Bold in the Cold 15K, Grapevine TX
- Melissa’s time: 1:18:27, 8:25 pace – 126/472 overall (top 26%), 32/266 in women (top 12%), 2/53 in division
- Steve’s time: 1:07:09, 7:12 pace – 32/472 overall (top 6%), 28/206 in men (top 13%), 3/28 in division
Random thoughts during the race:
- “Don’t be afraid.” (I repeated this ad nauseum.)
- “Slowing down will not make you feel better. The only thing that will make you feel better right now is stopping at the end, so get there as strong and fast as you can.”
- “Don’t worry about that itch on your back or your shirt riding up. Focus focus focus.”
- “You’re not going too fast if you feel okay. Run by feel. Don’t let your watch scare you.”
- “It’s okay if your mile splits are not perfectly descending. There are way too many hills. Go fast while you can and give yourself the time leeway on that next hilly section.”
- “This is what people mean when they talk about digging down even deeper. Jesus.”
- “And then you’ll be beaming.”
That last thing is something Steve said to me yesterday. We were talking about me having a bad week running and I said something about starting out fast anyway and going for it, even if it hurt. He reminded me that is how he approaches it. He flies out and then tries to maintain the pace from there and even if he is dying at the end, even if he is out of gas, he knows he gave his all and it’s good. I recalled that he and Kari and I discussed that while she was here, too, and she is the same as Steve. That decided it. I said I was going to do that, too: start out hard and push for maintaining that pace the whole way, all the way to the end, even if it hurt like hell, and he interjected “And then you’ll be beaming because you’ll know you did it. You gave it your all.”
So, every time it hurt terribly, I thought “and then you’ll be beaming.” Magical mantra.
Actually, I had Steve with me in my head and heart more than ever before. I used his race approach. I had all his words from last night playing in my mind. And when I rounded the last corner for the home stretch, I heard him yelling for me and I found his face. It’s all I focused on as I painfully carried myself over the finish line. The best.
This was an important race for me, a game changer. I reached another level out there today. I understand now what race effort really is and what it will take to keep going even harder. I have a feeling my PRs will be races now, not training runs. It clicked.
Final note: I never thought Steve and I would ever place at this particular race. Our improvement over last year’s times is astonishing, but even so. I find this local running group to be the most competitive in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as a whole, and their races are super difficult compared to most. The fact that I placed was amazing enough – 2 out of 53 in my age group? I could have CRIED when I saw that – but for Steve to have placed in HIS? That floored me. M35-39 is never an easy group in which to come out on top. As always, I am busting at the seams proud.