Monday, October 16, 2006

Not Competing Made Me Competitive

Last Saturday was the Her Times 5K Run/Walk. I half-heartedly trained for it, mostly because I didn't want to come in last. I hate when that happens.

I entered just to do it, not to compete. I didn't list my age because "what difference does it make if you aren't competing in an age category, I just want to participate."

The night before the race I checked the weather forecast. Not good, not good at all. I decided not to go. My husband gave me a reminder that I entered and need to follow through. This is Erie, you do things regardless of the weather or you wouldn't do anything at all. Alright, then. I'll go.

Through thunder, wind, rain, sleet and snow the girls showed up in droves. I couldn't believe it. I shook so much I hardly was able to get any video to use in my videoblog. After warmups I lined the end of the line. My husband came for support and was at my side. The announcer said "go". What the heck? How long does it take everyone to get going and get out of my way? Finally the back of the line starts to go. Umbrellas swinging in the wind. Colorful and electric, actually. My competitive juices kicked in!

My husband reached down to tie his shoe or something and I looked for him but he was way back there. He waved me on. Ok, then but I wondered what I was going to think about for 5K with no one to talk to. Oh, he had my camera. No video during the race, drat.

I started out too fast. Yes, you can walk too fast. My shins were bucking. Shin bucking, a horse term..... fitting because I felt like an old horse.

I finally got to a sign on the side of the road that had a number 1 on it. I had worked out the burning shins and was feeling pretty good and started to increase my pace. I thought I had only gone 1K. Man, 4K to go? I hope I can make it.

I started passing people. I was surprised. Then I started thinking I could maybe catch the group in front of me if I jogged up to them and then slowed back to a walk. I hadn't jogged in years. I didn't know what would happen if I tried to jog. A few steps into it and I started smiling. I could jog, a few steps anyway. I suddenly was competing. My body felt good. I walked and jogged and passed several group of walkers.

Then I saw the sign that said 3. I better conserve my energy, I'm barely over half way. But I saw the finish line and the light came on that the signs were "miles" signs, not "K" signs. WhoooHooo!! I started jogging to the finish.

I saw a 48 minutes and something seconds as I crossed in front of the sign. Apparently that isn't your time until they take your tag off. I stopped after I crossed the sign and was looking under my rain gear for the tag that they rip off. A man came to my rescue and found my tag and ripped it off and took it. I now figure that the time is when they take your tag to the computer because my official result was 49: something. Now I know to keep going and get that tag off to the proper people.

Not listing my age came back to bite me. Computers being what they are has me listed as 99 years old because the computer has to have an age entered. The up side is that it lists me as first in the 98 to 99 age category, ha. No, I don't get an award but I did get my really nice Her Times T-shirt and a ribbon for completing the race.

In two weeks there is an endurance challenge where you compete against yourself put on by the Erie Runners Club. I think I'm going to try and beat my time and maybe go further, just to see what I can do. I'm overweight, old, but doggone it shopping and catching those commuter flights at the airports have put me into some kind of shape! It felt so good to compete that I think I'm hooked.

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