Race 3 — 12 k okay

Too lazy to write about anything else and haven’t carved the time to stay emotionally in touch with much of anything. Just go go go. Argh. And, well, these races are highlights in my life right now. Plus, sometimes reporting on such details of one’s life keeps from getting mired in emotional mud that no one wants to read about anyway.

Anyhow, last Sunday was the Cedar 12 k road race. This took place after a day of moving furniture up and down and around such that I was convinced that I would be sore and impossibly tired for the race. plus I ate a ton of hot, spicy thai food the night before the race to really prep my stomach for a hard workout.

I woke up late and hopped in the van for the trip up island soon realizing that I would get to the race just a few minutes before the start with only enough time for a 5 minute warm up. Ugh. Scattered and worried that I wouldn’t get my registration I threw my race clothes on and trotted to the registration desk just as it was closing. My number was 19. These low numbers make people think you are a fast runner because the elites get their numbers in the single digits and low teens. Hmmmm.

So, I hustled to the start line, found Fiona and said hi and then it was off to the races. And, because I wasn’t together, I sprinted off the line running my first couple of kms 20 seconds faster than normal. I eventually settled with the thought that I may as well give it. What’s the worst that could happen? Would it be so bad if I crashed and wound up limping across the line in last place? Have I ever really pushed myself to my absolute limit while running? Would I even know what that felt like? So, I kept up the pace at a steady 4:20 per km or so. Not even close to competitive in the larger scope of the race, but fast for me.

At the halfway point I made the turn to see my competitor from the last race a little bit behind me. I also realized that I was running with a group who were well finished when I crossed the line at the last race. That was inspiring and made me wonder if I couldn’t gain on them or pass them on the hills at the end of the course. This run features some fairly short but steep hills and, as an out and back, we got the preview of the steepest hill on the way out as a downhill. So, the way back it looked like a wall especially at km 9 of the race. On this race, I felt like I had a deeper well of energy than normal despite all the furniture moving, which I tapped on those climbs and made my way around several racers as I did. On the last kilometer I came up on someone who I thought was in my age group, so I made sure to pass him as well.

So, in the end I crossed in 54 minutes 30 seconds. I hung out until Fiona crossed a very short time later and caught up with some other friends before bolting away to meet Liz at Jordan River for a camp out and a surf. I came home on Monday to find out that I landed 8th in my age group and was 111th overall in a field of 450 or so. So, I can’t view the previous race’s tenth as a fluke any longer. Fiona continued her string of ribbons with a 7th place finish in her group.

Fun! Pointless accomplishment, but a good time and I still get a buzz at the start of each race. Next it’s back to an 8 km race then a 5 k and then the half marathon way up island. Yee haw. I now have a pre race ritual which will involve moving cinder blocks and eating hot, salty, spicy food the night before.

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