it I had to shoot for under 49 minutes so I was hoping I could hang just under a 10 minute mile and then speed up a little on the final mile. The course was changed this year and moved from Menasha to Appleton this year so I wasn't sure of what the streets would bring us.
Sarah picked me up at 7 am, we stopped at a gas station so I could pickup a newspaper and we headed into downtown to find a place to park. We hung out for a bit and then made our way to the Paper Valley hotel to hang out inside until it was time to get started. One final bathroom break and then we were lining up to get going. I didn't really feel nervous all morning and still felt good so I was hoping it was a good sign.
We were off and we settled into the pack and were able to pull in the first mile at about 10:03 avoiding a too fast start. I couldn't seem to get into a steady pace for the next mile and had to keep slowing myself down but then I finally caught my rhythm after mile 2 and it was smooth sailing. At mile 3 on the course you turned a corner and the people ahead of you were turning just on the opposite corner so it was fun to see the others.
At about 3.5 miles there was a generous downhill portion so I decided to stretch my legs out on the hill as I knew that going down into the flats would mean we would have to climb out of there. The mile 4 marker came up and then you saw it, the steep hill glaring down at you to tackle. This thing just kept getting steeper as you went up! I pushed through it and then it was home free to get myself to the finish. I had not stopped to walk yet and I knew I could beat my time at this point if I turned in a decent mile.I pushed my body through it even though it felt ready to give in around 4.25 miles.
I finished in 48:49 and managed to get a PR, sealing up an awesome year in which I have gotten a PR in every distance I have ever run, even though some of the distances were a first this year. I have accomplished a lot this year and I need to start thinking about my goals for next year so I can continue to improve in my running and triathlons!