Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Race Re-cap

The weather was PERFECT for running on Saturday morning, a bit of sun but mostly overcast so not too hot.  Rained all night so parts of the road were a bit wet and muddy, but pretty good for the most part.  We forgot the camera (man I get so nervous it's a wonder I can remember anything), so Mark took this post-race photo on his cell phone.  It's a good picture because you can't see how dizzy I was!! 

Mark and the kids were great, driving past me at mile 9.5 and cheering me on.  Then the kids ran with me for the last quarter mile or so.  I said to them, "Help me go!!" because I was really gassed by then.  I felt really good for the first 10 miles, but by mile 11 I was really slowing up.  Several runners passed me in those last two miles, including one guy who ended up collapsing right in front of me in the final steps of the race!  I wanted to stop and help him up, but momentum and dizziness overtook me by then and I was afraid that I would fall right over him if I stopped!!  Fortunately, Linda (the awesome race director) and another guy ran to his aid and helped him walk jog across the finish line within a minute of my finish.  Apparently he had heat stroke and is doing better now. 

Linda really puts together a great race.  It is small enough to not be overly crowded or intimidating.  We were running behind on Saturday morning (can you imagine? we're never late to anything...ha!) and Mark literally dropped me off at the finish line 7 minutes before race time.  I stretched in the vehicle on the way up and did some quick stretches, talked to my friend/former student Shane before the National Anthem, the gun went off and away we went! 
This year I didn't write Bible verses on my arm.  I just tried to keep them in my head, along with my mental playlist of "Move" and "God With Us" by Mercy Me, "The Motions" & "My Own Little World" by Matthew West, "Today is the Day", "Majestic", & "Everlasting God" by Lincoln Brewster and "Eye of the Tiger" which Shane shouted out to me once during the race.  I don't have an i-pod or mp3 player thingie so I have to sing to myself in my head for a couple of hours.  I prayed about each of my children for about a mile each, and I  prayed a lot about a ministry opportunity that had been presented to me the day before.  I prayed for my sister-in-law in the hospital right now, my mom and dad, and for my friend Joe who died of ALS a few months ago.  I thought about all the people who can't run and how I should keep going for them.   
My goals were to :
a) finish faster than last year (1:57) ;
b) finish the first seven miles in under an hour; and
 c) finish strong. 
(I completed A & B.)

At mile 4.5, I tacked on another goal:  finish ahead of a certain lady from Lancaster that I saw during the race.  (I know that's terrible, isn't it?  I didn't think I was that competitive.)
At mile 8 or 9, I set another goal:  keep this 49-year-old lady & her running partner in my sights for the rest of the race.  She ran up to me at mile 7.5 and asked, "How old are you?"
When I said "40" she said, "Good.  I'm 49." Apparently it made her feel better that I was younger and in a different age bracket than her because she proceeded to run next to me and tell me how she thought she ran the first half too fast and was getting too tired too soon.  I told her that I was feeling the exact same way.  Then her running partner came bounding in from the side of a street and joined her at mile 8.  Must be nice to have someone willing to run 5 miles with you, just to keep you going!
I passed Gretchen The 49-Year-Old somewhere in mile 10 and figured she'd come back to get me, but she never did.  She told me after the race, "I could have beat you, but I felt like I was going to throw up." 
Whatever, lady!!!!

Miles 10 through 13 got very, very lonely and difficult.  There were a lot fewer spectators/cheerleaders along the route this year, but I smiled and said "hi" to as many as I could.  I managed to get about 3 ounces of water in me at about 5 pit stops, running right through them.  Thankfully no one gave me the sports drink because I hate that stuff!  I got more water on my shirt and shorts than in me, but that is okay because I would have had an upset stomach with too much water.  My main goal was to keep my mouth from being dry.  Two pieces of Eclipse gum kept me through 13.1 miles, and hey! only one kleenex this time!!  Other things to be thankful for:  no stabbing knee pains, no lump on the inside of my ankle (tendinitis), and a great running shirt (hand-me-down from my sister-in-law Marin).  Love that Climalite stuff!

The last three miles I was singing "Strong Enough" by Matthew West over and over in my head.  I don't know if it's the perfect training song, but it really helped me.
I know I'm not strong enough to be
everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up
I'm not strong enough
Hands of mercy, won't you cover me
Lord right now I'm asking you to be
strong enough
strong enough!!!

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me
and I don't have to be
strong enough
strong enough.......

End of story:  I finished!!  The guy who collapsed right by me at the finish line also finished!! Praise God.

They had this nifty little print-out at the end of the race.  If you show them your number, they print out a receipt.  Here are my stats:

Chip time: 1:52.58.  (I will call that 1 hour and 52 minutes.  Never mind that it was 2 hundredths of a second away from being 1 hour 53 minutes!! I'm calling it 1:52!!)
Pace per mile:  8:38
Place:  45th
Place among women:  13th
Place in my division (women age 40-44):  2nd  (Yay! I got a silver medal!!)

Don't be too impressed with that finish.  The winning time was 1:14 and the winning female came in at 1:33.  There were 159 runners this year (99 female and 59 male). 

I was really happy with my pace and chip time.  I was thinking it would be great to finish 1:50, but by the last mile I was just thinking WHATEVER!!!  Mark said my form was not too great at the end, and I would agree that I was probably twisting.  My back was super sore the next day but I am grateful for my abs/core training because it would have been worse.  Two days post-race my quads/hams are still pretty sore, but nothing like last year.  Last year I had to ice up and could barely walk for days.  I am very grateful for not having big injuries this year to work through (but marvel at how I finished as fast as I did last year in that much pain)! 

Will I race again? perhaps.  Linda is hard to say "no" to.  And the run (for the most part) definitely felt good.  I would like to improve on that time and figure out how to finish stronger instead of weaker. 

Mark and the kids were so supportive.  They helped me finish the race, and that is the best Mother's Day present I could ask for right now!

 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.--Philippians 4:13

2 Comments:

Blogger Astrid in Bristling Acres said...

WOW!

You DID IT!!!!!

I'm so impressed! I'm pretty sure if that had been me I wouldn't have been able to walk for the next week or so! Did you do the hardcore training for it like you did last year? Or did you keep up with the longer runs throughout the year? Sometimes I'd like to go out for a longer run - it's just hard to find the time!
hee hee- you beat the Lancaster lady! :-)

May 11, 2011 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I made a few of my goals, so I am pretty happy with that. I did the same training program from last year, only this year I added an extra week in case of injuries etc. Mostly treadmill and long runs outdoors on the weekends. plus I added more weight training 2 days a week & abs 5 days a week to be more balanced.

May 11, 2011 at 1:07 PM  

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