Sunday, March 29, 2009

Goal - Accomplished!! YESSSSSSSSSS

I had made some New Year goals, and one of which is to participate in at least one race a month. I had planned on the Rex Lee cancer race until our Priests had their championship game that day. Had to pass. So I frantically looked around and stumbled on the "April Fools 5k". Just a little, and I do mean little, event put together by the City Center county rec center to raise some funds. I really didn't care who was doing it, I just needed a race to stay with my goal and I wanted to best my 5k time.

So Saturday morning bright and early, I hit the gym for an hour of weights and then off to Sugarhouse park for the run. I get there, and I realize that City Center is simply another way of saying "inner-city". 'Sokay. I realize that I am in the minority of Caucasians and that's okay. I get registered despite a language barrier and went back to my Pete to stay warm. I sit quietly and watch the people. Kids. Lots of kids. Lot's of kids that appear to not have very much but are here in the cold, in their mismatched shorts and falling apart shoes to run a race to help their community center. I am fascinated by their smiles, their happiness and can't help but get caught up in their excitement of an event that many of them have obviously been looking forward to. The youngest kids are doing a mile run, so they gather them up and put them in a short little blue bus to take them to their drop off point. I now am just fixed on the finish line so I can watch them come across. A short time later, here they They are so cute! These little faces huffing and puffing and pushing themselves to finish while their parents, grandparents and community leaders are standing by cheering them on! I think the littlest one I saw couldn't have been more than 5 years old. Running. On his own. One word - inspiring! They did their awards ceremony and began setting up for us old people to run the 5k. I figure I better get out of the car and start getting acclimated to the cold. Start some brisk walking, trotting and adding a few quick sprints to get the muscles warmed and loose.
I realize that there are a lot of adults and most of them are the parents of the kids who ran earlier. They have made this a family event. I am thinking, "what a cool thing". That as a family, they have decided to participate together in a physical challenge that requires hard effort, and a lot of support from each other. So.Cool.

I start reminding myself, the whole purpose of this morning is to stay on track with th race a month goal, so just finish. But then the competitive side reminds me that, oh yeah, you want to better your time. What's the point if A. You don't win, and B. You don't get better. ?? I know, I know. I can hear all your lectures. Whatev.

Now the whole time (an hour) I have been sitting here, I am waiting for Splenda who had to go run a load of YW/YM to do their ditch cleaning. He has the camera and has said he will be here. No Splenda. As the time has approached to get going, I have resigned myself to the fact that he isn't coming, he couldn't get away. Fine. It's not the first time I've had to race solo and it likely won't be the last. I'm disappointed, but nothing to be done, so just move on to the start line.

The instructions are given, and the horn sounds off, I take off, AGAIN TOO QUICKLY! Why can't I learn to start out of the gate at a slower pace? Really. I hate myself for it about 5 minutes later. And by this time, we are turned and heading the hill. I HATE THIS COURSE. I've done it a couple of times before, and HATE IT EVERY TIME. Oh well, sucks to be me. Just keep going. Crest the hill and now am finding a comfortable pace. Down hill, let the strides widen and pick up seconds. Crap, next hill. Crest it and now flat. Great, pick up the pace. Back to a comfortable cadence, but getting a little side ache. Keep going and then the coolest thing! I see to my right, in the middle of the parked cars, Splenda's car!! He made it! He's at the finish line! Words cannot even describe how I felt! I've tried to find words for the feelings but I can't. Let's just say, I got all twitterpated and excited and relieved and now have a completely different attitude about finishing this race. My speed picks up and down the hill I go. Again, let the stride lengthen and shave a few seconds. Now, I have to start the loop all over again. Up that mother-truckin hill one more time! I tell myself, it's the last time for this bad boy - go! Crest and flatten out, lengthen stride for the downhill. Crap, next hill. Oh, but this is the last one - yes! Crest it, flatten out. There's Splenda's car again - twitterpated happiness. Lengthen stride, take this down hill hard and shave as many seconds as I can. Make the turn into the flat ending to the finish line. The sun is out now and shining bright. YESSSS. See the cones and line for the finish line. Pick it up - full RUN! See Splenda on my left with the camera - YEAH!!! Push harder. Lungs burning, completely anaerobic but that's okay for the last few seconds. And then I've crossed! YES!! I look down at my watch and according to my time, which is never accurate but will give me a good idea, I'm at 24 minutes and some change. I can't remember my best time, I forgot to check before I left the house, but I know I am in range. And for this hated course, I am feeling okay with it. Finished the race. Check March off my list. Finished respectably. Great.

Splenda finds me, gives me a hug and a kiss and heads back to his youth. He's got to get them all home again. I stick around to wait until I can get my official time and since I was first for my age division I know that there will be something. I watch the other runners come in. Now it's reverse, their kids are cheering them on! Again, I am touched by the whole event and seeing these "central city" families come together and enjoy this.

Awards ceremony. I finished 1st for my age group. 3rd for overall women and 9th overall of runners. They hand out ribbons and then the raffle drawing. I am the lucky winner of a pedometer. Not sure what to do with it, but it counts and tracks something so it's right up my alley!

They thank everyone for coming and participating and supporting them, then announce that the official race times are now posted on the board. Everyone hustles over and it's this tiny computer print out that I CAN'T READ! I have my contacts in, not my glasses and I CAN'T READ THE PRINTOUT!! Help! Someone, can you tell me the time posted for number 9 - at least point to where it's at on the board?? A gal next to me finds it with her finger, I follow, and when I squint REALLY hard, I read along with her 23:58. YES!! I did it! I finally broke the 24 minute mark, annnnnnnnnnndddddd, on my most HATED course!!

Phone call to Splenda. Phone call to Tuffy. Phone call to Corbin. Phone call to the Shark. Phone call to Purdy. I am riding high! Goals good. Accomplishing goals even better. Yay! for me. Now to stretch out the cramp in my tricep from reaching around and patting myself on the back all day..... : )(thanks Tuffy for telling me I was holding the pedometer upside down. Does not bode well for me and this piece of techinical wizardry.)


tammy said...

Yay for you! I love how you give the whole play by play, and everything that's going through your mind. Almost like I was there, but even better because I wasn't actually running.

Pedaling said...

way to go.
you are one hot, fast mama!

Becca said...

And I totally get the
What's the point if A. You don't win, and B. You don't get better. Which usually leads me to
C. you don't pee your pants!

Becca said...

Oh and what are you running next month? I need a race!

tiburon said...

I FREAKIN KNEW you could come in under 24!!!!!!

I am so proud of you. I will bring your prize to the gym tonight ;)

Omgirl said...

Dude, you are amazing!!!!

Sher said...

DAMN!!! You Rock! 24 minutes?!!
I bow down to your greatness and glory!
We really should run together, so you can drag me along, and make me fast.

AS Amber said...

Good girl! I'm so proud of you!!!

Cadance said...

W-O-W!!!!! You are amazing!!!!

LaurieJ said...

Sweet lady!!!
Nothing feels better than recahing a goal that you have worked hard for. Except maybe a massage after :-)
Way to go!!