Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mid-State Classic

Saturday night was the Mid-State Classic...a 5k race organized by the Warner Robins High School Cross  Country Team.  Cross country...yep...these guys know how to run.

Even though I posted on Friday that I was running I put off registering until I showed up at the race.  My toe was multiple shades of purple (I have pictures but I'll spare you) and there was rain in the forecast.  I've always said I'm a fair weather runner.  This race was taking place at the fair grounds...and I wanted good weather.

Luckily for me the weather was great.  The temps were cool (almost chilly when I wasn't running) and there was a slight breeze to cool me off.  The humidity was still high, but I wouldn't expect anything less.  It's still summer in middle Georgia, after all.

Posing with the Hubby in front of the clock tower.
My hubby and I both decided to run this race.  He's been running since he was a freshman in college (that's what you get for being in the military) so running a 5k was not big deal for him. Now that I've started running too it's something that we can do together.  If we can just get the kids running we can make it a family event.  Of course, we'll need a money tree to pay for all the race fees...but we won't have to buy them any t-shirts t wear to school.

We arrived in time to watch the 1 mile fun run...and to make sure we got registered in time to get a shirt.  If I'm going to pay that much to race I've got to get a shirt!  These were the cool dri-fit like shirts.  Bonus!!!  Runners don't like to run in I always think it's funny that races give out cotton shirts.  I know, I know, cotton's cheaper...but the probability that the shirt will get worn again greatly increases when it is a technical shirt.  (Wow, that sounds kinda mathy...I guess I do remember something from all those engineering classes in college.)

The reason I say it was "dri-fit like" is because I overheard an argument between two pre-teens while waiting for the race to start.  One boy was adamant that they shirts were NOT dri-fit.  Why?  Because they were not Nike brand.  Okay...I guess I see his point, but aren't we splitting hairs here?  It's like calling all tissues's just become the accepted word. my opinion I received a dri-fit shirt at the race.

Thanks to my kitchen stool for being
such a lovely model.
Not only was the shirt was orange with mostly black print.  Double bonus!  As a proud Oklahoma State Alumnus, I love anything that is orange and black.  Go Pokes!!!  My Florida grad husband liked the orange too...even though there was no blue.  We were just glad it wasn't red and black.  There's way too much UGA stuff around here.

After registering we met up with our friends.  Some were running with us...and others were just there as moral support.  Oh yeah, those that weren't running got the job of watching my kids while I ran.  Those are true friends!  It was nice to see some of my Facebook running buddies in person.

Once registered we watched the fun run...which was mostly kids. I realized we should have entered our kids in the race...they would have won a trophy.  Hindsight is always 20/20.

As the sun began to set it was time for us to line up and get ready for the race to start.  Since we had been standing near the starting line I was up near the front.  Of course, there were only 85 racers so there wasn't much of a distance between the front and the back.  We prepared for the race to start.  It's funny when you look around at the runners at the beginning of a race everyone has their had on something.  Those that wear Garmins are ready to press the start button on their watch.  Others, like me, are preparing to start their phone apps.  It's kinda funny to look at...but I can't say much because I'm doing it too.

Finger on the button...ready to run.
The couch shouted, "On your mark, get set" and then tried to fire the starting gun.  The gun just clicked...and we all laughed.  Oops!  Try number two...same thing.  I overheard someone say they've been using that same gun -for 30 years...maybe it's time for a tune-up?  Third time was a charm, and we were off to the races.  I mean, we were off racing.

I took off fast, just like everyone around me.  After about 10 feet I realized I had better slow down....a LOT.  That's when everyone began to pass me.  Runner after runner passed me like I was standing still.  My hubby and my friends left me in their dust.  I'm not sure they are my friends anymore.

I knew I needed to keep to my usual pace to be able to finish.  I had 3 goals for the race:
  1. Finish without walking 
  2. Finish without throwing up (this whole running at night thing is new to I tried to make sure I ate early enough that I wouldn't get sick, yet late enough that I would still have enough energy.)
  3. Finish before it started raining (this was more God that me...but I greatly appreciated His help in this matter)
  4. Finish with an average time of 11 min/mile or less.
As I ran the first mile, with many racers going on before me, my legs began to hurt.  I thought that was odd, because my legs don't usually hurt when running.  It wasn't until I looked behind me that I realized why.  We had been running most of the way slightly uphill.  I've been to the fairground before I knew the area was pretty flat, so that's what I expected...flat.  I now had it in my mind that I was running uphill, so it got a little easier.  It's just that whole mind over matter thing.  That and the fact that were were running out and that meant we would get a slight downhill coming back.  Something to look forward to.

Only 1/4 mile down...still smiling.
Not the best picture since it was getting dark...
but it proves I was out there.
There was a woman that was just in front of my the first mile.  She was running in intervals...running for several minutes and then walking a few.  At first I caught up to her at the end of her walk...and then she would take off running and pull ahead.  I put here on my radar and decided that I was going to beat her...even if by a fraction of a second.  I really like her leg said "Super" and the other said "Hero."  I was slightly disappointing though...she usually runs in a tutu and tonight she was only wearing a running skirt.

Just after I finished my first mile I started seeing the lead runners who were already coming back.  I was running at about half the speed of the lead runner.  I guess some people have the need, the need for speed.  The rest of us just want to not die.

Slowly, one by one all my friends passed me as they were returning to the finish.  First it was Scoot, then Paul, Heather, Daniel, and finally my hubby.  I'm not sure they are my friends anymore.  I did get a few high-fives, and others smiled at me, so maybe I'll give them another chance.  

At the half-way turn around point I was ready to stop.  I couldn't stop though, because I was only half-way...and I was finally in front of woman I was determined to beat, at least for the moment.  At this point she was passing me when she ran, and I was passing her when she walked.  I was making progress. Slow and steady wins the race...right?  I mean, not the whole race...but the race with her. 

After I turned around I could see all the people behind me.  I wasn't last after all!  On the return run the crowd began to thin out.  I slowly began to pass some of the other runners who had gone out fast and then run out of steam.  I was immensely enjoying the slight downhill terrain.  The woman I was trying to beat was slowing moving further behind me.  After about 2 miles she was just getting up to where I was when she ran and then moving way back on her walk.  I wonder if she's racing me in her mind?

Finally, I took the big left turn back to the finish line.  Since it was dark the road had been lit by streetlights...but the finish line looked like the Griswald's house on Christmas.  I could see the lights and the finish line ahead of me (just not very well because I took off my glasses around mile 2...they were getting too steamy.)  I knew my pace was right around 11 min/mile, so I used all my energy to pick up the pace. I think this is where I lost the other woman for good.  There was a lot of space in front of as I approached the finish line everyone was cheering for me (well maybe some were cheering for the woman behind me...but in my mind it was all for me.)

I looked at the clock as I crossed the finish line and the time was 33:40.  Not too shabby.  Unfortunately, I forgot to stop my running app.  Doh!  I was so careful to start it right as the race started.  I later found out that my official time was 32:37.56.  I'm pretty sure that's wrong...but since that's the "official" time I'll take it.  That means my pace was 10:31 min/mile...and that my friends is a new PR (that's a personal record for those of you that don't talk "runner").  I did it...I met all my goals.  It was a good night for me.

As I was downing a cup of water I realized that there was no water stops on the race.  I was all ready to practice the new "pinch the cup" method I just learned.  Honestly, I really don't need water for a's just one of those niceties you look forward to with a race.  I did get my post race banana!

Hubby and I changed out of our dripping-in-sweat clothes while we waited for the awards ceremony to begin.  We both took the opportunity to put on our new orange shirts.  Did I mention I love orange?  Orange...Power.  Orange...Power.  Oh wait...this isn't a football game.  Sorry...that was my ADD again.

We stayed around for the awards because we were sure some of our friends were getting trophies.  (Although I'm not sure they are my friends anymore.)  Let me take a minute to address an important point here.  As I've mentioned...this race gave out trophies, not medals.  Runners like me have cute little bib holders with hooks for medals.  There's not place for a trophy there!  Not that any of this really matters, however, since I didn't get one.  I just needed to get that out of my system.  Thanks for allowing me to rant.

Awards were given out for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each age group.  I finished 4th (out of 8) in my age group.  In other words, I was the first person not to get an award.  Yay me!  My friend Heather was first in my age group...she's definitely not my friend anymore.  All three ladies that finished before me had times of 25:?? there was no chance I could have caught them.  My friends Paul and Scoot also won awards...but since I wasn't competing against them I'll let that slide.

Now just in case you're wondering...the woman I was just in front of was in the age group just above mine.  She finished 3rd. I had been 1 year and 2 weeks older I would have walked away with a trophy.  For the record...I'd rather be younger that have the trophy.  Right now I'm trying to find a way to push back my birthday that is supposed to happen tomorrow.  I'll be 29...again.

There were some trophies left over at the end for age categories where there weren't 3 participants.  I was temped to try and snag one of those.  It's easy to get a new plate engraved for the front...right?  What are they going to do with them anyway?

After we left we went straight to Applebee's for dinner.  It was now 9:00...and we still hadn't eaten dinner.  That post-race banana just wasn't going to cut it.  Neither was the frozen yogurt my kids requested.  I needed real food.  I splurged and went for the steak.  After all, I'd just run 3.1 miles.  I burned 523 calories...and my metabolism was still up (if all those running articles I've read are true.)  Why not reward myself.
I ran 3 miles this morning,so if I did my math correctly, I'm entitled to eat 3 pounds of pie today.

Even though I didn't win (or place) it still was a fun night and a fun race.  I did my best, I met my goals, and that's really all I can ask for.  (Well, that and some of the people in front of me tripping...but that might be asking too much.)

My August race is in the books.  Now it's time to plan races for the rest of the fall.  My goal is to run one race a least a 5k.  I'll let you know how that goes.

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