So, I didn't want to do this 5k.
I didn't have a very good evening last night. After behaving itself for months, my IBS flared up—while I was on a walk, about 1.5 miles away from home. Let's just say the result wasn't pretty and leave it at that.
I'd also read that the course of this race took the runners south of town, and I know those hills, dear gods, I know those hills. 5k them? I don't even think I could walk them! They're pretty, and go through lovely scenery, but for IL, they're pretty brutal. My hat goes off to those who were determined to meet the challenge. I'm not there. I may never be there. I'm certainly not there today.
So, I didn't want to do this 5k, and I whined about it.
The morning dawned lovely and sunny as only a Midwest spring morning can. My IBS had calmed down, and I thought, 'I've paid for the damned thing so get out there and do it.' Besides, this is one of the few local races where every finisher gets the medal. I want the bling.
Found the stadium. Parked easily. Filled my Sparkle Skirt pockets with the necessities. Went to the loo. Twice. Made my way to the starting line.
I want to thank Lady-in-the-Yellow-Tee-Shirt for helping me set my pace for the first half of the race. You have to remember that I'm only just starting this adventure. Anything under a 17 minute 32 second mile is gravy for me. My goodness that woman could walk fast. I'd run an interval and catch up with her, then she'd pass me. I'd run another interval and catch up with her, then she'd pass me again.
By this time, My Sparkle Skirt was threatening to creep down to my hips. I don't think I'd pulled up the compression shorts high enough the last time I went to pee. I stuck my bottle of water into my mouth, gave it a good yank, and promised myself to investigate either a lock lace or a nip tuck when I got home. Meanwhile. Lady-in-the-Yellow-Tee-Shirt was ahead of me again. Time for another running interval.
Then I heard my Runkeeper 'coach.' 'Average pace, 15 minutes 51 seconds.' Wait, WHAT??! Had I not been running I think I'd have fainted right then and there. Remember, this is the gal who was fighting to get under a 17 minute mile. The pavement leveled out and then dipped a bit. Another running interval downhill (yes, that was probably cheating).
My Sparkle Skirt is staying in place now, and Lady-in-the-Yellow-Tee-Shirt was nowhere to be seen. I passed mile 2. 'Average pace, 15 minutes, 32 seconds. You're doing good. I think you're doing good.' Thanks Runkeeper! Can I sustain this until the finish line?
'Average pace, 16 minutes, 11 seconds.' Lady-in-the-Yellow-Tee-Shirt wasn't there to motivate me.! Then I heard it. 'Click, click, click, click.' A sly glance to my left and there was 'Tall-Dude-with-a-Pedometer' coming up behind me. I tried to match his walking gait, but he was like a foot taller than I am and it was impossible for me to do so. I did the only thing I could. I ran an interval.
We're circling the lake by this time, and the university band is playing 'Crazy Train' from the pavilion nearby. Sweat is running between my butt cheeks. Where the hell is the finish line? 'Click, click, click, click.' Quick interval—or rather, slow but brief interval. Just enough to get me ahead of 'Tall-Dude-with-a-Ped.' Round the corner, head for the trees. Thank gods, some shade!
'Click, click, click, click.' I wondered if this was what one of the zombie runs was like?! You know, you get ahead of them but they just keep coming! Brief interval of running. I'm really ready for this thing to be over, now, and Tall-Dude-with-a-Ped is right next to me. We've got less than half a mile to go.
I smiled at my adversary. "I have been trying so hard to stay ahead of you, but I think I'm going to have to resign!" He smiled at me, "Thanks for keeping me going. Catching you has been my motivation this last mile."
I laughed, "Oh, those are fighting words!" These tired achy legs found 20 seconds of running and I got ahead of him. 'Click, click, click, click,' Ran a bit more. 'Click, click, click, click,' Found a few more running steps. 'Click, click, click, click,' we round a corner and there's the finish line! "Come on," I said, "Strong finish. We can do this!"
We were neck and neck coming down the home straight, but I wanted a good finish. I've never been interested in a 'good' race photo before—I've never been interested in checking them out, even—but this time, Sparkle Skirt finally behaving and knowing I had performed better than ever this race, I want a photo. I ran ahead of Tall-Dude-with-a-Ped and crossed the line smiling. The helpers gave me my medal and I turned and waited for him to get his, then gave him a hug. "Thanks for the inspiration, I hope you have a great day."
I'm still waiting to check my official time (which is going to be a bit faster than my Runkeeper because I forgot to stop the danged thing until after the medals and the water and the hugs), and maybe—just maybe—I broke a 16 minute mile. In the meantime, though. I did it. I did not want to do this 5k, but I did it, and I feel like wuss for not wanting to do it. Now, when is the next one, again?
(PS: Yes, it's 'that' shirt again. It's beginning to fit a bit differently, right?!)
PPS: Check out that chip time. I blasted nearly 7 minutes off my previous PR and I knocked over two and a half minutes off my average pace. Yeah, it's a runner thing. OMG. I just admitted I was a runner!!