Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Anatomy of a 5K

I have been plagued as of late with a list of excuses as to why I have trouble finding time to run. "I'm too tired", "It's too hot!", "My foot hurts", and so on and so on. When I found the weather to be better suited for running and I had begun the vitamin regiment, I began to run again. I, who had never suffered anything more severe than falling down and scrapping my knee, suddenly was overtaken by a series of injuries! First,   hurting my hip showing off for Joe, pretending that I still was the School Yard  Jump Rope champion! The the horrible blisters on the back of my heels from wearing low riding socks, and last the slightly sprained ankle! That knocked me out for about 10 days.

Saturday morning was the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I had entered Joe any myself quite some time ago. Joe was unable to run! I could not allow the entry fee to go unused, so I think to myself, "What the heck, I've competed in a triathlon without training for it, how hard can a 5K be?"

This is how it went.

No gun sounded at the beginning of the race. Just a gentle push forward of the 1,000+ participants towards the starting line. Followed by a sudden surge and we're off! It is almost, but not quite a stampede. Walkers blend in with the runners and it is necessary to pick your way around them on the crowded street. That is the beginning. Then you have to be wary of the Yuppie Runners who are there and they can not find a baby sitter for their children. And so they have them in the strollers especially made for racing! LOOK OUT! They are usually serious runners and therefore ruthless! Do not ever allow yourself to become tripped up by one of those contraptions! It is very painful to be run over by a 50 pound five year old, who gives you the thumbs up while his parent gives the stroller a Herculean push over your knocked down body!

This race was very unusual in the fact that the miles were not marked. Therefore, no one was stationed with a stop watch barking out time splits. Actually, this was okay with me. The only thing more humiliating than being overtaken by the Gray Panther Team In Training group is having someone yell out in an incredulous voice at mile marker two, "TWENTY TWO FORTY SIX????????!!!!!!!!!!!!" At least that is what it sounds like through the blood pounding through your head. That is right before the sinus cavities collapse and then it sounds like your running underwater.

Having no idea where I was in termsof distance, I ran feeling strong. The psychological compromise that generally begins to take place around mile two did not occur. The compromise goes like this, "You have run two miles, now you should be able to walk for just a few moments! Just a few moments. Just a few moments." It's tough to overcome.   You do not want to give in because if you do it feels like quitting.

When Main Street began the curve towards Vine Street I knew the finish line was several blocks ahead. I could not believe it! I still felt strong and moving pretty steadily in a forward motion! Then I saw it finally, MILER MARKER THREE!!! Hurray! One tenth of a mile left!

I mentally prepared myself for the surge. I am really good with the surge towards the finish line. Once I see it, I can sprint towards it! Well, sprint is a subjective term. I run faster. And then it happened, the ankle began to pull.

So that was me, hopping, skipping and jumping the last little bit. I was saying, "Ouch, Dang it, Ouch" as I hobbled down Vine just in case anyone was watching me, I did not want them to think that is the way I usually run! Jesus, Mary and Joseph! Despite it all, I finished in 32 minutes and seven seconds. I am totally blown away. I told Joe I thought it was a mistake, he said, "You always say that". "Yes, but that's when they say its 36 minutes, this is 32 minutes!"

And so, I hope to run in the Race for the Cure in Louisville next month. We get to run over the Second St Bridge that spans the Ohio River. It is really exhilarating!

I'm shooting for under 30 minutes.......Now if I just train.

15 comments:

my78novata said...

Its called age. We have lots of excuses not to run LOL Lori

redhdka said...

Wow, I really admire you! Train!!!!! Wear a brace on your ankle. No more boo boos for you okay?

judithheartsong said...

woooohoooo Mary!!!!! Can we have one of your gorgeous photos again soon?

readmereadyou said...

Wow, I'm impressed. I always wonder where you runners get the desire and endurance. Always in awe.

hope5555 said...

Yay for you for supporting such a good cause! I think all runners have their excuses, I know I have mine.  That's why the Nike slogan "Just Do It" is so good.  I actually did get ran into by a stroller at a 5K a few years ago.  It caused me to twist my ankle.  I was pretty pissed.  I dislike events that mix up runners and walkers and don't have people line up at the beginning by pace.  The faster people should be near the starting line, the walkers should be in the back.  It's just safer that way, you don't have people bumping into each other trying to pass.

ksquester said...

Wow Mary, I am proud of you. Keep on running. Now, when you hear the words:  {{{{{{{{RUN FORREST, RUN}}}}}}}}} that will be the sign to hang up your shoes!   Anne

cneinhorn said...

Your first sentance sums me up to a T....you must be my alter ego.....I cannot get back into the swing of things......and that sucks!  Good luck with you.......really....keep going!
~jerseygirl
http://journals.aol.com/cneinhorn/WonderGirl

mrccgoody said...

You are so cool.  An awesome time, even hobbling the last bit, and without training!

They've really been hyping the Race for the Cure this year, I hope you get to run in it.

krobbie67 said...

Good for you! You're an inspiration! :-) ---Robbie

sonensmilinmon said...

You are AWESOME, I wonder if my ankle did that if I would've kept moving forward or wussed out.  Hopefully my mind set would've been determined enough to keep going.  

Monica

deabvt said...

Alpha, Terrific!
V

mlraminiak said...

When I read this stuff, I feel REALLY guilty that I stop going to the pool during the summer.  I admire you, Mary.  I HATE running..have always hated it.  I'm glad you're out there showing 'em that midlifers are not ALL couch potatoes!  Lisa  :-]

belfastcowboy75 said...

I have photographs of you getting into a cab at 1K and getting out at 4K, Rosie. You should've tipped the cabbie better. The negatives are gonna cost you.

kathleenggoode said...

Wow, you shaved four minutes off your usual.  Good for you, I am not confident enough to believe I am capable of that.  I would be suspicious that the course was not marked properly, but of course, I find any excuse to not accept compliments.  It sounds like you are strong all the way, which is what I admire.  I have never been to that point, never.  When I run a 5K, I am always, ALWAYS, among the very last the first half, no matter what strategy I employ.  Then, out of no where, (I am beginning to think my body is slow to warm compared to others), because by the half way point I pass up people, many people, and not just passing them but speeding by and leaving them long behind.  I have been so alone during some 5K’s during the first half, that I seriously believed I was lost.  However, I have never finished under 35 minutes.  With 32 minutes, do you place (win) in your age group? That is a great time!  Good for you, I think you are training and doing better than you give yourself credit for.

diannevan said...

I've also been plagued as of late with a list of excuses to not run.  "Don't Wanna" would top the list!  LOL  I think if I ever experienced a runner's high, I'd drop dead of a coronary.  :)