I was really nervous about doing this race. For one thing, I know that I am not nearly as trained as I could be--I've only been running for about 2 months. For another thing, I've got baggage about being in a "race" from my high school experience.
A little background. maybe . . .
I started running with the cross country team when I was a freshman in high school. I ran as hard as I could every single practice. My coach used to say I had a lot of "heart" (code for "no talent"). I never ever allowed myself to walk or slack off in practice. During practices, I would outperform many of the lazier, faster runners. At races, I would also do my very best, and always come up last--like maybe second to last, but very often dead last. The best time I ever got was on a very weird course where many of my teammates got horrible times--very short, very steep hills, one after another for 3.1 miles.
I was on the distance team in track. I mostly ran the mile. One time I ran the 2 mile. Here comes the trauma. There were only 8 girls running and I . . . well, let's just say that I ran that last 2 laps all by myself. Everyone clapped and some even stood up when I crossed the finish line. Why? Pity? Impatience to move on the next event? Or maybe they could tell that I really was pushing myself, even though I was alone. I think that was the race when I decided that I just really sucked as a runner, nevertheless, I was still going to do it. Let's keep the humiliation to a minimum, though--no road races since I graduated 12 years ago. Today was a big step for me.
Post race analysis:
Goal #1 Complete the distance without stopping to walk: GOAL MET
Goal #2 Come in under an hour: GOAL MET
Goal #3 Extra Credit if I could come in under 50 minutes: HOOOOOORAAAAY! I did it!
Goal #4 Don't be last: GOAL MET Actually, I fared much better than I thought I would. I was 6,299th out of 9,461. If you only compare me to women, I was 2,260th out of 4,114. Yea! That puts me squarely in the middle. I could do cartwheels over this, if I wasn't so sore and tired. Thank goodness for all those out of shape ladies who were really just supporting the Pat Tillman Foundation. Just think how well I did compared to all the people who sat and watched TV all day, though. :)
Goal #5 Have fun: GOAL MET! I was running with my best friend, Shae. We talked and laughed much of the time. We also got into a water fight at every water station. This, of course, was all part of the master plan to keep morale up and avoid overheating, right? I also whooped and whistled given the slightest provocation and gave every single specatator a high five that would accpet one.
How I felt physically:
Before the race: "I can't believe I have to go to the bathroom again already!" Dread.
Mile #1 Ouch. Little stiff. We had been at the front of the starting line, so that whole mile was nothing except getting passed by everyone around us. We held our pace though. I brought up the oxygen-deprived bird story, Sasha.
Mile#2 Some long uphills. We started to pass some people. We did well on the uphills, I think.
Mile #3 Needle-like crampy pain on the left side of my back (this is a common problem for me these last few runs). Feels like it is coming from between the ribs. Slowed down a little--it went away after a good half of a mile
Mile #4 Relaxed, comfortable, some sweet long downhill. Passed a lot of people.
The last little bit was strange. I was saving a little bit to really kick it in the last hundred yards. However, it was so congested at the finish line that everyone stopped and shuffled to the end. My real time should probably be a least 30 seconds shorter.
Immediately after the race: Pretty good, still had some energy. Thinking "uh-oh, maybe I should've run faster." I felt much better about my effort when I almost fainted while taking off my shoes. He he he.
Several hours later: Tender--hip and knees complaining. Hobbling and avoiding getting off the couch unless forced. Still proud.
Anyway, the time to beat for next year is 49:56 (pace=11:54).
My legs felt better after taking my little boys for runs this evening.
Happy Easter, Everyone!