Thursday, October 15, 2009

3-2-1 Bowman Cup!

No, that is not my student identificaiton number or the steps for some type of nursing process or assessment. That was my BIB number, because I did indeed get to run a race!

The semester is at the halfway mark and I am already ready for a break. I think I have about 3 brain cells and they are constantly arguing about whose turn it is to memorize the new information I am trying to learn, each claiming they are overworked and underpaid. Saturday, I decided they needed a break.

My partner at class is an athletic trainer from NCST and he mentioned that KSU was having their annual 5k on the October 10th and it was only $8 for students! Short and cheap and right across the street from the building I have all my classes in. Sweet! I told him I was in and after the race I would bring my regular clothes to shower and study assessments after, if needed.

I got to the race and the sun was actually out for the first time in weeks. It was a nice sign. The race normally had 100-200 participants. This year there was 300-400 and it wasn't chipped, so after a 2.5 mile warm-up I found my partner and wished him luck. He was way in the back, so I told him I was going to move up a little bit, so I didn't lose too much time getting to the start line. Too late, the horn sounded and I started behind, like usual. It never fails, Philly, Lighthouse Tri need I go on?

I weaved my way around people and started up the incline that cover the first quarter mile of the course. I felt pretty relaxed, which is how I normally feel and then at about 1.5 miles in a 5k my body goes "hey, you, what are you doing? this hurts, you went out too fast, slow the f^ck down!!!" I could see quite a sea of people in front of me. Runners were in the right lane, so I ran as close to the center line to give myself a better vantage point of what was to come and to give me clearance so I didn't have to run around anybody. I was in a pack with about 5 girls for the first mile, 3 a little ahead and 2 right next to me. I was very cognizant of their breathing and form and felt confident that I would eventually shake all but one of them. When we got to the first timer she called out 6:35. I had run out to the 2000 meter mark and back, so I knew she was short. I split my watch at 1 mile and it was actually 6:45. I felt this time was indicative of some lung burning-stomach cramping-I might sh*t my pants any second if I don't stop kind of pain yet to come.

There was a lot of flat and downhill after the first quarter mile and at just a little over the 2000 meter mark I had managed to shake all but one girl. My goal had been to finish top 10 for the women, but not having any real speed or power like so many of my friends, it seemed I was going to have to settle for a time that wouldn't completely bum me out. I had run just barely under 23 in my triathlons for 5k's so I assumed sub-23, without having to swim or bike beforehand was completely do-able.

The aid station was supposedly at the 1.55 mile marker, but there was only one person working it, so I skipped it. Other than slowing me down and diverting my focus from the race how was the water really going to benefit me in 50 degree weather for a 5k?

Found the second timer, assumed he was the "2 mile timer" until he called out 12:37. No way in hell I ran a 6:02 second mile. This one was apparently off too. I had not run this far out though and was uncertain of my second mile or where the actual mile marker was.

I made a hard right and all of a sudden the course became ten times harder. It was a nasty false flat. My legs instantly became dead weight. Oh boy, there's that feeling I was waiting for. The incline slowed me, but not as much as those around me and I was able to pass a few people. We ran across 2 wooden bridges that were wet and a tad slippery. There was one guy that I noticed running next to me and I was losing ground on him. I tried to stay with him, but it was difficult. My stomach began to hurt and I felt like I was about 2 minutes from doing "Hiroshima" in my shorts!! Less than 1000 meters to go and more uphill. MOTHERTRUCKER!!!!!!!!!!

I knew if I didn't fall or mess my shorts it was decidedly so that I would PR in the 5k that day. As I reflect now, like so many do, I am disappointed that at that time when I should have been digging deep, I chose to let up and slowed. I took it easy on myself. I knew it and I didn't the time. My stomach hurt. There was a girl in pink shorts I may have gotten, definitely would have been closer to had I not waited until I crested the last uphill before the quarter mile downhill to start pushing again. The mental lapse probably didn't cost me more than a few seconds, but it happened none the less. I saw the clock ticking closer and closer to the 22:00 marker and vowed I would not be +22. I hammered it in at 21:48 and I got a nice little blue pint glass to boot for winning my age group. Oh and I finished 6th for the women ... BOO YAH!!!

Anyway, back to school work, but before I go.....

My aunt just turned... well let's just say a if a doctor restricts a person's fluid intake to 1500mL/day and you convert that to ounces, then that's her age. Anyway, she ran her first marathon at Steamtown this weekend. I wasn't able to go because of school, but my parents went and my aunt said I was with her, especially during the really crappy miles. I am so proud of her! Her young bones seem to be recovering quite well and she should be back on the road in no time.

Congrats to Salty and T2T, two runners from the Speed Bumps Akron Relay (2008) for completing their first marathons postpartum.

And to anyone out there, you are never too old, too fat, too dumb, too slow or too busy to run!