My second race report! (Really?)
So, I did Race for the Cure and was so proud of myself, I immediately started considering doing another one. On Twitter, I mentioned this:
Almost as a dare, not to the others, but to myself. And wouldn’t you know it, they bit! Over the last month, we quickly organizes a logo (thanks BFF!), a Facebook group, and a plan for our team — made up of basically people who know each other best via Twitter. A week before our race, I even ran with Diana, which was also the first time I’d met her in real life! And only about ten days ago, after hearing they’d be headed this way from southern Maine, I told a friend to join us (Dave’s middle/high school best friend’s wife just did her first 5k two weeks ago!) and we ended up with a team of six. One had to bail due to illness, so today it was five strong women meeting in Waterville for a good cause — for me, Tami, and Bev, it was our second race ever. For Tanya, it was her zillionth race — but her first in more than 8 years. For Diana, it was her very first 5k!
Last night I put together the goodie bags for the car ride, healthy snacks and bottles of water and bananas for the drive, and I put all the things I’d need in the tote bag so I wouldn’t forget it, made sure my iphone was charged, and ate a small bowl of oatmeal and had a small cup of coffee. Diana and Bev showed up at the same time, just before 8, and we picked up Tanya down the road a piece, and we were off!
Picking up our info was easy, and it was great to have Tami there with Aaron, who was deemed team manager and given all our stuff to hold, and told to take pictures. We had to walk to the starting line, and it was timed, but not chip timed so they basically said “go!” and we went.
The first part I walked while I started my app and got it secured in my SPIbelt, and then I started to run. I caught up with Diana and we were at the same pace for a while and then I inched ahead. My goal was to A) have fun, B) finish, and C) do my best while listening to my body. I should have started out slower, my shins started to hurt, so I alternated running and walking (which was my plan anyway — I am nowhere NEAR being able to RUN the whole thing!) and my app would tell me every 5 minutes how I was doing. I’d also made a playlist to help me — so instead of timing intervals, I’d measure them out, like “I will run until I get to that street/telephone pole/crack in the road” or “I will run til the end of this song” and that helped. The course was a downhill that then cut across and headed alongside the city soccer fields, and that was a highlight — while there were Colby cross country team members directing people, by the time they saw the “penguins,” they were sort of bored and yawning out a “good job!” as people went by. (They were very nice, but not at all impressed by ME! A super geek/non athlete/wrong-side of 35 MOM shuffling by!) But at the soccer fields, there were some passionate little kids, probably 8-10 years old, Hardy Girls, I’m sure, who were lined up on the sidewalk giving us high fives as we ran by, so excited to be seeing RACERS, that it was totally inspiring. To those Hardy Girls, this was a BIG DEAL! And it was great.
After the soccer fields, I thought “hmm, I remember there being a hill when I street viewed the course” (because HELLO, we are the geek girls, of COURSE we streetviewed the course!) so maybe this is it?”… and then I saw The Hill, which reminded me of 14th St Extension here in Bangor, only maybe longer. I knew I’d be walking up that mother. So I did, I walked as fast as I could up the hill, and in the distance, I could see my teammates! Cheering and waving, and it was SO FRIGGING GREAT. They pointed me to the finish lane, and that was after the hill flattened out, so I ran across the finish and beat my Komen time by 2:33! My teammates who finished first had gotten us all water bottles (I was really hoping for a water stop on the course!) and it was very welcome, I pounded some water and then we went and waited for Diana to come in, and she did 2 minutes better than our (much flatter) personal 5k we’d done the week before! It was awesome to have cheerleaders, and to cheer someone on.
At Komen, I had just had Dave drop me off and I did the thing all by myself and then had to wait for him to come find me to take me home. I had no cheering section, no team, no one to hand me water and say “yay!” and having a team this time was so, so awesome. And truly, our common thread, aside from wanting to be healthier and fitter and believing in the Hardy Girls, Healthy Women org, is that we are Twitter friends. (The Internet Is Real Life!)
And now we are looking at the Turkey Trot, in November! I kind of love the challenge of racing against myself — I was 15/15 for my division, but I improved on my own time, on a (I think, with that ending hill) harder course, and I love imagining what these races could look like next year, once I learn to run the whole thing!
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