I'm a pretty proud momma.
I was tempted by the location. Leiper's Fork, Tennessee is GORGEOUS country and also the site of my very first half marathon back in June. But Leiper's Fork also meant hills...
I was tempted by the allure of a race medal. A medal for a smaller, local race is a rarity, and I do certainly have a love for shiny objects, much like a magpie.
Discount codes galore tempted me with their sweet, sweet promise of saving money on a race entry fee that was already fairly low.
But ultimately, the tipping point for me was the tanks. I'm gonna be brutally honest: This tank top is AMAZEBALLS. I will wear it and cherish it forever. Now I need to buy shorts to match it. It's a New Balance racerback with a beautiful design and it's oh-so-soft... Anytime a race goes the extra bit and splurges on a nice "shirt" for the race, I'm a sucker. I have enough cotton tees to last me a lifetime. But I had recently decided I didn't have enough tanks. Thanks to the Heroes in Recovery 6k, I now own one more than I did previously.
And when, after registering, I saw that they would allow me to bring Rory to run with me? SOLD. I can guarantee this race is on my list to do again next year.
The morning was crisp, and much cooler than normal for Tennessee this time of year. I had originally laid out my anticipated gear and then rejected it when I woke up and read a temperature of 56. I bundled up in my XRACEWEAR tank, bib tucked securely in the pocket, threw on some capris and tossed on a zip up on top.
I ended up warming up enough that I tossed the jacket underneath the 1k marker on the way out, pausing only long enough to grab it on my way back. Luckily, this was an out-and-back course, so that was easy enough to do. Another great part about the out-and-back nature of the course? The way out was ALL uphill and the way back was ALL downhill.
And on the way down the hill? I FLEW.
I picked out a person ahead of me and didn't rest until I got past them. Once I had reached that target, I picked out another. And steadily, I picked up speed. My first mile came in at a pace of 8:51, my second (and the steepest grade) came in at 8:58, and my third mile was recorded at 7:42! And I only continued to get faster, eventually crossing the finish line at a dead sprint of 6:57.
Even better was that Rory was there, not only to help me push myself to my fastest 6k (Yepp, I ran one last year, too.) but also to set a new PR for the 5k distance in the process.
And as a reward for her discipline as my pacer, Rory was awarded her VERY OWN MEDAL.
She and her "mini me," Lucy managed to snap a few photos together with their medals after the run. Lucy is actually a German Shorthair Pointer, rather than an English Pointer, but they look practically identical, to the point that strangers assume they're related and the race announcer thought Rory was Lucy as we crossed the finish line.
I was a proud of my baby girl. :)
I'm even contemplating purchasing one of those special medal hangers for Rory to proudly display her very first medal, so she can proudly claim how she finished first in her age group (and overall!). Don't ever let anyone ever tell you that Female Dogs, age 0 - 3 isn't a very competitive group.
Oh, and in case anyone even bothers to care, I finished 6th. But Rory was the star of the show. :)
(Which is Rory's way of saying #runlove, y'all.)