Friday, July 12, 2013

Her Irish Eyes weren't Smilin

Ah.  The race that started it all.  The one that convinced me I could actually finish a race.  In 2011, for that particular race (the 5K, not the 10K), I had a difficult time convincing myself I could actually complete 3 miles.

3 Piddlely Miles.  That was it.  Today, three miles is nothing.  Then, in 2011, 3 miles was forever.  And to be honest, I almost didn't make it.  At the end, I was woosy, had a headache, and just wanted to go home.

But the morning of the McLeod Sports Medicine Challenge on March 16, 2013, I knew 6.22 miles was nothing.

After all, I had already done 13.1.  Twice.

When it was time to start the race, I noticed one thing, though.  There were only about 50 of us running the 10K and most of them looked like elite runners.  As the race started, all of them ran past me.  I was left in the dust.  And that was with me running a 9.42 minute mile.

There are races that are great successes.  Those that the runners feel were perfect in every way.

Although I had high hopes for this one, it was definitely NOT one of those successful races.

As a matter of fact, it was as far from a successful race as possible.

First of all, during the 10K, the first 3.1 miles is with the 5K runners.  Although I don't have a particular problem with that, planning is that the 10K runners are BEHIND the 5K.  I thought I was going to knock over some 5K walkers.  As I finished the first 3.1 miles and started the second half of the 10K, I realized something.  I was no longer surrounded by runners.

I was by myself.

All by myself.

Except for at the mile 4 mark.

Where 50% of the 10K runners met me on their way to the finish line.

Talk about discouraging.

For 90% of the rest of the race, I clearly felt I was in last place.  I was running as hard as I could, pushing myself, mostly because I didn't want people to be waiting for me too long.  And to top it off, between miles 2 and 5, there were no water stops.  I didn't carry water, because I expected since there were 2 water stops on the first half, there would be 2 on the second half.  I was so totally wrong.

It was also, however, at that point that I realized that there were either 2 or 3 people behind me.  Which made me feel better, but not much.

At about 1 hour 15 minutes later, I was coming in for the finish:

And let me say, I really love how my triceps look in that particular picture.
A few notes about this particular race:
  1. This is the fastest race I've ever run
  2. Races planned by the Carolina Running Company look like rat races.  Take a look at that map.
  3. Even the worst race is a success when you don't give up.
 To date, those were my race bibs.  6 Races since 2011.  Before the end of April, I would have run 5 races in 2013.  That, by itself, is a success.
"It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure."  ~Psalm 18:32

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