07 October 2008

Best Time in 23 Years!

The big race was held Sunday morning at the Morton Arboretum. It was a great day for a run; it was cool, the sun was just coming up (although I forgot to bring my sunglasses with me which made the first half of the race less pleasant,) and the predicted rain didn't come in until after lunchtime.

We got to the arboretum at about 7:00 in the morning. It was on the cool side, so everyone was bundled up, especially the spectators. The race didn't start till 8, so after I picked up my timing chip we wandered around a little. Dad picked out a good shooting location, and he and Daughter looked at some of the scarecrows that various local schools had created. This one was my favorite:

"Pirates of the Arboretum"

As it got close to 8:00 we all gathered up behind the starting line. They asked us to line up based on how fast we were. They suggested that the people in front should be in the 5.5 minutes/mile category. I lined up just in front of the walkers. I assume the race started on time, but I have no way of knowing for sure because I didn't hear anything. The announcer did mention over the microphone that the race had started and that those of us in the back would begin moving soon.

So we were off. Turns out I put myself a little too far back in the pack because I spent the first 5 minutes tripping over the people in front of me. Here are some of them:

Dad and Daughter were on a curve where the first good passing area was. In the photo above you see people running on the grass trying to improve their position. Dad said that they started out right next to the road, but kept having to move back to get out of the way of the grass runners. I was on the other side of the road but saw D&D so I got as far over to their side as I could.

(Note: I apologize to runner number 1048. I'm sure this picture does you no justice at all, but it's the only "good" picture of me from this location.)

The race course was described in the advertising as a "rolling" course. It did have a few small ups and downs, the most unpleasant of the ups coming just after the 2 mile mark. I was a bit disappointed to see an octogenarian pushing a stroller pass me at that point in the race. Yes, there were people racing while pushing strollers. Yes, 6 of the passed me. (And keep in mind they all started out behind the walkers.)

I saw many interesting things. I saw junior high kids charging past me, I saw one woman rolling on the ground, apparently with a muscle cramp, I saw 2 people at the 2 mile mark who had already finished the race and had turned around and were running back the other direction. At least they were nice enough to be shouting encouraging words to all of us lumps in the middle.

I finally saw the 3 mile mark ( the race is 3.1 miles) and remembering what Mr. Phillips, our long distance coach always told us, I put on a last burst of speed so I could "finish strong."

And the outcome of my first race in 23 years? I came in 827th out of 1353 runners. I was the 377th woman, and I was number 58 out of 103 women in my age bracket. My time was not quite as good as in high school, but not bad considering I have only been training for a month. I ran the whole shebang in 32 minutes, 15.7 seconds.


Anonymous said...

That's awesome. Congradulations on finishing what you started and I hope you had fun.

Curtis E.

Carrie said...

Congrats! Great job showing what an "old mom" can do if she puts her mind to it. Of course if this old mom tried it she would be rolling on the ground at the 1/2 mile mark. Now how did you run this and still look so good while doing it?!

Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

Way to go! So what's next??? Sky diving? Getting your pilot's license? Hanging out in a shark's cage? Or maybe something a little more adventurous?

I'm still a little confused about this whole running thing. There was no mention of a yarn sale at the finish line.

All joking aside, you set a goal for yourself and you did it....Kuddos to you!