Sunday, March 30, 2008

Yesterday's Whirlwind- Part 1-The Olathe 5K

Sorry it's taken me so long to write about yesterday's race. Yesterday is now a complete blur. There was so much going on! In fact, so much happened yesterday that I'll have to split it into two posts.

We woke up at 5:45 am so I could throw on some running clothes, eat a piece of toast with peanut butter, and get on the road. Upon starting the car, I remembered I was almost out of gas, so we frantically stopped by the gas station and put a few bucks in the tank. I was so scared of being late, but I still didn't go too fast on the highway because I already got one speeding this week. Eesh.

And then, something terrible happened. I ran over a bird. I was going about 60 mph and there was no way to avoid it, but I still felt terrible about it and almost cried. This unfortunate occurrence tainted the way I was feeling about myself prior to the race.

Despite the late start, we still got there about 30 minutes early, and it was c-c-cold out. I didn't want to stand around outside and freeze, so we hung out by the packet pickup table for a bit. As I watched the other runners doing stretches and sprints around the building, I felt like I didn't belong; like a fraud, unmotivated and lazy. I didn't want to warm up or stretch. I had a goal of finishing the race in under 30 minutes, but by this point I was in "I'm a loser mode" and I seriously just wanted to go. I have to stop with the negative self-talk. It does me absolutely no good.

Don't worry- things will get better.

Around 7:25, everyone started heading outside and lining up. I jogged and jumped around a tiny bit to get my blood going, but that was really the extent of my warm-up. It was so cold, and all I just kept saying to myself, "Come on already! Let's just get this over with." Finally someone fired the gun and we were off. I was in the back, which was sort of a mistake, as I kept having to weave around people to get a better position. My next race I'll try to be somewhere in the middle.

However, passing all those people helped me snap out of my bad mood. I forgot about the bird and how cold it was, and I was just there, in the moment. Like last time, I wasn't wearing a watch, so I had no idea what my time was as I passed each mile marker. Thankfully, the course was mostly flat and easy to run. There were only a couple hills, and they were no big deal.

I spied the finish line and picked up speed. Then, I saw the clock. It said 29:30. I thought I wasn't going to make it, but I had to try. I started running with every ounce of strength I had left.

I came in at 29:42! In the picture below, look at the lower clock. The upper one is for the folks who were doing the marathon. As you can see, I was pretty stoked to make it across that finish line in under 30 minutes. I threw up my arms and I'm sure the people on the sidelines there think I'm quite insane.

Despite the rocky start to the day, I managed to set a goal and meet it. There's no greater feeling.

By this point, it was only 8:00 am, and a LOT happened after that. Read on!

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