The 2015 Cajun Cup was my fourth time participating in this event. It was the first race of significant distance I ever trained for in 2012, and it's really where it all started for me. I LOVE running this race. This year was obviously a little different for me, and it was also my slowest Cajun Cup time. Even slower than the time I ran 9 miles to the start line during marathon training. It was however, a pregnant 10k PR, spin it sista!
I had concerns going into this race. Obvious things like logistically could I do this without stopping to use the bathroom? And other concerns that are physiological, like going into a race knowing full well, there ain't a snow ball's chance in hell I'm gonna PR. Adjusting my mentality has been really tough for me. Accepting what my body is capable of, in the physical fitness sense, has been challenging for me. At the end of the day, however, I am so grateful to be moving forward!
The day started out like any other race day, meet up with the group, discuss time, and strategies, who is pacing with who, what's the after-party plan cause there is always an after party with this group, pep talk out any worries or concerns, it's go time!
I knew I wanted to come in under 1:10:00 minutes, based on all my training times, I felt like this was a reasonable goal for myself. I ran a 5k a few weeks back and really surprised myself, however I was terrified to run out of gas out on the course, then need the bathroom, and well, be stuck on the road with one way back. I made myself start slow. It was tough. People were passing me like crayzay. It was all mental for me the first half of this race.
Mile 1 10:45
Great- I'm already moving faster than I planned. I hope I don't burn out. I really don't want to burn out. SLOW IT DOWN.
Mile 2 10:55
Ok much better. Only 4 to go. I feel amazing. Of course you feel amazing, it's mile 2. I will stay in control until the half way mark. I make it my goal to seek out my run buddy Darlene. She's ahead of me and I haven't seen her in a while. There she is! I let myself speed up to catch up to her
Mile 3 10:30
Hey gah! I've met up with Darlene and she is looking strong! I know what her pace goal is, and it's under mine. If I stick with her I'm gonna get it my goal for sure.
Mile 4 10:51
My average pace is somewhere around 10:44 at this point, and my competitive nature takes over. I wonder if I could average this thing in the 10:30s? I'm bargaining with myself and eventually, the over achiever in me takes over, it's just 2 miles. You can do anything for two miles
Mile 5 10:38
I'm still holding back up til mile 5. I've walked all the water stops. I've done all the smart things. I feel awesome. I want to finish strong! I dial it up for myself, and at about 5.5, I can't lie, I'm feeling tired, but my average pace is at 10:38. Don't let it go now Leigh Ann. Don't lose it with less than a half mile to go. I'm pepping talking myself every single step. I know I'm so close to the finish. And water. Man I am thirsty.
Mile 6 10:10
I'm getting winded and my head is screaming slow down, but it's the last quarter mile and I'm Elle Noel. There's the finish. I reach into my run belt to pull out my phone. My chapstick falls out to the ground. F it, I'm not stopping for chapstick. But then my phone falls out too. MY PACE!!!!!! Now I have to stop cause I'm not leaving my phone on the ground. UGH!
|ha ha- dropped all my shit!|
I know it would have been under 1:07:00 start to finish if I hadn't been so clumsy. :)
Overall, I'm happy with my performance. Part of me is wishing I had paced out my race to 1:05:00. Part of me is wishing that I could have been in shape to PR. Part of me is sad this day is over, knowing I won't run any longer distances until next run season. I really love running. It taught me to look outside of myself and past fitness for vanity. It's given me an inner strength I couldn't have ever dreamed lived inside of me. It's given me confidence that I didn't know I needed, and that confidence transcended in all aspects of my life. It's going to be hard to sideline myself, and I know that day will come, and then I will have to start all over from scratch.
The biggest part of me is over joyed, because this day, and every day that passes, brings me one day closer to meeting my baby. Then I remember what is most important in my life, and right now, that's the little boy my body is making, and that in and of itself, it's an incredible accomplishment.
The future is exciting :)