Oh God, who knows what it is
To be running?
Only he who is running... running... running... knows.
Running, running knows,
Run running knows, run running knows...!!!
Any run outdoors in winter is going to involve Kleenex for me, and yesterday's 5K was no exception. It was a gorgeous day, though. The race started just after 11am, under bright-blue skies, temperature right around freezing, light winds, sunshine glistening on a 2-inch layer of snow that had fallen the night before. Most of the race was along cleared bike-path, so we were really only running on snowpack for a few blocks of city street.
The race was a lot bigger than my friends and I had expected. From past years' posted results, it looked like the usual turnout was around 120. This year? 430! I wonder how many registered same-day, once they saw what a nice day it was.
My personal goal was to run an 11-minute-mile pace, for a total time just over 34 minutes.
I ran it in 33:15, for a pace of 10:42, running all the way. I even had enough steam left to put on a bit of a sprint at the end, passing up the woman I'd been pacing behind for much of the race. I guess if you take off the ten seconds it took me to cross the start line, that's 33:05. Fastest I'd ever gone, even on the treadmill! I placed 383 of 430.
I enjoyed having friends along so we could share one anothers' excitement. The woman with whom I shared the Couch to 5K link back in November at the Women's Retreat had been training with her husband, and their two sons (10 & 13) came along for the run too, pretty much without training but they play soccer so they run well. All of us were happy with our times. The young'uns beat the pants offa me, but who's counting, right?
Then last night we all went over to their house for dinner. Joy was in a fine mood, ate well and sat happily at the dinner table for a long time, playing with the plastic from around the ice-cream carton while the rest of us talked. The 13-year-old entertained Rose very obligingly, without a hint of teenaged-guy-attitude. (Rose kept her own attitude in check as well, not complaining about the curry main dish but simply saying "No, thank you" as we had coached.)
Wow. Now I need a new running goal! Shave my 5K? Ten-minute miles, anyone? I wouldn't have believed it when I started...
One thing I failed to bring to the race was a camera. Here are some older running-related photos for your entertainment, though:
This photo from September 1991 was, if we're being picky and technical, my other first 5K. It was a fun-run/walk at a Mennonite Relief Sale, a fundraiser for international relief work. I had just finished a 2-year stint of Mennonite volunteer service in Chicago at the time, and a local pastor cobbled together a team with me and one of my former housemates and a couple other guys. I don't think I trained much if at all, and don't remember much about the race either. Like, I don't remember the starting gun, though I do have some flash memories of the actual running, including near the end when I was passed up by a race-walker! I didn't know enough to look at my time on the clock at the finish line, so I have no idea how fast I went (if they were posting times, I wouldn't have known where to ask anyway).
I wore the shirt again eleven years later, at the SCAATY Run in Chicago, September 2002 (Rose, hiding in the stroller, was seven months old). SCAATY stood for Still Crazy After All These Years, and was organized by Uncle Marathon in honor of his 20,000th mile running. Yes, you read that right. Twenty thousand. He'd been keeping logs since he started, something that I've now been talked into doing, and organized a run to invite friends and relatives to join him in running mile 20,000. It was a nice little bit of post-pregnancy training for me, just to get to the point of jogging a mile, and JoyDad and I had fun joining in the 20,000th mile run and festivities.
Don't worry, this isn't going to become a running blog. I might sneak in updates now and again, though.
P.S. Many thanks to Auntie RatM and Uncle Marathon for the tips and encouragement leading up to this race! Yes, I did start near the back, and double-tie my shoelaces!