Adventures In Health (Volume 5)

3 Dec

The Big Race.

Last Friday I ran in my first real race since March 28, 2009. It was the day after my 29th birthday and still a few months before this blog was born. I finished (ahead of Bill) in under thirty minutes and was beyond proud of myself. It wasn’t too long after that that I hurt my foot and stopped running.

Now I’m back in the saddle and have really enjoyed getting back in the running groove. I have a long way to get where I want to be but I’m well on my way.

I decided as part of my return to running that I would run in the Jingle Elf Run in West Chester. It’s only two miles and would be the perfect opportunity to practice for an actual 5K.

I wasn’t nervous because I didn’t even think about it really. Even as I was freezing to death waiting for the race to start I didn’t let my mind wander to what was about to happen. It wasn’t until I was actually running that I gave the race any thought.

I did set a goal ahead for time though, I needed to finish in twenty minutes or less. Anything more than twenty minutes was going to leave me discouraged and would surely have me wondering what all that training was for. Even though I knew I wouldn’t give up if I didn’t make my goal time it was important to me that I did.

We headed to the starting line and situated ourselves about ten or twelve people back from the front. I didn’t want to be too close to the front and get trampled by the faster runners but I also didn’t want to get stuck in traffic either. I gave Bill a kiss just before the “gun” went off and never looked back. I know, nice wife right?!?

How nice the race coordinators were to have us start out uphill. I lived in West Chester for over twenty years and it always seemed so much more flat from inside my car.

I opened up my stride and let the pavement help me gain momentum up that hill. There were cheers from all the people who had come out to see the parade (after the run), but I didn’t hear them. I blasted the music in my ears and concentrated on getting the job done. I didn’t really even see the faces of the people on the streets until the little kids on the back section of the course were there holding out their little hands for a high five.

I turned the corner and crossed the starting line again, my second time up that damn hill. It’s hurting to breathe at this point and I’m wondering when my phone is going to tell me I’ve completed my first mile. Finally I hear that beautiful voice in my ear that I’m halfway there and completed my first mile in just over eight minutes. I slow my pace a bit to keep from collapsing. I’m almost two full minutes under my goal time so far so I can afford to take it easy for a little bit. Stride it out.

I’m getting passed, I’m passing…Still running.¬†Got a high five from a giant, blue M&M.

This is it, rounding that last corner to head back up the hill for the third and final time. That’s when I turn on the afterburners and give it all I’ve got. If there’s one thing that I remember from those days of track & field it’s to finish strong.

I sprint across that finish line thrilled that I made it and as quickly as possible hit my watch to get my unofficial time.

Seventeen minutes and twenty seconds. Holy shit, I made it in WELL under my goal of twenty minutes. In running time those two plus minutes are like an eternity.

I knew my unofficial time would be a bit off from the official time so I waited patiently for the official word from the race coordinators. I scrolled to about where I thought I should be and there was my name in 81st place (out of 207) with a final time of 17:15. Nearly three full minutes under my goal time, that’s pretty exciting.

My Life In Mommyland

Oh, are you wondering where Bill came in? 135th place with a time of 19:41. Yeah, I could help but gloat over that one.

With this race under my belt I’m looking forward to doing many more. I’m even going to get over my fear of running outside and start doing more of my training on real roads instead of on the indoor track.

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