Thursday, April 16, 2009

Flashback: Tosafest Run For ALS 2003

Since there are so many moments in my running career that happened way before this blog, I think once in awhile I'm going to take some time and create some mini race reports based on things I remember or things I wrote down at the time. Somewhere I wrote an entry on diaryland or something about this race, but unfortunately that's long gone - but I think especially in light of my newfound love for the 5K, this race deserves special mention. Why? Because it was my first 5K, first road race, and first distance race EVER.

I really wish I could remember what exactly possessed me to do this race, but in all honesty I have no idea. It sounded fun? You got a t-shirt? I seriously don't know, but somehow I found myself on the starting line that warm September day. I surprisingly didn't make the faux pas of wearing my race t-shirt during the race - I vividly remember giving it to my mom after I picked up my packet. I also recall being involved in an extremely awkward conversation with my [creeptastic] 8th grade history teacher who also happened to be the middle school cross country coach, asking me when I decided to take up running. Truth was, I hadn't. I was a junior in high school, still a year out from even thinking about running any sort of distance, and I guess I was just there to have a good time. I remember my goal was to run it in under 30 minutes...gotta love that now my goal is to run a 5K under 20. How times change...

The thing that I remember impressed me the most was just the atmosphere, and its something that I still love to this day. The camaradrie and way that everyone involved, no matter how fast or slow, supported eachother and just the excitement of lining up with hundreds of other people. [Side note: that's my one major reason I love cross country over track]. The race itself...I mean...what do you really say about running a 5K on no training? It was hard. It hurt. I got passed a lot. I actually took a water cup at the 2 mile water stop [yes, it was hot out...but in a 5K? I was such a newbie.] I thought about walking but I didn't. The same feelings I get sometimes now when I race...except at a much slower pace. The course was basically an out and back on a parkway, and on the way back it dipped down under a bridge to the finish. I had been running a little ways behind this girl for awhile, and as we went down this hill I vividly remember "You're a spinter! She looks like she could be in your age group, and you could pass her! Sprint!" So I sprinted, and I did indeed pass her. I finished the race in 28:26, a 9:09 mile pace. The funniest part of it? The girl WAS in my age group. And I beat her by 3 WIN MY AGE GROUP. Let's think about this for a second - I haven't won my age group in a 5K since. But yet, with a 28:26, I won the 15-19 female AG that day. I have the paperweight to prove it (its actually pretty sweet). Moral of the story: run races when everyone who's on the high school cross country team can't. :P

I told this story to some people in the club a couple weeks ago and they thought it was hilarious! I think people who have only met me in the past couple years just assume that I've always been as much of a distance runner as I am now. But I think it makes me even more proud of my accomplishments to know that I wasn't - that once upon a time, I wrote a story called "The Mile Of Horrors", that I once ran the 5K in 28:26. And now here I am shooting for a sub-20 5K and running 50 miles a week. I guess the point is that I had noooo idea what I was beginning when I signed up for that race 6 years ago. And also that I just like to reminisce and ramble. Anyway...I still wear the shirt all the time. It's the most ridiculous shade of yellow ever and has a really awkward running person on it, but I love it all the same.

So another 5K on the track tomorrow at St Mary's...which I'm going to keep calling LaX because that's where its supposed to be. It's supposed to be like 75 out which is INSANE, and while I'd say my optimal running temp is more like 60, its still going to be a great day to PR. I will have no one to run with, seeing as the next person seeded in front of me is seeded at 19:37, but you know, I know what splits I want to run. I don't need other people to run them for me. I just need to go out, run my race, and kick some ass.

6:15. 6:29. 6:30.
I can do this.

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