Sunday, July 5, 2009
4OJ - Family, Friends and FUN - Chapter 1 - The race
I love the 4th of July. We have family traditions that hold out, even though our kids are grown and for the most part gone.
This year, we added some extra.
WJ held it's first annual 5k run/walk; 10k event. It was run by an organization called WE make a difference nowand if you clickety click here and read the sidebar, you will meet the family for whom this event was sponsored and the funds were raised. I love running, but I love running even more for a good cause.
I registered for the 10k several weeks ago without giving it much thought until last week when I realized my IT band was hurting. I rested, iced, heat, rolled on the foam roller and took plenty of ibuprofen. My plan was to rehab it enough to run this event and then see how it felt for the other upcoming races this month.
As per tradition, I am the first one up, ready and over to the parade route to get "our spot". This year was no different, just a little earlier. Like 4:30am early. I ate my oatmeal, drank my energy drink, got all my race stuff ready and headed out the door.
I found an even better spot this year, our backs to the sun for once instead of squinting into it every year. I put out our chairs and then walked over the the Veterans Memorial park for the race.
There were already several people gathering and many runners warming up and stretching. I checked in, got my timing chip and then began warming up and stretching myself. I learned that an imporant part of rehabbing your IT band is careful stretching before and after running. I had been doing it all week, it felt totally fine, I wasn't going to stop doing it now.
They finally announced that it was time to line up. I met a couple of friends at the start line and then clicked my ipod on. The horn sounded and we were off! Now, my strategy is always to start RIGHT ON THE START LINE. I know I will get passed, and I am okay with it, but there is just something psychologically necessary for me to start right.on.the.line.
Right off the bat, I got passed by several dudes. Totally okay. You know that I have no problem being passed by dudes. In fact, I am the only woman out front. I settled into a nice pace and felt fantastic! Really! The temp was perfect, no sun out yet, just barely starting to rise, good course so far, and legs/knee feeling superb.
In fact, I felt so good, I basically maintained this pace the entire time. We headed north on Redwood road, and while I am NOT a fan of running on concrete, I did know that this was not the entire course, just a small portion, I decided to not think about it and instead, concentrate on my stride and form.
When I ran Ragnar with the amazing team of runners that I did, I was careful to note stride and body form with some of those phenomenal runners. Since I was feeling good, settled into a nice pace, I thought I would work on my stride and form. I kept picturing Christine, Laurie and Sher in my head and copying their body forms and foot strides. I know I didn't look near as good as they do, nor was I as fast, but it gave me something to focus on, and I just kept feeling so good, that I figured something must be working.
About the 2 mile mark, I got passed by a chick. CRAP! I was the leading woman, but she passed me and she passed me fast. I realized that there was no way I could catch or keep up with her. 'sokay, she looked very young, and I can live with that.
The course took us basically on a loop, so I passed a water station, and then on the backside, another one. About the 4 mile mark, we started to catch the 5k'ers that had started after us. Now the course was a little more crowded and there was more manuvering to be done to get around some of the 5k run/walkers.
I turned onto 7800 south and the last stretch before the turn into the park and finish line. I had a runner in front of me that I had kept my eye on the whole time. He was the jersey that I kept in sights and was trying to catch or at least sort of pace with. He was still in front of me, the same distance so I figured I had kept a fairly even pace.
Finally, the last turn into the park, so I picked it up and sprinted in! I looked at the clock as I crossed in and was very pleased! It had 49 and some change!
Met Splenda Daddy for a photo op, grabbed a banana and water, stretched a bit. This is me noting 3 road kills (10k kills - no use counting the 5k kills)
And then approaching me was the dude whose jersey I just spent the morning chasing. It was none other than a doctor that I have worked with for years!! I didn't recognize him at first (or from behind), and he didn't recognize me at first, but wanted to come meet the "cheerful lady that thanked every cop on every corner who kept up with me." (picture my head swelling a tich). Once we realized who each other were, we chatted a minute, congratulated one another and off he went.
Yeah, I felt pretty good about myself at that moment. I kept up with Dr. B!!! Who is a serious runner! But I think I felt even more pleased that what he noticed was something I have been working on. Cheerfulness and gratitude. Yeah, I thank every cop on every corner during a race. It usually catches them off guard, they don't expect it, but I am so thankful that they are willing to stand out there, hold off traffic and keep us safe, that I think they deserve some sort of acknowledgement as I go by.
I headed for the standings board and was so pleased to see my preliminary time: 48:01 If this was true, I shaved 36 seconds off my last 10k. First in my age group and second female overall. The chick that flew by me? 24 years old. I can totally live with that. But these were pre-lim times. Nothing official quite yet.
While runners were continuing to trickle in, they introduced us to the Williams family and explained the purpose for the fundraising. We then had a flag ceremony
and then the awards.
Those who placed first in their divisions not only got their "gold" medals, but two tickets to the PRCA rodeo that night!
Yesssssssss!!! After one more picture with my cute friend Marianne
we headed home so I could quickly email Elder L and then back to hold our parade spots.
1st in age division
2nd overall female
18th overall out of 77 runners.
Cool to note that the 5k had 143 participants. That's a lot of fundraising kids!
It was a great race, I felt fantastic physically, and realized once again, that I THRIVE on competition. This kind of competition - not the "keep up with the Joneses" kind. I was more than ecstatic that I hadn't even noticed my knee until 5 1/2 miles. Even then, no pain, I just noticed it.
It was the perfect start to the day.........