While it doesn’t exactly feel like spring here on the Gulf Coast, as of yesterday spring has officially arrived and I don’t know about you, but that makes me really happy! We are also officially 29 days from the end of tax season! WOO to the HOO.
I am always reminded of and rely on Colossians 3:23 this time of year … “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord, rather than for men.”
Sometimes I get discouraged and start thinking that my work doesn’t really “matter,” or that I’m not really helping others with my work. I think this verse is a wonderful reminder that no matter what it is that you are doing, God can use you if you are willing.
I have another race recap to share with you today, and this is a good one because it is my favorite race of the year, the Spring Fever Chase 10K. If you are getting a little bit tired of my race recaps, don’t worry I don’t have any other races scheduled in the immediate future. This will be the last one for at least a little while (no promises as to the specific duration of this racing hiatus though). The plan is to just make it through tax season and then … who knows?!
Spring Fever Chase 10K. Let’s discuss. The 10K course winds through beautiful downtown Fairhope (with some rolling hills) and finishes along the bay. The race always takes place on the Saturday of the Arts and Crafts Festival, which is a really cool, three-day event. Over 200 vendors from all over the country bring their best work and set up booths all along the streets downtown. After the race, you can just hang out and enjoy the atmosphere. It’s awesome! If you don’t believe me, you should just come experience it for yourself.
I started running this race in college and pretty much haven’t stopped since. I missed last year because of the flu, but that is my only year to miss since 2006. Daniel has run the race every year since we met (2010) and he loves it too! He won the race last year, and so he was anxious to defend his title this year. Earlier in the week, the weather was looking a little bit iffy, but luckily the rain that was supposed to come in decided to stay out in the Gulf and the day turned out beautiful. Humid? Yes. Rainy? No.
We got to the race around 7:15 and ran a couple of miles to warm up, got to the start just before 8 and chatted with some friends. Very low key. No nerves, just excitement. I went into the race with no real concrete goals. Since the weather was warm and muggy and the course is quite challenging, coach wanted me to “run this 10K a bit more by feel and not worry too much about paces. Avoid the early sprint out and instead get into a good strong rhythm from the start and let the paces vary along with the roll of the course. Focus on your cadence and form on the hills.” I thought this was wonderful advice and I intended to do just that. I ran the 1st mile in 6:22 and the 2nd in 6:19.
Unfortunately, there was some confusion on the course during mile 3. About 99% of the runners didn’t run the area circled in yellow above. The police officer that was supposed to be directing the runners to turn left onto Myrtle misunderstood his directions and instead directed the runners to stay straight on Gayfer. This meant that a half of a mile and two of the biggest hills were cut from the course.
The problem was that the first 7 or 8 runners (who had gotten somewhat separated from the pack early on), ran the actual route. Daniel was leading the race and all of the runners around him were familiar with the course as well, so we all turned left onto Myrtle, even though the police car was blocking the street. Several of us even tried to tell him that he was blocking the course, but he wasn’t really listening. At some point after that, he actually turned the sign that was pointing for the runners to turn left and made it just point straight for everyone to stay on Gayfer.
I was still feeling good and was completely oblivious to what had happened until I ran up the hill on Ingleside to see about thirty runners turning onto Ingleside ahead of me. At this point, I was just really confused. I turned around to look behind me and y’all … not a single runner. No one after me had turned on Myrtle! I’m not gonna lie, for a minute or two (or three or four), I was mad. I went from 1st female (and 6th or 7th overall) to about 5th or 6th female (and about 40th overall), because the others hadn’t run the course correctly. I ran mile 3 in 6:35. I expected to slow down a little on mile 3 because it is the hilliest mile of the race.
With all of the confusion, I even missed seeing the fabulous sign that Jill’s husband made. He is in accounting too, so he added a little nerd humor in there for me. It was definitely “accrual” world out there Saturday! Luckily she had a picture of it, so I still got to see it (just after the fact) ❤
It was really hard for me to hold it together mentally at this point. Miles 4 and 5 were 6:28 and 6:38. I just couldn’t find my “drive.” Even though I was steadily catching people and I came to terms with the fact that no one purposefully cut the course, they were just led the wrong way (I’m 99% certain that I would’ve done the same thing if everyone around me was too) … I was just kind of done with the race. I didn’t really care if I caught back up to the 1st place girl or not. None of the spectators along the course knew what had happened, so they were all yelling, “3rd place female!” or “2nd place female!” as I passed. I know they meant well and I am thankful that there were people out supporting the runners. It was still a tough pill to swallow.
I ran the last mile in 6:28 and the last 0.20 in 1:30 (ish), for a finish time of 40:20. I debated on how I was going to write this recap and I almost didn’t even get into the whole course being short debacle, because I definitely don’t want to deter anyone from participating in this race. It is a great race! I think that it was a wonderful learning experience and hopefully you can take something from it as well. How often do things really go exactly how you expect them to? Life is going to be full of obstacles. All obstacles can be overcome! We just have to maintain motivation, stay positive, dig deep, keep our faith, and never give up, even when nothing seems to be going our way. Easier said than done. No doubt.
It may seem like some people might have an easier route or path in life, but the character, wisdom and knowledge that we gain from overcoming adversity is what make us who we are. If you never face adversity, you never learn how to fully rely on God. Cling to Him and He will shape you into the person that you were meant to be! There you have it, folks. Deep thoughts to start off your Monday morning.
With all that being said, the race directors handled the situation beautifully. They were so apologetic, even though it wasn’t really their fault. Ultimately, it is the runner’s responsibility to know the course and run it correctly. Daniel still managed to win the race outright, regardless of the fact that he ran farther than a lot of others! So crazy! I ended up as 2nd female, but was given the win because I was the only girl that ran the correct course.
This was the second time that we have managed to pull off the double win. We both truly love this race and it is even more special to be able to stand up there on the podium together.
My mom also ran the race this year! She was planning to just walk the course, but her competitive side got the best of her and she ran most of the race. I was planning to go back and walk in with her, but I didn’t get very far back along the course until I found her running! She only had less than half a mile to go at that point, and she had two “ladies in pink” in her sight. She caught them both and won her age group! Go Mom!
Daniel and I both won a pair of shoes from Running Wild, so we definitely had to go redeem our prizes immediately! I got my second pair of Hokas. My feet love them.
I know I have rambled on a little bit too long at this point, but I want to show you the coolest thing that Daniel got us for Valentine’s Day. I know that was a little while ago, but they were on backorder, so we just got them Friday. I’m pretty sure that I’ve told you about our love for the show Shark Tank. The latest Shark Tank company that we tried out is called Budsies. You submit an image (which I’m pretty sure is supposed to be your child’s art work) and they make it huggable. We decided to submit a photo of each of us and the result is absolutely awesome!
That’s all I have for you today. I hope everyone has a wonderful week! Talk to you soon!