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I ran a race… ugh

May 7, 2007

well, yesterday I ran a race, it was supposed to be a 5k, but it turned out to be 2.91 miles .. which was fine… however not a huge deal…

NOT a PR… sadly… but NOT the course I was expecting either. The course was EXTREMELY hilly… and that being the case, I never would have thought I could PR. The other problem was, it turned out to not be a full 5K… the distance was actually 2.91 miles.

I was briefly in a land of glee though when I got my finish time and place… I finished, still thinking it was a full 5K distance in 20:52… I was so thrilled!! It was a VERY small race, so only about 50 runners maybe?? there was also a walk associated with it. I came in first place for the women.

The race was extremely tough. It started on a narrow trail, and sadly, all sorts of things went wrong for me from the get go… I was up a bunch with a sick child through the night, and then got lost looking for the race location… I arrived with 5 minutes till the race start! I barely had time to register and I desperately needed the restroom… I had to walk to the start about 1/4 mile or so, and that was my only warmup, and I actually ran it because the time was so tight.

Right when I saw the group and tried to jump up to the front however the trail was really narrow, and being that this was a fundraiser for an elementary school, and their first race ever, the front line was just loaded with kids… I got about halfway through the bunch when the gun went off… oh well… I spent the first 20 seconds dodging kids and trying to get out of the pack…

I could see the lead group and that there wasn’t a female in it, so I knew I was the lead gal… I hoped to find the 1 mile marker so that I could judge where I was.. I did manage to get my watch started… what I didn’t realize was that this is a marked trail but the markers are in the reverse of how we ran it… so when I hit the 1 mile post, I knew we hadn’t been a mile… so I wasn’t sure what the deal was… I never saw the 2 mile post as I was dodging a walker (not from the race) and her dog on the bridge that it was apparently next to…

A male racer and I traded positions from the halfway point or so.. back and forth.. he’d catch me at the top of a hill and I’d catch him on the way down the other side… he was a valuable race buddy as he told me roughly when it was about 1 mile to go… I felt horrible, the hills were steep and long and killing me… at the 1 mile to go (roughly) I looked at my watch and was like…’no way am I going to PR’… I still picked the pace up though and did what I could.. I thought of Patti’s remarks… worked on lifting my knees… pumping my arms and just imagined the finish… and then hit the worst of all the hills… UGH… I got to the top and heard people cheering at the bottom and just let the hill take me… I figured… this has got to be the finish… someone said ‘first woman!’ and then ‘Stick around dear, you have a facial in your future’… I saw the clock as I ran by it and was surprised at the time… 20:52… momentarily I thought… ‘couldn’t be a full 5K…’ I just didn’t feel like it was… but on the way back to the school for water, I was told for sure it was by a guy who runs it all the time…

I run hills all the time and thought that maybe I just was in better shape than I’d originally thought.. and kept thinking how I couldn’t wait to get home so I could tell John and everyone how well I did… They did the awards and I got a medal and a gift certificate for a facial (which I’m going to talk John into adding a massage onto for mother’s day)… and then on my way to the car, the same man who was certain that the race was a true 5K stopped me to say that he was wrong and that it was only 2.91, which would explain all the fast times the other folks had gotten… So I got home, googled the course (part of Duke’s cross country course) and sure enough, it’s 2.91…

My projected 5K finish at that pace (7:10) was 22:13… which really seems much more in line with what I felt like while I was running…

No biggie.. I’ll try another one in the next few weeks 🙂 Gotta be sure to find a flat course though! 😉

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