Mark and I are doing a race series in a town about an hour south of where we live. It’s called Run Bentonville. It’s a seven race series with everything from 5k’s to a half marathon. If you enter all of the races during the year, they keep tally and you get a final standing after the last race is complete. I am super pumped to see where I shake out.

The first race of the series was a cold 8K. It was sleeting. By the end of the race, I had icicles on my eyelashes and my cheeks were wind burnt. Mark’s windbreaker and hat had ice all over it. It was the coldest and most uncomfortable race we have ever run, but I feel like we kicked the series off pretty well. I came in fifth place out of 72 for my age group. It was a Valentine’s Day run so you also got a score as a couple. Mark and I placed tenth out of sixty eight couples.

I feel great about those standings, but that was not the most exhilarating part of the race for me.

When the starting gun went off, Mark and I took off together but Mark soon pulled ahead. As we trotted through mile one and two I could see his red hat bobbing through the crowd. During mile three I thought, “Mark is still in sight, I might be able to catch up with him.”

Once we passed the mile four marker my determination grew stronger. There was less than a mile to go. I had a really good shot at zooming past him in the final seconds. I started to pick up my pace. I started to visualize the shock and surprise on his face as he realized the white and black blur passing him in the last seconds was me. 50 yards turned to 40 yards. 40 to 30. I was closing in on him. The course had a final left turn and then the finish line would be in sight.

Rounding the last turn, the freezing wind struck my face. I looked up and saw the obstacle that would keep me from the sweetest victory in racing history… a downhill decline to the finish line.

Mark’s running strategy for downhills is to run as fast as he possibly can using speed and gravity to gain maximum momentum. He was out of sight in no time. Mark was surprised to see me at the finish line so soon after he finished. There were only 18 people separating him from me.

It was freezing, fun, and a good start to racing season, but Mark… I’m coming for you. #gonnagetit

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