I did not wet myself or barf, so that's good.
I did suck some serious wind, though, and running in the horrible conditions of New Year's Day triggered a sinus infection.
But I won the race for women, and that's what counts, right?
This was a really small, low-key neighborhood type race. I'd estimate maybe 100 came out to run it. The timing was done by stop watch, and the course was closer to 3 miles than a 5K. Still, of course I had fun. I love to race. I love to race especially when there's a chance I might win.
A bunch of my teammates from GNRC came out to run the race. I warmed up for 20 minutes with my friend Maria. It was both good and bad that we got out there before the start. It was good in that I knew what was coming. It was bad in that I knew what was coming. It was about 5 degrees. It was windy. It was bitter. There was snow thickly covering the roads, and literally no traction was possible. It was, ummm, not a great day to race. Or maybe it was. I suppose it depends on how one views it....
In my mind it was a great day to race. Every day is a great day to race.
The start was extremely informal. We lined up, the director said, GO! and we were off. I went out fast. I knew there was traction for the first mile or so, and I figured I should take advantage of it while I had the chance. For about 10 seconds I even led the race. This was a first for me. I had a moment of panic realizing if I led, I'd have to know where to go. Then some guy passed me. Worry gone! voila!
The first mile I was quite fast, but I don't know how fast because there were no mile markers. There may have been markers at some point, but they were either buried in snow or blown away. I didn't have my Garmin on because I had stupidly left it in Maine the week before. I did receive it via UPS on Friday--. oh well. Anyway, I bet my first mile was under 6:30 pace. Then things got ugly. The last mile and a half of the race was pure torture. We hit the snow--deep enough so that you couldn't get your footing--and trudged on. I bet my pace slowed to nine minutes miles, if that. I simply couldn't run fast! It was like running on the beach--only with 5 degrees temps. By this point at least ten guys had passed me, including my teammates Tom and Michael, but a woman had yet to track me down. It occurred to me. I could win it.
I tried to push. I turned a corner and peered back to see if I could spot any female competitors. I saw Maria's tell-tale yellow jacket. How far was she behind me? fifteen seconds? twenty?
I did my best to hammer the last 1/4 mile. Basically I just violently sucked wind and spun my wheels. And then it was done. I was the first female! Yeah! Maria came zipping in behind me, only about 15 seconds behind. A little while later my friend Melissa came in. Our club took the top three spots for females! I placed 14th overall.
My time was only a 22:20--and I know it wasn't even a 5k. The winning time was only a 20:20, though, so I didn't feel too terrible about the pace. Later my friend Tom told me that the man who won it had gone under 19 the week before in a 5k. So our times were off by at least 1:30. A 22:20 is slow, but a sub 21 I'd take for sure.
We hung around in Tom's Tavern after the race eating the pub breakfast and waiting for awards. It was fun.
Good to start the year with a win.
Good to start the year feeling strong.
Good to start the year knowing that I can take it. I can take the cold, I can take the heat, I can take what life hurls at me, or what I hurl at life. I can and I will.
I followed up the race by doing a tough bike workout the next day with squats and lunges and jumps interspersed. It was a Jen special. I had no idea how much I'd pay.
I cannot walk.
I have never had such a sore ass in my life. really.
My next race is a 15k in a few weeks. I'm not ready in terms of mileage, but I'm ready in my heart.
Life is short.
I'm not young. But I'm not too old yet.
I want to run hard.