After Hillary's wedding we came home and got back into our normal routines. Training ramped up again (lots of biking...) and I turned 35...
Instead of birthday cake we went for Campfire Pie at Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen in St. Helena. It is basically a really good S'more with Oreo cookie crust. This would probably be a good treat after Vineman 70.3--just an insider's tip :)
Jaromir and Storm showered me with love.The following Sunday I got ready for my first race of the season---a 6k XC race in Golden Gate Park. I was excited to dust the cobwebs off, work hard and get an idea of how my fitness was progressing. I knew I was going to be lining up against a lot of real runners which made me nervous but it was a good way to learn how to suffer on the run.Here we are before the race. All the girls were in their early 20s (to be young again!) and coming off the NCAA Cross Country Championships in November. As they were announcing the field I heard a lot of "all american at Stanford" and "olympic trials qualifier" in 5k and 10k track events. My goal was to make it hurt the first 2k and then hopefully build a little bit on the last 2 laps of the 3 lap course. I went out and stayed just behind the group of 6 women in front of me. Needless to say, when I realized I had run a 5:35/5:40 in the first mile (w/ a hill) I knew that I might have gone out a bit too fast. I figured I was either going to have a major breakthrough or I was just going to suffer a lot during the last 15 minutes of the race. I looked great coming around the first loop and then after that my cadence and stride seemed to slow ever so slightly. I was hurting a lot the last loop but that was the point! I came into the finish without the kick the young ladies who finished ahead of me had in the last 100 meters. Either way, I felt dizzy and like I was going to vomit so I figured it was a successful outing.
I rewarded myself by hitting Lululemon to spend the gift certificate my parents gave me for Christmas and then we gorged ourselves at The Dipsea Cafe. It was a wonderful Sunday with my husband :)