What a day! Any race day is usually exhausting, but I’ve discovered that it is even more so when you have an idea of all the work that has gone on to make the event happen. I was so humbled to be able to play my small part in preparing for this day.
The crowd that showed up to run was fantastic. More runners/walkers/kids than we have ever had. There was a good group of people representing law enforcement/fire fighters/EMS. I was amazed at the turnout for a small-town event.
I was so lucky to be able to sing the National Anthem before the race began. I asked my friend, Tiff, if she would sing it with me. We used to sing together in high school and it was a lot of fun to be able to do it again.
And then it was time to race!
I wasn’t sure what my goals were going to be for this race. I had goals, because I almost always do, but they were modest, to say the least. When I started the race, I noticed that my Garmin wasn’t working properly. The timer had started when I pushed the button, but I wasn’t getting any pacing or distance information. All I had was a running clock from when I started the timer. (and my heart rate) So, I didn’t know my pace, and I didn’t know how far I had run.
Actually, I’m pretty familiar with the course. I could go to any point on the course and probably know within less than a quarter mile what the distance is. So, I did know the distance, but I had no idea what my pace was. I would try to figure it in my head at different points along the course, but it was rudimentary. I can’t do math while running.
I started out pretty fast and ran the first mile-plus trying to figure out what I wanted to do with this race. Did I want to race it, or just take it easy? Shortly after the one mile mark, Tim caught up and we ran together for a little more than a mile. I said that I would stay with him, but then he told me that he wouldn’t be able to keep the pace, and that he was going to take some walking breaks. I was feeling pretty good, so I didn’t really want to walk.
Somewhere around mile 4, I think it occurred to me that I might be able to PR. I was still feeling pretty good, I made it through the cemetery hill and I was slowly passing the runners in front of me. (after the 10K/5K split at mile 2.7, no one passed me!)
I tried to keep my pace steady and as I approached the 5 mile marker, I picked up the pace a bit. I had a little more than a mile to go and I could see a girl in front of me. I had no idea what age group she was in, or where I was in my age group, but I figured that I could probably catch her. I finally got in front of her about a third of a mile from the finish.
I gave it everything I had at the end and crossed the finish line at 53:22! That is a PR by 4 minutes and 10 seconds! That is more than 40 seconds faster per mile. I was thrilled. And I think the biggest reason I was able to achieve the PR is because I didn’t have constant feedback from my Garmin regarding my pace. Typically, I spend so much time checking my watch to make sure I’m not going out too fast, or dropping off my pace too much. (I am bummed to not have mile splits available from my watch. I would have loved to have seen what those were.)
Today, I just ran. It was a beautiful day. I was enjoying a special event honoring a friend. I even slowed down a bit when we passed the cemetery where he is buried to offer a little salute. I think this might be my perfect race. This is why I run. There are times when everything just falls into place.
It turns out that I was the 11th woman to cross the finish line for the 10K. I was hoping that I might get an age-group award, but I am in the ever-popular 30-39 age group. Out of those 10 women ahead of me, I believe 5 of them were in my age group. I can’t wait to turn 40! (For some perspective, I looked up last year’s results. If I had finished with this time last year, I would have taken 3rd overall for the females…and 3rd in my age group.)
I need to give huge props to the fire fighters who did the event in their turnout gear. They were really inspirational. I had a lot of people come up to me after the race and mention how impressed they were that these guys would do something like that, especially on such a hot and humid day. I was pretty impressed too…but those guys are just that tough.
My mom was actually able to get a decent picture of me coming in to the finish line. I’m pretty stoked because I’m not heel striking!!! And I’m still standing up pretty tall, my shoulders are back (instead of hunched over), and I’m smiling! I just wish that my arms weren’t swinging so much in front of me. Something to keep working on.
Tim did a great job and finished in just under an hour. He beat his goal, too!
Jaden ran the kids’ race. He more walked than ran. I need to work with that kid on pacing, but he had a great time!
I had an amazing morning seeing everyone and talking with people who came from everywhere to be here for this event. I saw people I don’t think I’ve seen since high school. It was great to be involved in the organization, even just my little part, and I would definitely do it again. It takes a lot to put on an event like this (thank your volunteers!), and it makes me appreciate even more when I go and do other events.
I think that the Jamison Kampmeyer Memorial Run was a success. I hope that people will come out and join us again next year. I think it was a fitting tribute to an amazing person.
You can check out a brief news clip of the race HERE.