This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Friday, May 22, 2009

One for the Books

Wednesday was my work place's annual 5K for National Health and Fitness Day. If you read Sunday's posting, then you'll know that the course for the 5K is not easy.

But I wanted to run it strong. For me, that's doing better than 30 minutes. My goal? I was hoping to get around an 8:30 minute mile average. That would be *very* good for this course and most certainly, a PR, although I don't keep tabs of my times on this course...and it is usually for a similar course that is about three miles.

My friend Audrey and I headed over together, both of us knowing how hard this was going to be, but how we wanted to do good for us. Audrey was coming off a 15K over the weekend; I was getting over a recurrence of neck pain that, not only fucks me up physically, but mentally too.

But I tried not to think about it too much. I was excited. And the atmosphere felt exciting. A lot of friends and co-workers all ready to run. It was really neat. I eyed the 'competition' and it looked strong. A lot of strong female runners were there...but disappointingly, Audrey and I noticed that the list of female participants was really small, compared to the list of male participants. Ahs well...

I warn Audrey that at last year's race, EVERYONE passed don't let that bother her, to be left all alone. Most likely, you'll pass them in the end.

And that is almost what happened Wednesday: I started in the front and everyone went WHOOSH! I was all alone, looking like I was trudging when, by my watch (after the race), I was doing a sub-8 mn mile. But I kept myself in check, even though I was going faster than I would have liked.

I found my groove after a bit and counted my 1-2-3-4s, like Tim advised earlier that day...and listened to Keith and the Girl. It was pretty amazing, to me, that I could count *and* listen to a podcast (and I mean really listen).

At the first set of hills, I passed several people. I was surprised. I thought it would be around the second set of hills that I would be passing more people.

After that, however, I only passed a handful of people. Not anything like the year before, or what I expected. I was feeling pretty cocky that I could take people on the hills...and that's how I ran strongly.

I knew I was going faster than my usual run on this route. I could feel it in my breathing. And when the hills came? I ran hard and an even pace up them. It was actually the declines and the flats that I eased my pace to catch my breath. I knew I should quicken the pace, but I also knew the course enough to know when to save up for the hills.

And I did that with each set of hills. I passed another guy who walked one of the hills that is reached at mile 3. He later came up to me to explain why I saw him walking :-).

The finish ends up too. But I kept staring at the ground and just kept running as strong as I could. I was soooo happy when I crossed the finish and I heard Pam yell out "26:56". 26 anything sounded soooo good to me. I was number 31 overall. I would have liked to have a lower number -- that's what I was thinking. I thought I could be in front of more people...

A couple of days later I learn that I win my age group: 40-49. A large gap! And there were 10 of us, so I'll take it.

FIRST in my age group? And I had just placed third at the Capital City Classic a couple weeks ago -- another surprise.

If I'm not careful, I'm going to get a big head. :-)

1 comment: