The race started on an incline, so I put myself toward the back of the pack knowing I was going to start out slowly. Just as I thought it was going to level out for a minute, we were heading back up a hill of broken down, rutted and uneven road with lots of rocks and leaves, I was forced to watch each step as opposed to looking up and around and enjoying the scenery.
There would be a lot of step watching today. I was so happy to be back running again and I didn't want to roll an ankle on any of the rocks or walnuts that were plaguing the route today, but it was an absolutely beautiful route which I enjoyed thoroughly (even while wondering if the inclines would ever level out!)
Even while feeling the strain on my entire system, my legs were strong and I held steady throughout the entire run. And here it was, the incline that forced a slow gradual start. It was now a downhill sprint to the finish which I absolutely loved, smiling every step of the way!!
By holding steady and knowing what to expect at each turn, I was able to come in under my goal time and did better than I had expected. In fact, if this race had awarded age grouper medals, I would have won my first one!