Saturday, June 18, 2011

Scenic River Classic 5K

Wow, what a race!

So, like a moron, I forgot the camera, so no pics of me actually racing this time.  I was lucky to get there with all 4 kids, so give me a break.  We took a picture when we got home with my race number on, so we kind of documented the occasion. 
So for the race....

We actually got there well before the start of the race and I was able to run around the parking lot to warm up.  We all get some fuzzy instructions from some guy and a microphone.  All I hear is the 5K people are to follow the blue arrows.  Since the course has 10K and 5K people run together for portions of it, it's imperative that you follow your designated arrow.  Anway, they didn't do the countdown thing like the Teton Dam did.  Instead, they said, "On your mark, get set..." and then a whistle sounded and the running begins. 

There were A LOT of people there and for a split second I had visions of being trampled under foot.  About 100 yards down the road comes the time for 10K and 5K to split up and it's kind of humorous to watch the mad scramble as everyone mergers left or right to follow their arrow.  Then the first hill.  Nothing compared to the Millhollow hill during my last race, but steep enough to take my breath away.  The course is full of turns and twists and going under tunnels and running alongside the Snake river and past downtown traffic.  It's quite fun. 

Since I'm trying to beat my time of 36 minutes, I'm going fast, or at least faster than I did last time.  In a 5k, there isn't a lot of time to pick up the pace if you start out too slow, so I figured I would try and keep a slightly faster pace the entire time and see if I have it in me to pick it up even more toward the end.    Considering that my lungs seem to be working really hard, I determine that I must be going faster than my normal morning run pace.  In training, I would try and do a few runs where I ran faster to help my lungs get used to it.   All I can think is, "I hope all of this hard breathing means I'm going faster!"

While I am going faster, I do try and stick to a pace versus doing the speeding up and then slowing down dance. In my peripheral, I see a runner about to pass me.  I look and see that it's a 5 year old girl.  Yeah, nothing humbles you like being passed by a kindergartener.  Later my husband consoles me by saying, "Well, she's only carrying, what like, 30 or 40 pounds.  You're carrying..."  I stopped him before he could finish that sentence.

Around mile 2, I feel a pinch in my left leg.  It feels like a cramp coming.  I almost panic thinking, "Don't cramp up!  Don't cramp up!"  Feeling like my legs are getting tight, I lengthen my stride a bit so there is a bit more time for the muscles to release before they contract again.  I'm not even sure if that is what you're supposed to do, but I do it anyway, and the pinching feeling goes away.

As I pass runners and as they pass me, I see some rather interesting outfits.  There's this guy who has to be my age, but about 6 inches shorter than me wearing a one-piece jogging outfit.  The bottom half pays tribute to the running shorts of the 70s and the top half reminds me of the leotards riddled throughout most of the workout videos of the 80s.  It's a bright, electric blue and it has to be part spandex.  You have to be quite bold for that ensemble.  Wear it proudly, brother!

Another runner is wearing THE brightest neon green spandex biking shorts I've ever seen.  Seriously, they were blinding.  She stayed with me most of the run and I swear, if I closed my eyes, those shorts were burned into my retinas.  She was a strong runner, keeping the pace.  She never slowed and never walked.  She had a fairly awesome tye-dyed shirt on and later I found out she was part of a group of runners all wearing the exact same thing.  Running as a group?  How fabulous!   I saw them all together at the end and they were awesome!

Back to the race!  I round the corner and there is the finish line.  There is a large clock over the line to show you your time.  From far away, I think it says 38 minutes.  I'm immediately bummed because that means I'm slower than last time.  To my unbelieveably happy surprise as I get closer, it says 29 minutes!!!  I run faster.  I see my husband and kids.  I point to the clock behind them and Arik looks up to see that says 30 minutes and I flash him a thumbs up.  I run as fast as I can and beat my time, getting over the finish line at 30:39!  My last time was 36 minutes and some change.  The final results also tell you what your pace was.  At the Teton Dam race I had a 11:52 mile.  This time I got a 9:52 mile!   

It was a hard run, that's for sure.  I badly wanted to beat my time, so I pushed it harder.  I'm glad that I did.  Even though the run was harder, it was still very enjoyable and the finish line did not disappoint.  Another runner who reads this blog and whose story I've posted in the past also ran the 5K.  I tried to find her, but there were a lot of runners to sift through.  I'm anxious to hear how she felt about the race.  So, Robyn, send me your race story and any pictures you took!!!

Next race with be the Liberty 5K in Rexburg.  We won't forget the camera.

Oh, and thanks to Keersten, my sister-in-law, for putting my hair into a french braid for the race.  It worked out wonderfully!

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