I really am determined to keep this blog ahead of Lubbock Daily Photo in terms of number of posts, at least in part because I've had this one for much, much longer!
So yesterday we Raced for the Cure. This was my first 5K (3.1 mile) race, because last year I walked the Race. My first running race since junior high track was two weeks ago, at the West Texas Running Club's Shallowater Stampede, in which we ran the 2 mile.
The entire cross-country team from Shallowater Middle & High schools is required to run the Stampede, so there were a lot of people running (184, to be exact). We chose the 2 mile because our other option was the 10K (6.2 miles) and we haven't had a decent long run in a while, so we thought that might be sucicidal.
Anyway! These young and energetic teenagers started off very fast, and like a dummy, I did the same thing. So my first 1/4 mile was fantastic, only to be followed by 1 1/2 very unpleasant miles. On the last 1/4 mile I sped up, as you do, mostly out of a desire to be done with this race. There was a high school girl who I had been leapfrogging with for most of the race, but she reached much deeper than I on that last stretch and really took off, beating me by 13 seconds. Some of the aforementioned young and energetic crowd were fully recovered from their race and were standing at the side cheering, and one middle-school boy shouted by way of encouragement, "Go on! Catch her!" I started laughing because there was nothing else I could do at that point, so he shouted after me, "You're supposed to sprint at the end!" I had no breath left to shout back, "Hey, kiddo, I am sprinting!"
I finished in 21:33 (a 10:47 pace), coming in 109th out of 118 runners, and just under a minute behind Chad, who finished in 20:39. He probably would have finished better, but he lost his head even more than I did at the beginning, and had to stop and walk before falling back to run with me for a while. He finished fourth in his age group, and I finished fifth in mine.
So that was the Shallowater Stampede. Fast-forward two weeks to the Race for the Cure, in which my goals were: 1. Don't be so stupid at the beginning; and 2. Finish in 37:12 (a 12-minute per mile pace). So I went out easily at the beginning, a bit faster than I would just running by myself, but not trying to keep up with the faster runners ahead of me. The course was a 1.55-mile loop, so on the first lap I didn't stop at any of the water stations. The second lap around, the first water station was out of water, and so was the second one, so I had to wait a lot longer than I would have liked to get water. But once I did, I definately got my second wind, so I was able to dodge around all those who had stopped to walk, speed up on the final straight, and sprint to finish in 36:36. (Which, for those not counting, was 36 seconds faster than my goal). So it was a good day for me.
Well, I'm sure I've lost everyone completely with such a long description. Stay tuned; our next 5K is in two weeks!