John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." NIV

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shaved 17 minutes off of my time

This morning I raced the Germantown 5-miler. It was a gorgeous cool morning... but the wind seemed bad. I had debated whether or not I should wear my jacket; but after my friend ran the 1k with her children and said she was hot, I opted to leave my coat with my hubby.

I was nervous for this race. I think I put more pressure on myself. I hardly slept, was up at 5:45 for no reason, and was so nervous riding to the race.

Last year I ran the Germantown 5-miler as a part of the Gazette Healthy Challenge. It was our first challenge and I kept thinking, "Why on earth would they make 10 over weight people run (walk) 5 miles?" Well, most of my teammates had never raced before. Of course, I had and knew that 5 miles was a long time for all of my fat to jiggle.

So the only pressure I put on myself was to beat my time from last year: 1:02:32. How couldn't I beat that time? Here I am before the start of the race. I am still deciding on whether to wear my coat... but I decided not too. Right before I was heading to the line, my husband says, "See you in 45 minutes!" I was like... do not pressure me.

As the announcer tried to rally us on the start line... no one was moving up front. COME ON PEOPLE: if you are fast... move up. Why on earth do you want to start at the back and have to pass hundreds of people... does that make you feel better? Maybe it was because we all had chips... but still. If you are fast, go to the front! So here I was, with a mile time of 9:30 near the front of the line. It was CRAZY! I started talking to some women around me who were going to run even slower... and agreed with me, "Why are the fast people behind us?" I met one women named Mary and she said that she was planning to walk/run the race but wanted to do it under and hour. I knew that most of the race we back-tracked, so I quickly sized her up (so I could recognize her along the race) and was ready to go.

I tried not to start too fast. As Lola beeped at mile 1, it read 7:58. Woah Nelly... "slow down, Jen" I said to myself. As we were back tracking, I spotted Mary running strong and yelled, "Looking good, Mary!" She smiled and waved.

I have to take a break to explain myself. I am one of those runners who says, "good job" to people as they pass me. Or I say, "looking, strong!" Or something encouraging. I know some people do not like it, but I love encouragement during races, thus I hand it out loosely!

Mile two we wrapped back by the start line and I got to spot my family. Instead of being thrilled to see them, I was thinking, "Why is Lyle over there trying to take a picture of me?" He was way far away and could have been right next to me.  Here is his shot. Can you see me? Barely... running up to the first water station - which surprised me that there was a water station at mile 2 for a 5 mile race. I declined the water and kept running. Lola beeped: 8:23 and I said to myself again, "SLOOOOOW down!"
Mile 3 and 4 were boring. There was this one annoying young girl running in soccer clothes and stomping. She would pass me then I passed her. Thankfully at mile 4 I lost her because her stomping was annoying me. Lola beeped 9:12 - better! I did see Mary again at a wrap around point and yelled, "You can do it... half way there!" She smiled... but I could tell she was getting tired.

At the 3.5 mile mark we passed a police officer stopping traffic and he yelled, "Great job... the easiest part of the course is coming up." I was thinking easy... and then I saw it. It was a 1/2 mile hill. I hate long hills. Give me a really steep hill and I am fine... but long ones just stink. Good thing I have lots of practice with these hills in my neighborhood. I trudged along and when mile 4 beeped, it read: 9:45. Not bad I thought - still can make it under 50 minutes.

But then the worst thing in the world happened. After I had run .3 of mile four, I passed a 4 mile marker. What? Are you kidding me? Is something wrong with Lola? I was mentally devastated. I had started to pick it up at mile 4... but it wasn't really mile 4 according to the race. I decided to just focus on the run... now I knew for sure it was only a mile. I tried to run fast.... but my heart was just devastated.

As I approached the finish line, someone yelled, "It is all down hill past the porta-potties to the finish line." I could see the potties but not the finish line. I started to increase my stride. I saw a teenager in front of me... he was my target. I was reaching far with my strides that even the announcer commented... and I realized I had to quit the long strides and sprint in if I was going to beat him.

And I DID!!!!!! According to them, 5 miles in 45:58. According to Lola, 5.3 miles in 46:14.

I would love to show you a picture of me crossing the finish line... but my husband did not take one. And there were no photographers as it was a low key race. I even raised my hands like they love at the finish line. Oh, well... I may have to start hiring a professional photographers to follow me at races so I can have better pictures to post on my blog.

I looked at the time clock and it read: 57:14. Where was Mary, I thought? I decided to walk back and see if I could see her. I spotted her and said: "Come on Mary... you are almost there, you can do it under an hour! Now pick it up... give it all you got!" And she did. Her final time: 58:37. Way to go Mary!

As we walked back to our car, Brock (5.5 year old) said, "It is okay you didn't get 1st place."

I said, "Mommy will never get first place!"

And he said, "In the Gazette Healthy Challenge, you got first place!"

And I said, "Yes! Yes I did!!!"
Hope you all had great races today and if you are racing tomorrow, I will be praying for a healthy, injury free race and a photographer to get your finish line picture!

26 comments:

misszippy said...

Wow--that's an amazing improvement over last year! Way to go!!

I hate when the mile markers are off, as yours were, but it unfortunately seems to happen kind of frequently.

saundra said...

Congrats, Jen!!! Very impressive!

Marlene said...

Congratulations! What a huge improvement!! And I think it's awesome that you offer support to the other runners. Some people may not like it, but I'm sure you make a positive impact on many.

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

great great job! That was a great rcap and a wonderful race!

Lisa said...

Wow. That' a HUGE improvement. Well done!

Carly said...

Great Job!!!!!! That is a massive improvement.

Melissa said...

Great job!! Love what Brock said, cute!

Barefoot AngieB said...

What an improvement!! Good for you girl!!

Julie (ROJ) said...

WOW that's a great story I'm soooo happy for you!

TMB @ RACING WITH BABES said...

Congrats on the huge PR Jen!

MomRunningFromCancer said...

What a great race - I would love to see 45 for 5 miles. Heck - I would love to be running 5 miles. ;-)

ajh said...

Great job!

Julie said...

Woo hoo!! Nothing like a PR:) You did awesome Jen!

Laurie said...

Great PR and great report too! Way to go.

lindsay said...

congrats on the huge pr!! great racing. love brocks comment - good thing he is there to remind you :)

Lauren said...

Great job! Wowwwwww!

The Happy Runner said...

Way to go! THat's a major PR!!!

Jon Gilchrist said...

LOL @ professional photographer....great job at your incredible effort!!

Michelle said...

Great job on the PR! Awesomeness!

Heather said...

Great. And that is a great new picture. You look awesome!!

momof3 said...

that's awesome! I'm so proud of you. That is a kick a** 5 mile time!

Mile Posts by Dorothy Beal said...

Congrats on your PR!

Suzy said...

Congratulations on the PR!!! You smashed your old time and you did great.

MCM Mama said...

Woohoo! Great job and congrats on the PR!

ShirleyPerly said...

CONGRATS on your race, Jen!

And FWIW, my hubby has improved dramatically in taking race photos of me. I think experience and some hints on where you want him to be and what you want him to capture (say, the start, finish or whatever) will help. If he rides a bike too, that's also a great way for him to get around the course to see you more during a race.

lilmeg said...

This post gave me goosebumps!!!!

And holy hot pic of you in the sidebar! :)