Saturday, May 05, 2007

Race report - Sharon Classic

Unbelievable! What a great day! It started out frazzled - getting the kids up and out for some reason was more of a battle than I ever imagined - both were just plain ornery about getting ready. It's only a walk around the corner from our house to the town green so we weren't really late, but by the time we got our race packets - it took them a minute or two to find them- the kids were begging to go in the bouncy house, I had to pee already, and I was feeling grouchy and snappish. Then both girls decided they didn't want to run in their respective races - the fun run and the 1-mile race. I'm not sure what their anxiety is about - what they're afraid of, exactly. My little one had even practiced on the course (as this had happened last year already) but she said, "I didn' t know there would be a lot of people here." The older one just felt uncertain - she didn't understand where the course would go, and I think for her it's partly worrying about not doing well compared ot others. (Every time I talk to her about my triathlon, she says "I hope you win, mommy" and doesn't seem to get that winning is really not the point!)

Anyway, once all that was over and I'd made a trip to the port-o-potties, I was ready to concentrate on my race.

Many friends were there – my mentor, Triathlon Goddess Tina (redhead in the blue top in the picture), and Trish, one of many who have inspired and encouraged me in this quest. My new friend Jennie, who finished fifth among the women, 7 minute miles - AWESOME! A few of our local movie stars, lots of kids – and some serious athletes, of course. I decided not to bring my camera along for the run itself, but if you want to get an idea of the course, check out last year’s post from when I was just walking. (It has my “before” picture, too!)

I started out feeling quite comfortable – a few knee twinges didn’t last (I’d gone back to my old shoes) and did the first mile in an amazing (for me) 10:46. I was running right along with a 60 year old woman, an even older man (turns out he was 78!), and a woman with pure white hair who was at least that age, but who was wearing a NYC Marathon shirt. A friend who was running with her kids was nearby, and they kept sprinting ahead, then stopping to walk right in front of me – it was a bit distracting, but they fell back after a while.

The second mile is usually faster, because it’s downhill, but for some reason I could only manage about 11:20. But still I was running all the way, aches and pains under control, and I had time to enjoy the gorgeous fields along West Woods Road #1 – the smell of the dandelions was particularly sweet! (It was sunny and in the low 60’s – perfect!) (By the way, the man on the right with the very good legs is my husband Fred.)

Mile 3 is really hard – it has a steep uphill, and I walked for a short time there (shorter than I had before. I always struggle at that point in the race – I was tired, I was running alone (the 60 year olds had basically left me behind!) and twinges started to turn into aches, especially my left Achilles tendon. My time was pretty slow – well over 12. I walked a few more times, and was starting to lose my optimism. But I tried to remind myself that I’ve trained well for this, my legs are strong, and that I’ve run this course before and know I can do it. And somehow, I kept going. When I was really losing steam just before the 4 mile mark I ate the packet of Gu I'd been carrying (in my bra!) and gulped two cups of water. Whether it was the carb boost or just adrenaline as I closed into the end, I did start feeling better, especially as I crossed past the clock tower and little children I know started cheering, hi fiving and yelling my name! It was more thrilling than I expected - soon I saw my own little children and felt a tremendous burst of energy to get to the finish line - in 1:01 (and change) - my dream time (that I didn't really expect to make) was 1:00 flat, so I was delighted. I finished 101st out of 110 official finishers - not last! By the way, a few places behind me was an inspirational woman, Cathleen Cordova, who was in a catastrophic riding accident a year ago, was in a coma for weeks, in the hospital for months - and now was able to run 5 miles in just over an hour. Now THAT is grit and determination!

Back at the green, I had time to stroll around and enjoy the snacks, the booths – Audubon brought an owl and someone was selling beautiful flowers. There was a silent auction and I bid on my friend Colleen’s painting (but got into a bidding war with another friend and she won!) My photograph from my photoblog (Fields of Gold) was won by one of our local movie stars (COOL!) I finally got a massage, too – great feeling!

So now, I’m icing my Achilles, about to jump in the shower and head up to Millerton for our huge event – the big annual benefit for the community center.. I feel pretty good but I imagine I’m going to be a blithering moron by about 8:00 tonight! (Someone else better count the money after the event!)

You can see the official race results here - my name in lights!

So…tomorrow I will begin to focus on my real goal – the triathlon, four weeks from today! But for today I will bask in my accomplishment – I did something today that I thought I could never do! And yes, that's me, in the pink, below - feeling pretty proud!


Hawk said...

Awesome, Jenny! I am so proud of you. Congratulations. Hope all body parts are feelig better. You are inspiring me to get my running going. Great job, girl.

KrissyGo! said...

Congrats! Congrats! Sounds like you had an AWESOME day!