What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

22 November 2007

We won!

Okay, no, we didn't. In fact, I finished with only 4 people behind me (but at least I wasn't last!).

So, I hope you tuned in for a blow-by-blow recap of my 12 K. If not, now would be a good time to stop reading. The race started at 9 AM, and we got there at about 8:59 (my fault). I was still pinning Chad's number on him when the gun went off. (Actually, the guy just said "Go!" The West Texas Running Club doesn't seem to have a start gun.) Anyway, the time-and-temperature boards I saw on our way out varied between 21 and 25 degrees, so it was pretty chilly.

So after such an inglorious start, our first 1/2 mile or so was uneventful, although we did realise at that point that neither of us had eaten breakfast. Oops! I had four shirts on, and the outermost one was a fleece pullover, which I had to take off as soon as I started getting warm (about mile 1). Chad took off to go at his own pace, because otherwise he would have been too cold. I passed the turnaround for the 2-mile race and kept going, muttering to myself, "Well, I'm committed now."

Let's see... at mile 2, two of the three people in front of me stopped to walk, so I told them they couldn't stop because I was using them for my pacesetters. They thought that was funny, but they were behind me for the entire rest of the race. (I stayed pretty close behind the third one of the trio until... but I'll get to that later.) At mile three, I took off my glasses (they were too fogged up to see out of anyway) and my headband. Then I realised that I wouldn't want to put it back on once it was cold, because it was pretty sweaty. So I put it away and got out my other one, which I hung around my arm because I was way too hot to put it around my head right away.

Sometime between miles 4 & 5, I started getting cold again, so I stopped and put on my pullover and put the dry headband on. I ran on to the 5-mile mark, and that's where it started to get hard. I was freezing cold, everything was sore, I was having trouble regulating my breathing, and I was losing ground mentally. So I suppose I hit a wall of sorts. I continued pushing, mostly because I was determined to finish the race. The course went past the start/finish line and onward for about another mile before turning back toward the finish-- and that was the hardest part mentally. But all the runners coming back were very encouraging-- "Good job", "Keep it up" and the like.

So I passed the 10-K mark with a time of 1:16:51, which was a few minutes slower than I wanted, but there was no sprinting to the finish at that point, since I was still over a mile away, and also facing a hill. I had to stop and walk for a couple of minutes, but I started running again at the turnaround (especially since I saw how close the people behind me were). The man was there collecting the "Runners on the Road" signs, but he didn't take the turnaround cone until after we passed (at least, I guess he picked it up then).

I ran down to the 7-mile mark, and I heard footsteps catching up with me, so I had sped up without realising it. The man caught up to me right at the 7-mile point, where he stopped running. I was about to stop, too, because that little bit took it out of me, but he said, "Good job! Keep going!" so I kept going, reminding myself that I wasn't going to stop with only 1/2 mile to go. I picked up the pace just a little bit, round the corner, passed under the overpass and into the parking lot where the finish line was. The had already started the awards ceremony (as good a clue as any that I wasn't getting one), but I sprinted past them and across the line. My time was 1:32:??. Yeah, I didn't see the seconds. So I was outside my goal time by a couple of minutes, but hey, we ran a 12 K, so I can't complain too much.

Oh, and just as I came across the finish line, a snowflake fell. I was just so happy to be done; I had been looking forward to that moment all week! :)

We stood around for the awards before leaving, and by the time we got into the car, I was freezing. So it was nice to get home, shower and warm up before dashing off to Charlie & Toni's for our Thanksgiving lunch.

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