Monday, September 5, 2011

Long overdue race reports

Back in July, I ran 2 5ks that I never bothered to write up. Don't know why. Perhaps I thought they weren't important enough, or I got too busy, or whatever. Who knows. But today I've got the time, and I feel like writing. Every race (or run in general) is a great accomplishment, no matter how small or how unimportant it seems. So every race I run deserves some kind of record of it's happening. So here goes.

Charleston YMCA Corporate Cup 5k - July 23, 2011
Earlier this summer, before it got so blasted hot, I was going for runs during my lunch hour. It was after one of these runs, while I was still in my running clothes, I got noticed by the office Corporate Cup coordinator. "You run?" he said. "Yep," I replied. "Wanna run the 5k for Corporate Cup?" he asked. "Ummm, I guess," I said. Not sure if that's exactly how the conversation went down, but you get the point = I ended up signed up to represent the company in the run.

To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to the run. I knew the track & field events for the Corp. Cup were held at Laidley Field, and for some reason I had it my head that the run was going to be on the track. I was absolutely dreading having to run 12 1/2 times around ; I hate feeling like a hamster in a wheel - running and running and getting nowhere. But on race day, I was pleasantly surprised to find out there was a course set out outside of the field and I didn't have to run in circles all morning after all.

It stormed the night before, so the morning of the race was hot & humid. Didn't think it was too bad weather wise when I first got there, but as the morning went on, and the race start got later and later, it got hotter and hotter. So it was pretty miserable by the time we actually started running. I had already decided that I wasn't "racing" this one, I was just "running" it as a training run. Since it was hot, I took it easy and didn't push myself, walking when I felt I needed to. Finished in 32:20, which was slower than I knew I was capable of. I finished 7th place in my company's division, so it wasn't all bad.

Family Counseling Connection Race Against Rape - July 30, 2011
Decided I would start off an already busy Saturday by running a race up at Kanawha State Forest. My niece's birthday was set for that afternoon up at a stable outside of Canaan Valley (she turned 8 and loves horses). I double checked when the party was going to start, figured out how much driving time we (mom & I) would need, and decided that I could manage to get the race in if I ran it around 30-35 minutes and didn't stick around for the awards (which I figured I wouldn't win anyway).

Mom said she would meet me there so she could watch me race, so I left the house and was at the turn by GW when she called and asked if I could pick her up. So much for my intention to get there early with plenty of time to register and warm up. I turned around, picked her up, and headed back to the forest. (Even with the detour, I still had plenty of time to do all the pre-race stuff that needed done).

It was another sticky humid summer morning - 74 degrees and 92% humidity - so I knew it was going to be a tough run. The KSF 5k course is deceiving - you think it's flat and easy. But it's not. The first half - from the pool lot to the entrance - is a slight downhill; the second half - back to the pool lot - is, obviously, a slight uphill. It's not steep, but it's enough to make that second half a whole lot harder than the first. Especially when it's hot humid & sticky.

As I usually do, I picked a random runner out of the group to follow as a sort of pacer. Ended up running with her for the first half and chatting a bit. Unfortunately, she "fell victim" to the incline, and I left her behind on the second half (i feel a bit guilty about that, but oh well). The incline got to me too - I was hot, I was tired, it was tough. I looked at my garmin and told myself I could walk when I got to 2.5 miles. Reached that point, and kept running, telling myself I could walk at 2.75 miles. When I got there, the finish line was in sight, and I wasn't about walk that close to the end! So I didn't. Crossed the finish in 31:31.

It was a small race, and Mom thinks I could've possibly placed in my age group (based on her observations and assumptions on how young/old other finishers appeared to be), but we didn't have time to hang around for the awards announcements if there were any, and I never saw any official results. Not that it matters, I was happy just to have finished pretty close to my goal time.

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