Friday, November 11, 2011

Race For A Soldier

Sunday morning of the race, I woke up with tight, fatigued legs and a stiff back.  I was elated!  There were no blisters, chafing, or injuries!  

My Half-Fanatic shirt on over a thermal long-sleeved shirt was necessary with a cold morning anticipated.  I topped my head with a ball cap and knit hat to keep my ears warm, along with gloves to keep my fingers from freezing.  The road leading to the designated parking was backed up and when I finally reached the turn, I was told the lot was full and to park in the further lot.  

After a 3/4-1 mile walk to the start, I was anxious to find Marie Zornes who had graciously agreed to pick up my race bag.  After I walked around the crowded registration area, I decided to head to the porta-potties and there found Marie!  Yay!  The line was long and it gave me time to get my race bib and chip on while catching up with Marie, Kristen and Betsy.  

"What's your goal?" I had been asked.  I laughed that just finishing would be good today.  It would be nice to finish under 2 hours.  Betsy's husband, Matt, was leading the 1:50 pace group and I lined up near his group in anticipation of trying to keep up with them.  

My concern was how stiff my back was feeling.  I've had some issues with low back pain associated with my discs getting squished (the technical term).  The first mile was a test-run to see how my body would respond.  I kept in front of the 1:50 group and after starting with some tightness in my legs and back, I quickly loosened up and felt my stride open.  I hit the first mile in 7:33!  

The 1:40 group was within striking distance and I was excited to see how my body would respond to the faster pace after yesterday's 50k.  I could see Bob Martin and Peter Stackpoole leading the 1:40 group and I was anxious to give them a hard time as I passed them.  If I could pass them.  What was I thinking trying to run this fast after yesterday?

7:32 for mile 2 and after passing the 1:40 group, I went through mile 3 in 7:03 and wondered how I would be punished for that feat.  I held my lead over the group for a short time and was soon overtaken by the group.  The hills started in the late 3rd and 4th miles, slowing my time down to 8:15 for the 5th and slowest mile of the day.

As we ran through the Canterwood neighborhood, I wondered how anyone could afford such luxurious homes aka estates.  Mile nine was Kyle Farr's mile, and I touched the picture as I ran by and said a little prayer for his family and military members.  

This part of the course had moderately rolling hills and finished with a flat 13th mile.  I gave everything I had in that last mile and as I caught up to another guy, I challenged him to a race to the finish.  He kept up with me for about a tenth of a mile and faded behind me.  As I rounded the last corner, I saw the 1:40 group finishing just in front of me.  The clock read 1:40!  That's within 9 minutes of my best time!  

After stumbling through the finish line, the reality of both races settled into my legs.  I walked around and visited booths, consumed some much-appreciated hot coffee and found out I had taken 5th in the master's division.  I was the 13th female out of 517, and 70th out of 936 total.  

The race was well-organized and had a huge turnout for a first run.  Congratulations to the event organizers, race director and one mom who is determined to make a difference in other's lives.  

Kyle's Mile

bib number:355
location:Port Orchard, WA
overall place:70 out of 936
division place:1
gender place:13