I do not enjoy competition. I like to win, but I don't like in any way to have a lot of people look at me or fuss about me because I won, so I don't gravitate towards competitive things. Kind of like the opposite of my sweet hubby. (I can't believe I just called Tom that. I would never call him "my sweet hubby" to his face. It's just a computer thing. Sort of like calling him a DH. It's maybe slightly better but also slightly less well-known, and if you have to explain the whole "Dear Husband" meaning for your shortcut, it's soon not worth it. But DH is still better than sweet hubby. The main thing I call him is Tom.) So, Tom is pretty competitive. Since he's not really competitive with me I can say he's the good kind, the kind that gets him up at 6:00 am just to try to beat another person at racquetball. And now that he's started running he's very much trying to improve as quickly as possible in speed and distance, and is very aware of how fast others run--others he talks to who run, Olympians, etc., not actual other runners around the lake. I have been running off and on since a teen and I never even sat down to figure out what a good speed was in a 5k. I've just run for the fun of it, and often for the exercise of it. Which brings me to why at 36, though I've been running all this time, I have just now completed my first* race.
I don't like pain, and the pain of pushing yourself to your absolute limit just to see how fast you are has never appealed to me. But somewhere in the beginning of this year with starting up running as a geezer I started reading up on running to avoid injuries, mostly, and along the way I got interested in things like form, pacing, heart rate numbers, etc. Also, having a treadmill really put the numbers into running. Suddenly I wasn't just running a preplanned, in my head route, I was looking at hundredth miles tick past, speed, incline, pace, time elapsed,etc., and it became natural to try to improve in terms of numbers. Now when I say "try to improve" I don't mean I've ever really gotten serious, and I'm still doing well to run 3x/week, I haven't come close to starting an actual training regimen with hills or speed work. But I like the idea which is new for me.
And to my race. I had just posted about the perimeter trail run on Monday and was getting mentally ready to start trail running more when Tom came home from racquetball on Tues. morning and told me that Vecna, the company where his racquetball buddy works, was hosting a 5K run that Saturday, and that he thought I should run it. I decided to try to do a not-quite-my-best at the lake that day to see what my race pace should be. I ended up running it in just under 27 minutes which was encouraging to me because I always just run a 10 minute mile for around an hour. I thought I'd take off a day then run again easier on Thurs. and then do the race Sat. morning. That was not taking into account the fact that I didn't really warm up or cool down after my practice race and my legs were KILLING me the rest of the week. Really beating me up, with every step! So I didn't run at all anymore. And I left Saturday to decide itself by way of how rainy it would be. Ended up just incredibly super duper humid. Too bad I was too self-conscious to wear the ultra-light running shorts Tom had bought me and I went with my thick cotton yoga capris. It was the first time I've run where I could feel the weight of them.
At the race was Vecna's owner and founder Debbie who did Joyschool with me and Thomas. I hate her. She was wearing her 4th baby who was just 2 months old and looking like a total model girl. She's really nice, but I sure hated her when I realized she was not wearing a number to do the 2.4 mile walk, but that she was going to run. She's awesome. I'm sad they had to move to Boston to start up another Vecna site. Anyway, the run was all official with clips for our shoes to track our time. I started out running by Dana Bearman and her daughter Emma, Debbie Theobold and Allison Watson, but knew I didn't want to just be chatting like I had been in the Watermelon Run with Dad this summer. So I soon just went a little bit ahead of them to not be listening to Debbie chat with her sister (yes, SHE could chat, I had no breath for it, see why I have to hate her!) and figuring that they'd just pass me later. Surprisingly they didn't, I don't think any of them were taking it very seriously. As for me, I was going for my best under the sore-legs, haven't-trained circumstances. My favorite part of the run was seeing my sweet family surprise me at the half-way point at Lake Artemesia. That gave me a little boost. I enjoyed the run, and my only regret was that I didn't stay focused very well, there were many times that I realized I was not even thinking about my running, but was off in la-la land and probably not running as fast as I should, and then I hadn't realized that they were moving the starting rug (that clocks your time in the shoe clip) up closer, because that whole area was around many curves so I couldn't visually see the right time to put in the final kick. So I ended up cranking it up way too late and I missed my practice time by 20 minutes. So it took me 27:21 which is a pace of 8:49. I have to be happy. It was better than I'd've guessed a week earlier, if you'd asked, yet gives me plenty of chances to get PR's in pretty much every 5K I run for the next couple years! For the record I was 59th out of 102 and 2nd female in the 30-39 age group. When I talked to my mom after she'd talked to Tom she said "congratulations on winning!" and I told her how it really was she said "Leave it to Tom to figure out how you're a winner!" (I guess he'd said I was first in my age group or something, which is true if you mean women 35-39!!)
2 years ago