Saturday, June 6, 2009 18th Annual East VS. West 5K
I showed up to the race with as much nerves as my very first race. Why? Why do I still get so nervous? Who knows. I just kept hearing my college speech teacher's voice, "Use your nervousness to your advantage."
My Dad and I took off for a quick little warm-up jog and headed towards the starting line. Little did we know that the starting line was much further away than we anticipated. Good thing we were already running!
The starting line was way crowded. We were on the river path and we were crammed. Per Kenton's "instructions" I made sure I started at the front. I was with in arms reach of the actual line. True to norm there were a few people who were obviously in the wrong starting position. When you see people wearing fanny packs for a 5K, chances are, they don't belong on the very front of the line. Bless them for being out there, but it's sure frustrating when you have to spend so much energy getting started because others are too slow to avoid being a roadblock.
But never the less the whistle blew and I was swallowed up by the crowd. I knew I had a chance of setting a new record today, beating my previous best of 21:45, and I wasn't going to let a heap of jackrabbits take that from me. I had to jump in the grass and finally get a position where I could run.
Once I was finally in a clearing I refused to look at my Garmin, and just ran. I knew that there was one female in front of me. I also knew that that female was faster than me, but I took heart that I could still see her.
The course ran west up the river and then crossed it and took us back east. By 3 kilometers, my stomach was wondering when I was going to slow down because it was about to blow. I had to just remind myself that it would all be over soon and go somewhere else for the next few minutes.
I could still see my competition in front of me, but the chances were so slim I'd catch her. So, I just ran my race and headed for home. I could look across the river and see the first finisher coming in. I headed up the hill and back across a bridge for the final stretch. Once around the hill I could see the clock. It said 19:50!!! I was going to break 20 minutes!!!! I heard Judah on the left and hit the last few strides. I stopped my watch and looked for the first time. 19:56!!!!
So, I wasn't first, but I was more stoked about the sub 20 time. I took a minute and a half off my best time! I wore an ear to ear smile the rest of the day!
The morning proceeded with some extra "recovery" miles and eventually the best part of the entire event: The Kids 1K!
It was getting hotter and windier as I walked Judah down to the starting line.
Once the lead bike arrived and a final shoe string check was made, the whistle blew. 30 little kids took off like bullets, and 29 of them were keeled over about 5 yards later. But not Judah, oh no! He held a beautiful even pace the entire time. He watched as kids would dash ahead and then have to stop to catch their breath. Or he'd say, "excuse me" as he'd smoothly pass another runner who'd had too much and couldn't go any further. He started huffing and puffing as he rounded the final corner. As I asked him a question his spirit was lifted, "Judah, what do you get when you're done?" His eyes lit up and he replied, "PANCAKES!!!!"
With that the last few steps were cake. He ran it in with the cheers of his sponsor, Mr. Randy, and NeeNee on the side lines. He coasted through the finisher's chute like an old pro.
He was eager to get through all the high fives and get back in the pancake line.
All his work was well worth the effort because at the end of the event the announcer called out, "Judah Hansen" as the 4 place finisher!
I was so proud of him. We both walked away with a little bling yesterday.
My competition is a really really nice girl who's only one year older than me, so I can't get an overall first place finish umless she stays home or an age group first place until she hits 30!!
I walked away with a PR and a 2nd place medal. I was so excited that my quiet little goal of breaking 20 minutes was accomplished.
Now, today I'm paying for it, because I can't walk without a little groaning from the quad pain, but it's totally worth it!