Saturday, May 2, 2009

"and Justice for all" 5k

"and Justice for all"
"We believe access to justice is a fundamental right for all members of our society. Our work supports free civil legal aid programs for individuals and families dealing with poverty, violence in the home, disability, discrimination and other issues."

I got talked into this race by a buddy at work, who ultimately couldn't even run it. Oh well, I say to myself, I have paid the registration fee, a 5k is good sprint training and the course is all through the U of U campus, so add in some hill training. I didn't even know that the law school did a race and I immediately had some personal thoughts about this one that I'll explain later.

The day dawned cold, dark and rainy. When we left the house it was a small drizzle. As we got closer to the University of Utah's campus, it was raining a little harder. Splenda dropped me off at the law school, and I made my way to the check in area.
Got my bib, timing chip and headed back inside to keep dry until start time.

Let me say, it's CROWDED! Everybody and their freakin mother seem to be crammed in the lobby of the law school. I find a little corner for myself, get my bib pinned on and start people watching. See some runners from the Salt Lake City Marathon with their sponsored T's on. Hmph, I thought this would be just a little race with just the law students and whomever they could con into running for them.

I forgot to check my best 5k time so that I could set a goal. Seems like it was 23 and some change. Something like that. Realize with the cold weather, and the hills, and the wet pavement, I will definitely NOT get near 23. 'Sokay. I really am looking at this for sprint and hill training.

Turn to my ipod and decide to get it started and relax. Click to turn on. Nothing. Click again, hold down. Nothing. ARE YOU FREAKIN KIDDING ME??? My ipod is DEAD! Crap. No tunes. Deep breath, it's only 5k, you can go that long without tunes. I also realize that I haven't forgotten gum! Waaaaahhhh!
It's now starting to rain harder and that is exactly how I feel. Just no love for this right now. No love at all!

It gets close to start time, so I head to the gate and push my way to the start. Remember I have this little psychological thing about being RIGHT AT THE START?
That's when I meet Sasha. Who apparently is some "big dog" who is sponsored and does all these races. We chit chat a little bit and he warns me this is a slow course. It's certified yes, but with the hills, it's slow. Ummmm, okay. Good to know. Remember Melis, it's sprint and hill training. And remember that little "something" in your heart your carrying.

No gun goes off, just all of a sudden the crowd starts to move. Sweet! We are on our way. Nice start, slightly downhill. Make the first turn and, YUP, first hill. Tackle that one pretty good and then we turn into campus and we are still going up hill but now on concrete. CONCRETE???? Any runner knows you I am hoping that this unfortunate choice is going to be a small portion of the course. It is for now. We turn onto more asphalt and, YUP, next significant hill. This one bigger and longer. Keep going. Push, push, push. Getting passed, getting passed, getting passed. Hey, dude with the stroller? You're passing me?? What the? Pick it up girl, you should never get passed by a freakin stroller!

At the top of the hill, it leveled out a bit, and I picked up the pace a little bit. Feeling good except for the fact that I should have emptied my bladder BEFORE running. I didn't think about it then, but I sure am now! Me and another girl have been jockeying back and forth and I now sprint ahead of her. Not getting passed anymore except for....what is this? Two young boys who are like maybe 12? Arrrrgghh!

We now turn down hill and I am letting it pound. Slight turn and wouldn't you know it, we are back on concrete. I'm still befuddled at a race on concrete, but whatever. Keep pushing, wondering how far we have gone. I haven't seen a single marker so far. Oh well, maybe it's best. Just keep running.

Another turn and back on the asphalt and now it's a bit hilly. Ups and downs. Campus is beautiful. The rain is not. But to be honest, I am not even thinking about it. Just running.

Winding around some more and then back down the first hill we started up. I am letting it pound, trying to gain time. Make the final turn and sprint it all the way home. I look at the clock and see a 24 something, something...... and I am pleased. My heart is pleased.

Splenda and Sissy find me, hugs and then into the law school lobby to get out of the pouring rain. I'm feeling pretty good and hoping that I have placed in my age division. After waiting for quite a while as the runners finished coming in and the times were given to the officials, they finally started the awards ceremony.

My final standings?
Official time: 24:37.6
1st in age division
18th woman over all
73rd runner over all - 379 total participants

Yeah, not bad for an old lady in the rain, up hill, on concrete, with a full bladder, no gum, and a dead ipod. I'll take it.

And kudos to Splenda Daddy for doing the Sissy Wrestle in the rain and still getting photos.....

What did I win? The standard medal, and two tickets to the Utah Arts Festival. I've never been to that, so I am kinda excited.

The best part? That little something in my heart? See my Dad graduated from that law school in 1976. In the back of my mind, I pictured him there on campus with me, and waiting at the finish line. As I read this group's mission statement (at the top of the post), it made me think of him. He did a lot of pro-bono work. Probably too much. It's hard to pay your bills when your working for free. I knew he would like this organization, and I dedicated my race (in my mind) to him.

I asked them if they happened to have an extra t-shirt. They usually will charge you for extra shirts, but I explained to the race coordinator what I was doing and why. She gladly handed me an extra shirt.

My plan? Let me explain. One of my BFF's Martha, has this very talented and gifted Mother who makes quilts. I have given her all of my 2008 race shirts and she is going to make them into a quilt for me. Then at then end of 2009, I will do the same thing. I got a large size for this race, because I am going to ask her to make it the center block for the 2009 season. Cool huh!

It was a great way to start off a drizzly Saturday, and while I didn't post my best time for a 5k, I was respectable. I did something that was meaningful to me on more than a race level. And going home with a smile, as Chadder has taught me, is the most important thing!


glittersmama said...

You rock.

Lisa Loo said...

You are just amazing!

Loralee and the gang... said...

Yay! You are just amazing! I wish I could run like that, but unfortunaley my short little legs on my 5'2" body would have to pump awfully hard! But you HAVE inspired me to set my own personal goals. I can do it, too! And thanks for being an inspiration to me. . .

Loralee and the gang... said...

Oh, and since I am a quilter, too, I LOVE the T-shirt quilt idea!

Cadance said...

1st in your age div. without iPod or gum...!!!! YOU ROCK!!!!!

I ♥ the quilt idea....and I ♥ Martha...and my Auntie Dorene too! (and her quilts!)

susette said...

So impressed. I would love to do something like this. How do you make a body even want to?

Anonymous said...

Way to rock it! I adore the quilt idea and the center piece just gives it that much more to be proud of!

tammy said...

You just really want to make me cry today don't you? I just had just gotten over the breast cancer friend story and now I read the reason why you wanted to run this race. Now I'm really boobing.

Kristina P. said...

You are such an inspiration!

Becca said...

I can't even BEGIN to tell you how much I love your race posts. They do me good!

Sue said...

Way to go!! first in your age division!

You'll like the Arts festival.

I've been making t-shirt quilts for years.All my kids have at least 3. I have 2 with all the races and vacations I have been on. They are my kids fav. quilts!

Omgirl said...

What a cool idea to do with your racing tshirts!!!

tiburon said...

Look at the stride on that runner!
you go on wit your bad self!