Monday, March 14, 2016

The World Was Moving and She Was Right There With it (And She Was)

Race report! Race report! Race report! It's my first race report of the year...And since I did two races this weekend, I'll have another one tomorrow.

As I said before, I was injured all Winter and finally just was able to run a full 10K about a week ago, so I knew I wasn't going to be in any kind of shape for this race on Saturday. I have had people ask me why I race when I have no chance of being in the mix. I didn't start racing until my late 40's, after my kids were grown, but I still ran almost every day for most of my adult life and I have commuted to work by bike since my first paper route in 1976 (I didn't even know how to drive or have a license until I was 31 years old), so motivation has never been an issue for me. I love to play outside. I think the many reasons I race when I know I won't be the least bit competitive, are too many to mention. I learn so much about myself both physically and mentally when I run. It takes me out of my comfort zone and keeps me from getting in quite such a rut. I have seen so many people age and never challenge themselves and just kind of give up on their lives, and I DEFINITELY don't want to do that. Also, I meet so many great people, who love to do the things I love to do and don't call me crazy because I like to run and ride my bike...They may call me crazy for several other reasons, though....

Anyway, every year I feel like I have to relearn how to race. John and I do so many kinds of races that I have to remember the logistics of each type of race. These early season races are great for that. I like to call them my "learning from mistakes races".

Boy howdy! Did I have a lot to relearn this weekend. We got out of the house late, because we were dealing with the grand puppy.and by the time we got to downtown Des Moines, there was a 500 mile long train in our way. Luckily, our friends were in the car behind us and knew Des Moines a lot better. They told us to turn around and go a couple more blocks and we'd miss the train. We finally got to the race in time to register, use the port-o-potties, but with no time to warm-up. As I've said many times, the older a person is, the more time that person needs to warm-up before a race. For whatever reason, this time around, I don't think missing the warm-up hurt me that much. Whew! I went into the Leprechaun Chase run thinking that my goal should be that I average 10 minute miles. I wasn't feeling strong at that distance and I didn't want to reinjure myself. After the first mile, I changed it to 9.5 minute miles (which was my goal last year too) and I ended up running it with an average of 9.26 minute miles. Much better than I had hoped, but still 2 and a half minutes slower than last year. I was 8th in my age group, and I was happy with my time and my result.

Right before the race started. So much green and so many cell phones...
The first mile didn't feel too bad and the second mile was okay. By the third mile I started doing this thing that I do a lot in races, I start thinking, "I should go faster...No. I should stop and walk for a minute." How dumb is that? Why don't I ever think during a race, "I'm going at a decent speed. I should just keep this up." Why is it faster or stop with me? Anyway, I ignored my inner demons and kept it up, even at the end when my quads were screaming and people in surrounding states could hear my loud, labored breathing. There was a woman ahead of me who looked like she could be in my age group. I thought, if I pass her, I'll be one point higher up in the standings, so I went a little faster, and passed her. Then I told myself I couldn't slow down or she'd pass me back. About 200 yards from the finish line, I saw John standing on the side and telling me I was almost there. I tried to pick it up even more, but I didn't have much left. The woman never passed me back, and I checked the result later and she was only in her 40's, but I'm sure it helped give me a little inspiration at the end, while I was dying.

I crossed the finish line and felt like I could just as easily pass-out and throw-up at the same time. I am almost always like that at the end of a race. I guess it means I went as hard as I could, but it also means I had to sit down as soon as possible. We found a spot on the grassy knoll, and I melted into the grass. We got a text right away telling us our times and places in the race. Technology can be pretty cool sometimes.

It was just starting to mist and we were cooling down enough that we needed to change into dryer and less stinky clothing and then headed to El Bait Shop for the after party. The Leprechaun chase is a race against the men and the women, where the women get a 5 minute lead, and the men have the advantage of more testosterone in their system and a completely different physiology. So, the women won this year. Yea! We all got a free beer, and I made sure to ask for a non-green beer.

It was raining during the after party, but I did get to see a friend of mine from bike racing and she said she did the race and she was having some knee issues, but at least she was out there doing it, and I told her she was amazing. Sometimes, it feels like "being out there, doing it" is half the battle.

We waited out in the rain long enough for John to do his podium for getting 3rd in his age group. He ran it about 30 seconds faster than he did last year, but dropped down from second to third. Like he says, it's all about who else shows up to the race.

We FINALLY got to go eat lunch. The Mexican place we normally go to was temporarily closed so we checked out the closest place we could find to get out of the rain. That place turned out to be Court Avenue Brewing Company, It had good pub grub and we each had another beer in addition to the free beer we split at the after race party.

We headed home to the grand puppy and to take long, hot baths and get ready for the next round of racing on Sunday.


rel said...

I didn't start running 'til I was 60.
I don't run to win; only to prove I can at any age. If my time stays the same or nearly so I feel like a winner without the mental stress.
I didn't get my drivers license 'til after I was married at 21.
I have a 1/2 coming up in May. After that I think I'll trim down to 10Ks.
I still kayak, canoe and bike. No bike racing however.

Todd said...

Only in her 40's. Yup, I'm right there with ya! LOL I love it! Great race!

Tara Coady said...

Thanks, guys!