I have to confess that I haven't done anything since the Hanover Half Marathon Relay. I made it to Tae Kwon Do one night, but that was it. It's been a bit of a struggle getting back into the routine of the school year and I'm still working on not being a workaholic. So, with my lack of running or anything else that remotely looks like exercise, I headed down to the high school today for the Mustang 5K Road Race. This race benefits my town's high school cross country team and I also work in the district I live in, so a few teachers that I work and with signed up for the race.
Driving in I was also feeling the effects of staying up until 1 AM playing Rock Band and drinking Sam Adams. Great fun, but not a great idea the night before a race. I met up with Cecelia, Deb and Penny at the registration table. The day was turning out to be beautiful and looked perfect for running. We headed down to the start line and I pretended to do some stretching.
When the race started I quickly became aware that I was the slowest runner out there. Everyone took off really fast and within 15 seconds, the only people behind me were 3 walkers. I felt ok though and I had my ipod on, so I was good hanging out all by my onsie at the back.
About 3/4 of a mile in, I started to catch up with a few people, so I started counting them down and some sort of evil laughed played in my head as I passed each person. By mile 1, I'd passed 9 people and my first mile split was 10:04. I thought I had been running around an 11 min pace, so I couldn't have been more excited when I heard the split time. I trudged along some more and then came upon the house of a teacher I work with, Barb. Her cheers helped me keep going as at this point in the race, the top runners are already going by in the other direction.
I hit mile 2 around 20:10, which was also very exciting. I was glad to have gone back by Barb's house and she was right there at the end of the driveway cheering me on with a big smile.
The last mile was not pretty. Around 2.5 I got tired and the hips and knees were stiffening up. I don't think they slowed me down though, my lack of being in shape took care of that. Two high school girls that I had passed earlier went by me. What was annoying about this is that they were also dribbling basket balls as they ran, making it look easy. Also the person that I had been running closely behind was pulling ahead. Things were looking bleak.
We ran into the high school parking lot, beside a playing field and then did around 1/2 of a lap on the track to the finish line. At this point I was just trying to stay ahead of the two people coming up behind me. I could see their shadows looming close behind. When I hit the track, my feet felt the comfort of the very familiar surface and a burst of energy hit. The track is my kind of running.
I kicked it up a bit and realized that I was catching up the the woman in front of me, despite the fact that she had really pulled ahead. As I rounded the last turn, there was a moment of indecision. Do I stay behind this woman, who ran ahead of me the entire race to be nice or do I go by her? I realized that she was not picking it up for the end of the race. I decided to ignore her and run my own race. I cruised by her, leaving her in the wake of my excitement that I was going to get to stop running soon.
I finished in 31:18. I couldn't be happier with my time. I'm just excited that I can still run close to 10 min miles. Here's the best part though.....
I WON RUNNER UP IN MY AGE GROUP!!!
Crazy isn't it! My friend Penny took the top prize in our age group. I was so excited when they said my name I just kept bouncing around! The man who was handing them out laughed at me and said, "You're really excited!" I wanted to say, "Hell ya! I'm normally excited to finish before the walkers!" I am not the kind of runner who wins their age group at races. Of course I was excited!
So, there is my once in a lifetime award for a road race. I think Penny and I might have been the only ones in our age group, but I'm going to pretend that the few people that finished behind me was also :) My friend Deb placed second in her age group and her daughter rocked the race and placed 3rd in the under 14 category and ran some spectacular time that I can't remember- I think in the 26's. Not too shabby for a 10 year old!
So the day was great fun, it was a very nice race to run and to top of it off, I won an award (see below). I feel like a kid in a candy store.