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6 years later..., chasing the girl in the pink shorts.

Posted Feb 10 2009 10:58am
6 years ago I raced my first 10K, the Runners Den Classic. The weekend before I ran my first half marathon and 2 months before that I ran my first marathon. I suppose I did things a little backwards? Oh well..

Shane ran with my 6 years ago. I was a 9min miler. I finished the race in 51:35 8/10 in the 20-25 age group. Really? I ran that fast and was almost last? Jeez. A couple months later I PR'd my 10k time at the first annual Hawk Trot - 50:29. I got 2/3 in my age group...

Then things went downhill. I began a 6 year journey of injury and recovery. I raced a few more times (road races), always disappointed. I tried the Runners's Den Classic again - 53:53 26/61 25-29 age group. No, I don't remember these dates and stats... I just looked them up!

The next few years were spent doing triathlons and more injury. I lost my love for racing. Hated that feeling in my stomach, and most of all hated the disappointment of my performance.

Even after I was healthy, I was still under performing. I just couldn't do what I was cape able of in a race. Something always seemed to go wrong.... For the most part, I stopped racing. Although in the back of my mind I always dreamed of getting back to my old " PR's" - I somehow just resolved to the notion that I was just SLOW now...

During last year's Ironman training I started to feel really strong again. 3 years of HR training I was really starting to see results. My runs were getting back into the 9min pace, easy. I started to do speed work again and was sure I had never run that fast - even when I was doing consistent track workouts...

I finally broke my 2 hour half marathon mark, actually I didn't just brake it, I killed it! Maybe things were starting to come around...

I remembered when I first started running and was working out at my old corporate building with Daniel... I was still holding on to a good 10lbs after my IT band injuries.... I was strong, and in shape but the weight just wouldn't go away.

My friends Sharon and Toni, both 10+ years older than me looked AMAZING. Their bodies were fit and slim. I remember them telling me how much better their bodies responded in their 30's. Things just started working and they felt so much better.
Of course I didn't believe it and thought at 27 years old I should be looking hot, right? I suppose it's like one of those things your parents say that you don't believe....

I think I'm starting to believe. I'm 31, and I feel fantastic. Yes, things hurt and recovery is longer... but I don't have to obsess about what I put into my body so much. I also know what it can and can't do. As a result I feel like I'm turning a corner...

This year Shane & I have decided to bring the racing and hopefully speed back into our training. Of course Ironman is always in the back of our heads, and with the announcement of a possible St. George IM in 2010 those thoughts are even closer. However, we are sticking to our plan this year. Race, speed and get the love of it all back.

It all started this Sunday with my very first 10k. The Runner's Den Classic. My goal was to finally beat 50 mins. I figured it was possible, but I wasn't feeling quite as strong running as I was in November... Shane was going to be my pacer. He would get me there.

Unfortunately, Shane got sick and I was on my own. Suck it up Buttercup. Both he and Supa gave me the same advice. Go out and run as hard as you can. The pain is only temporary, and it is supposed to hurt.

That's exactly what I did... Rain, wind, clouds, cool... I sucked it up and gave it my all. My legs felt fantastic. I watched my Garmin and made sure it was always under 8min mile pace.
The rain felt amazing. It was cold, but I am so much better in the cold. I didn't let the fact that everyone started out at a 6:30 pace get to me. As soon as I looked at my watch and saw 6:28 I backed the hell off. I had one girl on my sights the whole time. She was wearing pink nike shorts. Go figure, she was my rabbit.

I hit the 5K park under 25 mins, a new PR for me. That's about where the good ol' "Runner's High" started - and it never left me! I had my music timed perfectly, 49.9 mins of music, ending with Eminem"Loose Yourself." I had a slower mile 4-5, but new I could pick it up in the last mile, so I was ok with it.

Then, 3 girls passed me. I have no idea where they came from. I had only been passed by a couple of men the whole race. I picked up the pace trying to stick with them, but they were pulling away.... They caught the girl in the pink shorts, and suddenly I was right behind them...

My last mile was about a 7:30 and I was feeling it. I never did catch those girls, but I know I gave it what I had. I finished this race with Shane and my first ever running coaches cheering me in.. It was EXACTLY what I wanted.

Shane was so proud of me. He said, now THAT is how you race. THAT is what it should feel like... We waited around for a few minutes and decided to look at the results. In my head I figured those girls that passed me at the end were most likely the top 3 in my age group.... That is the one thing about run races vs Triathlon. No ages on your calf. I supposed that could be good and bad...

My time wasn't up yet, but we decided to wait - the results were through about 45 mins and there was no one in my age group yet...

Sure enough, they posted the next page and I was there. 1/8, with the 2 nd place girl only 20seconds behind me. I bet it was the girl in the pink shorts :-)

We stuck around and got my award. A medal, for BUB. I was so happy. I finally got it back. I can't wait for the next few races and year of fun. NO 7 hour bike rides and slow, slow, slow times. I'm ready to push, bring back the love of racing and then carry it over to a new year, and possibly a new Ironman:-)

The final results - 1/22 30-34 19/142 women - 48:53, 7:53 pace, 24:21 5k split.

Best of all, a medal for Bubba. He did my speed and tempo runs with me, and made me push it :-) It is his medal, and he wears it proud.
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