Morgana was a good race this year.
It also happened a week ago, forgive the late report, I wanted to see how the “official” pictures came out. The morning of the race, getting up was nothing eventful. I found without constant texting I am able to get ready rather quickly! I arrived at the site for registration/pickup with about 30 minutes to spare and PLENTY of parking.
I walked over to the table to grab my stuff and browsed fliers for upcoming events. As I am still on a budget anything shorter (5-10K) was passed up. Too bad this was most of what was offered. It was funny to think a few years ago every weekend was spent doing a 5K on Sat and Sun and I thought it was a killer workout.
Back at the car I sprayed myself with sunscreen and put on my shoes. Electronics were all on and ready to go since the house, so it was time to stretch, visit the bathroom and warm up. I felt important warming up since I was wearing my MARATHON Bars uniform. Like people would expect me to be GOOD. I tried to talk to a few people, but everyone was in their own little world. Also, no one there was someone I KNEW, which hasn’t happened at a race in many years.
As I trotted around the parking lot I found it was a little hard to catch my breath. Then with 8 minutes before the start…I realized I had not used my inhaler! Back to the car and a few puffs with hope it can kick in quickly. I also noted how few people were there and it made me sad. This is a very sentimental race for me and I did not like to see it not doing well.
At the starting line people smiled and chatted as the mandatory announcements were made. I checked the song placement and stretched a little more with a few jumps to test my shoes and knee. Everything seemed fine. Part of me was trying to look “in the know” because I was near a rather cute boy with a lot of cute hair in a pony tail. Yes, I am a hair girl. Hair and eyes. (Side note…at the awards I found this guy was like 19 so immediately he was no longer cute).
On your marks…get set….GO!
I pushed Garmin’s button and it read “Begin Running” I had never seen that before and it made me smile…I thought to myself…That’s exactly what I plan to do, Garmin!
Right away it seemed I was falling away from the crowd, but I noticed I also wasn’t being passed. Since I knew the route I was able to play very efficient mind games with myself. The closer we got to what I thought was mile one the more I became convinced I was crawling. It made me sad. I wouldn’t look at my watch for fear I’d give up so soon into the run. It was also confusing because my music wasn’t playing enough songs for me to be behind as much as I thought I was at that point.
The heat was really starting to take control. WHY this race doesn’t start earlier I will never know. Each year people whine about the heat (and they should)! It was comforting for me to think between the heat and my emphasis on trails there is no reason I should be good. What was I thinking?
Finally I made it to mile one, paused my Ipod and heard the man with the stopwatch call out “Eight-Forty-Two”. I shot my eyes down at my wrist to see how far off the mile I must be, and at the same time the chirp went off and the screen blinked MILE ONE: 8:42. The woman next to me says “whoa” and I practically scream “HOLY CRAP” she laughs and says she’s going to walk. I try to push it a little harder.
Around the corner and onto a slow hill, I pass a few people at this section, but know we’re all moving slowly. Thinking back to the first mile and the start it occurs to me I was actually near the front of the pack. The 4-5-6-7 minute milers were leaving me behind, but I was keeping a strong enough pace not be passed by the 9-10-11 minute milers. I see a girl in a cast and want to give her props, but I don’t want to risk puking…so I keep my mouth shut. There is NO SHADE. I made it to the entrance of the bike trail at the top of the hill and am handed water. I drink half the cup and toss the other onto my head. Next, it’s down a small hill, just enough to settle my water. I see a bridge up ahead and tell myself to kick it to the bridge. A boy is showing up next to me now and then. I don’t know if he’s trying to out run me or doesn’t want to me get too far ahead and is using me as a pacing tool. When the mile 2 sign comes into view, Garmin chirps and I’m told mile 2 is over in 9:37. Ugg what a slow down! Plus, it wasn’t even mile two on their course; I still had a few moments to reach the sign. I pass the mile two guy and do not even listen to what he says. More uphill in the heat and I’m losing the man I was eying in front of me as a pacer. Dang.
Across a street and back onto the trail I know I’m on the home stretch. Local signs along the course try to boost morale…and I try to read them. One series tells you your friends are jealous. Mine are certainly far from that. Those who are runners are out doing longer runs, or trail. Those who are not runners think I’m nuts and are probably still in bed. I am alone.
I really want to break 29 minutes…but something tells me I am not moving fast enough. As long as I break 30 I won’t be upset. At long last I made it to the turn to run down the road to the finish shoot. It seemed so long and daunting the years before. I hear someone say it is a quarter mile to the finish. I check the miles only and notice for once, they aren’t lying. They also call out at from the finish we are at 28 minutes even. Damn. Thinking back to speed-work with Lee, Gabe and Gale and few weeks ago, I KNOW I can clear a quarter mile in less than 2 minutes. I also know I can’t clear it in less than 1. My final thought is…this is gonna hurt. I throw everything I have into that last sprint. I was either going to pass out, puke, or make it right in the nick of time. A middle aged man won’t let me pass the narrow stretch leading to the shoot, even though I am clearly going faster than he is at this point…but I don’t get mean…after all, he isn’t my age group.
I enter the flagged shoot and stop my watch as it slips to 3.1. I look at the time and see 29:56. GOOD ENOUGH. I stumble into the open area and try to steady myself with water and breathing. A few people talk to me before I head back to the shoot. I stand there about 5 more minutes cheering people in. Why not? I have no one waiting.
I drink 2 chocolate milks and eat 2 peirogies and a banana. Yum. My tummy is fully extended with happiness. Not what I wanted when I heard them call my name for first place in my age! Official results reveal, there were SIX ladies in my age group. I was 1/6 sweet! I was also 52/132 over all. Really cool!
I still want to break 29. Then I’ll want to break 28 and then lower and then lower. However, those are stories for another time.