Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Go Speed Racer! Go!

Sunday morning found me in Azalea Park in Asheville anxiously waiting to run my first 5K. And while 5K is not a lot distance-wise for me personally (it's only 3.1 miles - an average run for me is 6 miles and a long run for me is 8+ miles) it was my first competitive road race and I was thrilled at the prospect of running competitively with others and how that would affect my performance.

After my awesome triumph over the Ravenel Bridge I was feeling good about Sunday and I set my 2 goals. The Happiness Goal was to finish the race in less than 26 minutes. The Mountaintop Goal was to finish the race in 24 minutes or less and/or run at an 8-minute mile pace or faster. And while I would never be able to maintain that pace for 13.1 miles (OMG kill me now) - it felt pretty manageable for 3.1 miles.

The race I ran was the JBL Memorial 5K to benefit the Asheville Buncombe Youth Soccer Association. Although start time was 9am we got there at about 8:30. Y'all? It was 59 degrees out. I was in shorts and a tee shirt like it was still summer. OMG - chilly. Factor in the fact that I was anxious to get running - well let's just say I was a jittery, shivery mess for about 30 minutes.

But then the race got ready to start and I managed to get pretty close to the front and the horn sounded and we were off. Cluster fuck. That is the absolute first thing that happens at the start of the race. And while serious races group runners by pace and expected finish time, this was not a big race and so it was sort of a mish mosh of people and I had to go to the far left and run on the side of the road in order to get around folks. And all I kept thinking was: Country Girl: Don't fucking trip over a rock or a stump or a root and injure yourself because that would really SUCK. I successfully managed to navigate my way around some slow peeps and get back on the road into what NASCAR calls "clean air."

And while I was without Iron Man's amazing GPS watch, I did have my digital watch and I was going to try to use that to monitor my pace only y'all? There are 2 buttons and if you hit them in the right order the stopwatch works but if you hit them in the wrong order they don't and I was probably 4 or 5 minutes in before I realized my stopwatch hadn't started. So much for timing myself.

The run itself was really great. Nice and flat. On the road. Through Azalea Park with lots of lovely scenery. The cool weather was much appreciated once I started running. I had a kick ass mix on my iPod: the 7 kickiest, ass shaking songs I have in all of iTunes. Songs that come on and I am motivated to shake a tailfeather and pick up my pace by 3 notches. And running with other people is AWESOME. OMG - talk about motivation. Since I had no idea what my time was or my pace, I just kept picking people out in front of me and telling myself I was going to pass them. And while I didn't want to burn out too soon, I also knew that I was totally capable of maintaining the intense pace for the short distance.

I think somewhere into the 3rd mile I got a little tired. My breathing was labored and I was starting to really feel the impact of the intensity of the run. But then some dude tried to pass me on the left and I was like: NO WAY and I picked up my pace. And then Outkast came on (OMG - Hey Ya is the best song ever to run to). And then there were 3 women in front of me and I was like: I am totally going to pass these ladies and up my chances of being in the top 10 women to finish because really y'all - I had not seen that many women in front of me. And I passed one (she had shorts that had BRAT stamped across her ass and for some reason that really bothered me) and then I started to sense that the end was near and I continued to pick up my pace. And then I rounded the bend and saw the finish line and the clock counting time. And it was at 23:56 and while I knew there was no way I was going to beat the 24-minute mark, it didn't matter. I was close. And so I got my final wind and just SPRINTED like a bad ass passing the other 2 chicks and I officially crossed the finish line at 24:22. WHOOT!!!

Final Results? Overall I finished 45th out of 245 participants. I was the 13th female to finish and 2nd in my age group of 30 - 34. Also? My official pace was 7:51 so Mountaintop Goal TOTALLY ACHIEVED!!!!!

And if that ain't just fucking fantasticredible, I'll kiss your...


Suzy Voices said...

Wow, that's so awesome! No way I could keep that pace, even for one mile! New reader by the way, your dad gave me the link. :)