Sunday, March 14, 2010

St. Paddy's 5K

Yesterday was a good running day.  Scott and I went down to Clarkston,WA and ran the St. Paddy's Day 5K together.  Well, more accurately, we stood at the starting line together, and then I saw him a half-hour later when I crossed the finish line. :)

So here are the details:

  • The gun went off, and I immediately started too quickly.  Mind you, I wasn't sprinting or anything, but the Garmin said I was running at a 9-minute mile, and I knew that I couldn't maintain that speed.  So, I consciously slowed my jog and watched as small children, a woman with a stroller, and one old man after another passed me.
  • At about a quarter mile, I started passing a bunch of runners who started off too fast.  They had to walk; but my legs felt good.
  • At about the one-mile mark, a fellow racer started running with me.  It was his first race, and he was doing great.  We were both breathing pretty hard, but it was nice to hear him talk; it distracted me from my desire to walk.
  • At the turn-around point (half way), my new friend said that he was going to walk for a bit, so I said my goodbyes, skipped the water at the aide station, and re-committed myself to my goal - to run this 5K without walking.
  • The way back to the finish line seemed longer than the way to the half-way point.  I felt myself breathing pretty hard, and my legs didn't feel strong anymore (though I was happy that my knee didn't hurt).  I started singing songs in my head, namely "The Star-Spangled Banner," "America the Beautiful," "Jingle Bells," and "Alouette."  Even as I ran, I knew that my choices of songs were kind of strange, but I didn't care.  I knew all the words, and I was able to sing them to the rhythm of my feet hitting the path.  Whatever kept my mind off of my lungs was welcome.
  • By 2 or 2.5 miles, I moved away from singing and into the praying portion of my race - "I am sooo ready for my second wind, Dude."  Yes, I actually called God "Dude."  I think He knows I meant no disrespect, though; I was just longing for a little divine intervention, some more energy.  And I know that I am not the only one who prays during runs; my friend Emily says that she makes deals with God to get a little divine assistance.
  • When I was within half a mile from the finish line, I knew that I could finish without walking.  Even though there was little climb and some wind in my face, I pushed myself up towards the finish line.  I crossed with a time of 33:33 (which, for those of you who know me, is awesome on a couple of levels).  

After the race, I coughed and struggled to catch my breath, but I was really pleased with the way the race turned out.  It was only 10:30 in the morning, and I had already beat my best 5K time.  I ate a half of poppyseed muffin, drank a little water, and stuck around to watch Scott accept a medal for coming in THIRD overall (and first in his age group).  I cheered (I think I was more excited than he was), took pictures, and felt proud of both of us.

Races like this one make me want to keep registering for more.  I think I will be ready for a 10K next month.