I made the drive to De Pere and arrived at about 7:30 am. I tried to stay warm before the gun went off and was a bit worried about the outcome of the race. I don't do well running in the cold. Usually I find myself becoming too chilled in cold temps and I typically do my running indoors if the temp is below 30.
The gun went off and was crossing the start line in no time. We made our way down Broadway for about a half to three quarters of a mile. This is a beautiful stretch as there are old, large, and grand homes with views of the water. I normally see these houses from the backside as I run on the Fox River trail. I often find myself daydreaming of living in one of these homes. Soon we made our turn into the St. Norbert Abbey. I've never been trough here before but it was beautiful and best of all so peaceful. The stretch through here was winding and we excited on Webster and headed toward Ridgeway.
At Ridgeway the 15k went left and the 5k went right back towards the finish. All of a sudden we were passing the 3 mile mark. I was cruising along at a comfortable pace and was feeling good. My headphones were plugged into my phone and they were tucked into my jacket but I hadn't felt the need to listento my music. Shortly after that the lead runner was headed back in. That was some impressive speed.
We headed out on East River Drive towards Green Isle park. I hadn't been in this area so it was a nice tour of the De Pere area. I was still running at a comfortable pace and saw a friend from work and John's cousin in passing. We ran through Green Isle Park which was another pleasant and peaceful stretch. As we headed the opposite direction on East River Drive, an older gentleman started talking to me. We ran and chatted for about a mile. During that mile I forgot about pace or my grumbling stomach. I didn't let my mind register that I was headed back to the finish. While I never got his name, he helped me out this stretch of the race. Normally, I would start walking because I listened to my mind doubting I could run the rest of the race.
Shortly after the 7 mile mark, my new friend and I parted ways as I was running a bit faster than him. My hands were getting really warm at this point because I was worried I would get too cold if I took the gloves off. I felt myself slowing down a bit. This was ok because I was still running. No walk breaks yet. The 8 mile mark was in sight. I knew that I was going to finish this race without a walk break. We made the final turn towards the finish line and I pushed it into high gear. I was going to finish this race strong. My garmin beeped at the 9 mile mark. I was almost there. The finish line was in sight. I could see the clock and realized that I was going to do better than I expected. I crossed the finish line and looked at my watch and realized I ran the last .30 miles at a 9:30 pace. That was a nice surprise. As I made my way through the finish chute I was handed my chocolate melt away bar. All races should provide chocolate as recovery food.
This was a fun race. I challenged myself and ran the entire distance with zero walk breaks. I didn't let self dobut interfere with my ability to finish this race. I was confident and that made all the difference in my ability to run strong. It was also a reminder of why I want to live in De Pere. It's a beautiful community with great people. This is the one place that truly feels like home to me. I'm looking forward to the 2015 race season as it is going to be a great year.