Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Why Was 6 Afraid of 7? Because...

Okay, so, I know I said I was going to be too busy to write very much this week, but I'm running out of ways to avoid cleaning the house done with more preparations than I expected, so here I am.  What's that I hear?  Applause?  Don't be embarrassed, I'm excited, too!  

Let's have some more race details, shall we?  The last race I recapped was held in November of 2012, and I didn't race again until early January, 2013.  As much as it bothers my OCT (Obsessive Compulsive Tendencies-I don't have a disorder ["I'm NOT crazy!  My mother had me tested."- Sheldon Cooper]) to skip a race when I've been recapping them in such a nice, ordered-by-date fashion, it seems ridiculous, or rude, even, to re-recap a race.  But, just in case you don't feel like clicking the above link, here's a summary:

Race #7- DeLeon Springs 5k, January 6, 2013
Result: 31:50

Which brings us to...

Race #8- Cure PSP 15k Relay, January 20, 2013

I almost didn't sign up for this race.  I wanted to do the relay, but my super speedy sister was on a super speedy team, and my training buddies had conflicts and couldn't participate.  I really liked the idea of a 3 person relay, though, so I bravely put it out on our running group's facebook page that I was looking for teammates.  I connected with Dawn, who I had seen at the club's Christmas party, but not actually met.

Weird how people didn't come up and introduce themselves to me at the party.
Brian offered to be our third.  He's another running group member that I hadn't met, but he and Dawn are friends.  I came up with our team name, "Faster Than We Look", and I guess, sub-consciously, thought I had contributed enough.

Race day was cold enough for a bonfire near the start line, but not miserably, freezing cold.  I found and introduced myself to Brian and Dawn, and we agreed that Brian would take the first leg, 1-week-since-her-2nd-marathon Dawn would go second, and I would be the anchor-or not.  I always forget whether the "anchor" in a relay is the fastest one or the slowest.  It seems like it would be the slowest one, but when I hear people talk, the context leads me to believe that the anchor is the fast one who goes last.  Anyway... The race course was set up as a 5k, that we would each start and finish in the same spot.  Brian lined up with all the other 5k-only runners and relay first leggers, and they took off.  I wandered around a while, stood by the bonfire for a few minutes, took advantage of there being no line at the port-o-potty, and then just waited.  Dawn and I cheered as Brian came into view and handed her the baton.  After she started running, Brian and I chatted a bit about the course, he got some free beer and warned me about the hand-staining quality of the baton, and I went off for a warm-up run.  I had been having some pain in my left calf which usually seemed to subside once I was a mile or so into my run, and with the cold temperature, I knew my warm-up was important.  Plus, it was nice to have something to do to prepare myself for the race.  When Dawn ran into view, I was ready.  Really, really ready.  Bouncing, pacing, running in place ready.  She passed me the baton, and off I went.

Here's what blows about going last in a small relay race: running alone.  I only saw a handful of people the entire time I was running, which made it really easy to zone out and run like it wasn't a race.  My calf wasn't hurting.  I wasn't too cold or too hot.  The scenery was lovely.  The course was flat.  But, instead of running my fastest or trying my hardest, I just ran.  And, let myself get really bothered by the distance discrepancies between my Garmin and the mile marker signs.  My time would have made me very happy in August, but after all the months of training, and after my near-PR in October, I was hoping for more out of myself.  Unfortunately, hope doesn't take seconds off of race clocks.  Running faster does.

Our team came in 10th, with the respectable total of 1:26:58.  I met new friends, got a nice long-sleeved tech shirt, free beer, and anchored our team.  Or didn't.  Whatever.

Result: 27:57*

Race #9- Healthy Groovin' At The Grove 5k, February 9, 2013

It should be clear by now that I run races fairly often.  Not as often as some, but I certainly know my way around a registration form.  Several months before this race, I decided that it would be My Race.  The timing was right for me to run a fast 5k, and even though I didn't know the course, I knew the area fairly well and was sure there were no surprise Piers of Doom or bridges or even large hills.  The race was also a fundraiser for my nephew's school, so I was happy to register and pay for it.

Race morning was cold.  I type those words waaaayyyy too often for someone who lives in Florida.  It was in the 40s, though- that's cold for everyone, right?  We (Husband, 5 y.o., Baby, my dad and I) arrived with plenty of time to zip tie our chips to our shoes, shiver together, and then for my racer dad and I to warm up a bit around the parking lot of the school.  I had been having knee pain, this time, and was worried that it would slow me down.  However, I had been to a great yoga class just the Thursday before, and felt pretty limber.  At the start line, I talked to a couple of running group friends whom I knew usually ran at about my pace.  Once we started running, I decided to just try to keep their backs in my sight.  The first mile went by faster than I expected.  I looked at my watch and saw the number 7 in the first spot, and actually said, "Holy Shit!" out loud.  I don't curse, generally.  I find it unnecessary, unladylike, and a bad habit.  But sometimes, when I'm racing...  Anyway, my next thought was, "I can't run this fast!", followed by, "I am running this fast!  I'm just going to keep running like this until I have to have to slow down."  Mile 2 was about 20 seconds slower than mile 1, and I started to feel tired.  The sun was shining, the breeze was lovely, and I thought about what a lovely treat it was to be running on such a beautiful day.  I closed my eyes and breathed, deeply.  After that, every time I started to feel like I wanted to slow down, I closed my eyes and took deep breaths like I was in yoga class instead.  I was able to keep the backs of my running group friends in sight, and the math I was doing in my head was pretty darn exciting.

When I saw the clock at the finish line, and realized my math had been correct, I zoned out in a different way.  It was as if I was in a movie- people clapping, silently, my body moving in slow motion, but also as fast as I could sprint, I may have heard some very typical triumphant soundtrack music playing in my head...  I've never experienced anything like it.

I also won "Most Fashionable", according to the race director.  I'll take it.
'Specially 'cause it's the ONLY time someone will call me 'fashionable'.
Second place for my age group, personal record by more than a minute.  Yes, thank you!  Oh, and all three of my running friends whose backs I was concentrating on also set PRs.

Result: 25:24

Remember: less hoping, more running.  Less cursing, more deep breathing.  And, if you can't be the fastest, at least be the one person in purple when everyone else is in orange.

When is the last time you surprised yourself?

Figured out the title?

*Course distance, according to everyone I talked to, was actually over 3.2 miles.  


  1. I like purple, with or without orange. Also the pics with this post. Not to the exclusion of others, but these made me laugh and smile.

    My last surprise" Figuring out the title. :)

  2. "I certainly know my way around a registration form".


  3. Awesome. I love a running surprise! I love purple too, it's like a double win!

  4. because 7,8,9. :)

    and congratulations on your time!