Pre-race: waking up to a lovely Raleigh sunrise and vibrant neighborhood flowers
Four on the Fourth was my first race "back" after many months of low motivation and a lack of enthusiasm. Based on my track workouts in the last few weeks, I felt like I could actually give a solid race effort, so I gave it a go...
The race was decently sized (600 people) so I never had to run solo, which was REALLY nice. I started out conservatively knowing that the second half of the race was mostly uphill. I watched a group of women take off ahead of me and I sat back and waited...
Mile 1: 6:12 (downhill)
Mile 2: 6:21
At mile 2.5-ish, I decided it was time to start making my move forward and pass some ladies. I pushed the pace slightly and tried to increase my effort (although my actual speed wasn't necessarily increasing because, ya know, hills). Thankfully, I had some cheerleaders on the course that gave me an extra boost during this time too!
Mile 3: 6:21
My favorite part of the race was right in the last 1/2 mile. I was definitely in pain and doing my best to reel in the 1st place woman. I pulled up along some guy who could clearly tell I was trying to catch 1st place.. He ran next to me/ cheered for me/ encouraged me during this last half mile, helping me close down the gap. I couldn't find a final gear to pull ahead of her, but either way I was so grateful to have a random stranger help me push in the final stretch of the race. This is why running is the best.
Mile 4: 6:18
All things considered, I was really happy with this race...because I was RACING. The effort was refreshing. 2nd place female + homemade pottery and locally roasted coffee were a big bonus!