Monday, February 25, 2013

Like a Bat Out of...

...our carport.  Any ideas you'd like to share on how to deal with this situation will be taken into careful consideration.  Should we call an exterminator?  A joker?  Set up a signal for when it can leave its cave?  Pretend we don't notice all the telltale signs of its existence and attend galas at the manor house left to it when its parents were killed?

Poor construction many years ago = A lovely home for flying rodents.

Well, now that I've captured your interest, I'll share what this post is really about.  More races!  Ha ha, non-runners!  Now I've got you!  I'll tell you what, though- if you keep reading, I'll share the first ever on this blog another interesting, non-running related tidbit of info from my life.

Race #4- DeLand Fall Run, October 13, 2012

Last time, we left off in early September.  Between the one-mile race and my next 5k, I did a lot of training for my first half-marathon.  My super-fast sister had offered to pace me and each of my fellow halfer trainees for the race of our choice, so I asked her to run this race with me.  2 years earlier, it was my first ever 5k, so it was kinda special to me.

The weather was great, the race was small and started right on time, my family was there, cheering at the start and finish, and all my training had left me feeling confident and ready.  I had run my personal best 5k time in February of 2011 (26:27) and I was really hoping that Jenn's pacing skills would help me beat it.  I decided not to use any tracking device, and just follow her lead.  She started us at a moderate pace, and the first mile went by pretty quickly.  I found all the advice she was giving to be really, really helpful--reminders like, "Keep your head up, stand straight, use your core, lift your knees", etc.  Plus, each time I thought about any of the body parts she mentioned, I was able to follow her instructions and correct what I had been doing wrong.  Between miles 2 and 3, I felt the old familiar "I'm going to die".  Insert eyeroll here, and excuse me while I rant at my brain.  What the eff?  I had run way more than 3 miles at a time, many times.  I had run fast 5k races.  I had run fast!  I had run over 300 miles in 5 months!  And yet, I tried to stop and walk.  During a race.  In which I wanted to break my personal record.  AAARRRGGGHHHH!  Jenn's words: "You'll be so mad at yourself if you don't keep running right now."  My response: "No, I won't.  I don't really need to run fast."  I did keep running, but I also slowed way down.  Insert another eyeroll here.

Close to the third mile marker, my sis really started pushing me.  And by 'pushing me', I mean that she started yelling at the top of her lungs for me to pass her, and to RUN.  I did, and I did.  "Once you cross that finish line, you can stop and never move again.  But now you have to run!"  When I crossed the finish line, I knew I had given it my all, at least for the last quarter mile.  Once I had caught my breath (and broken up 1 or 2 fights between my son and his cousins), we went to the computer that was set up to give us immediate results.  We (yeah, it took both of us) carefully entered in my bib number, and saw:
1 of 6
First. In. My. Age. Group.

Of course, we stuck around for the pancake breakfast and awards.  The pancakes were mushy, but the coffee was hot, and the guy said my name right when he announced it after saying the sweetest words, "First place women 30-39".  There ended up being several more women in my age group, too.  It wasn't that small a race.

Now, for the asterisk.  The first woman, overall, was in my age group.  She finished, like, 20 minutes before me or something, and since she won a different award, she wasn't eligible for the age group award.  Another much faster woman in the race was my dear sister, who would have finished, like, 30 minutes before me if she hadn't been pacing me.  So, technically, I was first in my age group.  But really?  We all know better.

Result: 26:42

Race #5- Niagara Falls 10k, October 21, 2012
            Beauty & Wonder

Baby and I surprised my sister by joining her and her family in Canada (eh?) to cheer her on for her first full marathon (best idea ever, by the by, when we're talking about running).  When I was looking up information about the marathon and travel arrangements and such, I realized that if I was going to be in Canada, in the Fall, for a race, I would want to run.  My 10k race started at 8:30 a.m, when the temperature was 71C (okay, I don't understand Celcius.  It was 55 Farenheit, but in Canada. Whatever that is.)  While walking from the hotel to the start line, I was able to watch the sun rise behind the mist of Niagara Falls.  Jealous?  You should be.  There were also rainbows. You don't get to see pictures of them, though.*

During my training runs, the fastest time I had run 6.2 miles was 1:05:47.  I knew that I hadn't been pushing myself during those training runs, so I was fairly sure I could do the 10k in less than an hour.  The night before the race, my sister happened to mention that the girl (who I still hadn't ever met) I tried to beat in my first 5k of the season had just run a 10k in 58:xx.  "Oh. Well, I guess I'll have to beat her.  This time, for real."  My plan was to run the first half slow and easy, and try to finish that in 30 minutes or so.  Then, I would run the second half not quite as slow and a tiny bit harder, and still finish in under an hour.  

Should I tell about tiny boner weirdo man?  Nah.  That's not the important part of the story.  The best part of this race was the running of it.  The scenery was beautiful (see above), the course was flat and well-marked (and there was wildlife!), and I wanted to keep running forever.  Since I was running in a foreign country, I couldn't use the app on my phone that I usually used to track my runs.  I had no idea what my pace was, but after the turnaround, I started passing people.  At the 9k mark (who knows how many miles that is), I heard someone behind me say, "You're doing great!  You're at 59 minutes!", and I thought that was our so-far time.  I rolled my eyes at myself for having run so slow, but decided that I should still try to beat my training run time, and kicked it up.  Soon after, I saw my dad, cheering for me.  When he said, "You're well under an hour!", it was as if he had tossed me an energy burst.  I looked at The Falls, looked at the sky, took in the beauty of my life, realized that I couldn't stop smiling, and crossed the finish line.  I could have run faster, I knew immediately.  But, I didn't want to.  The running was too wondrous.

Result: 57:38 (and I totally beat the girl who had a baby a month or so before I did)

Now, as promised, the non-running tidbit.  I concern myself with number patterns more than what is probably healthy normal.
I carefully reset the trip odometer in order to create an up-n-down, front-n-back palindrome, 69996. 66.6  And then?
I missed it.  Boo. Hoo.  Hoo.

Pay no attention to the SPEEDometer.  Just look at the odometer, and imagine what it displayed mere seconds before this picture was taken.
There you go.  Let amazement and awe ensue.  My advice for today is to stop (or at least slow down) and notice the beauty around you.  If there isn't anything magnificent to look at, try making something cool by pressing a 'reset trip odometer button'.

Favorite Natural Wonder?

Favorite Number?

*Unless you go to my sister's blog.  She has lots o' rainbow pictures.


  1. Two great races! Congratulations!

    I am sorry about you missing your odometer pattern. I would have been sad about that, too. I have driven around extra time just to make a pattern work out so that I could see it.
    Advice blog and group therapy - right here.