Catch up race report: I fell behind in race reports. I owe a few. Here's one for the Corporate 4 Miler.
The race brings companies from a wide variety of industries from all over the Greater Richmond area and we compete with in our respective industry categories as teams. We work hard. We play hard. We run Hard!
My industry has a huge contingent of runners every year but this was my first year running. Just 2.5 weeks after the brutally hot IMTX I wasn’t sure how I could perform in something a bit more intense but I wanted to be part of the coolest happy hour of the year. I was quite nervous as my “worlds” were colliding with both business and sport coming together one Thursday. I socialized with the company team in our tent set up in the office park field. I was impressed with the size and caliber of the event.. Our office had an awesome turn out of runners from first timers to top of the pack pace setters on our team so it was a fantastic vibe. I made my way to the start to see what my legs could bring on the day. I saw a few of my triathlon pals up at the front and socialized animatedly not really realizing how soon it was until the start. I hit the race with adrenaline and those fast athletes pushing me. I was sub 6 min pace for the first half mile which was too aggressive even on fresh legs so I brought it down to average 6:18 for mile one. After about a mile, I realized even that pace was just too much of a shock to my fatigued post ironman system. My heart rate was skyrocketing and I tried to hold on to the effort and intensity but my speed was declining with each mile and it was just plain pain I felt. Our very fast company president and some of the faster runners on our team found me along the run, passed me and of course they caught me talking out loud to myself while I as breaking down saying, “Come on, Kelly!” Hey, the self talk just means more if I hear it out loud when I’m suffering. My former colleague and one who initially helped encourage my running enthusiasm in my early tri days (he even showed me what athlinks was back in the day) caught me and we matched strides for a little bit but I just could not hang on. I was not happy letting a guy from XYZ company beat me in a race…double whammy to both the business and athlete competitor inside my heart! : ) I didn’t like this at all, but I had to let him go.
I was surprised by how much the last mile at 7:12 just plain hurt. I was thrilled to cross the line averaging 7:04 although I had run much faster months ago for longer durations. The spirit of the event was what mattered, really. I moved on to tent hopping and socializing with my industry pals and my triathlon buddies as well. Considering that I had taken so much time off after Texas and was still in recovery mode, it was just fine for me. We took the women’s title for our industry and also placed in the men’s. More importantly, everybody had a great time at the tailgate with our party tent stocked with awesome treats. It was fascinating the way business and sport came together and reminded me not only how sport and fitness can foster team building and relationships but also how lessons in sport can be translated into business and vice versa. Both fuel my competitive fires. Business makes me a more fierce competitor on the course and the skills and insight I gain through endurance sport gives me an added advantage helping my company grow.