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Hanover Twp Women's 5K. Woot! First 5K.

Posted on 2009.06.15 at 16:52

Saturday morning I ran the Hanover Township Women's 5K, which was the graduation race for my women's beginning running class. Allow me to share.

We, some 200 women, started the class 12 weeks ago. I joined with a college friend who asked me to do it with her. Neither of us had ever done any kind of running before. And so two days ago we joined the army of women in matching red graduation shirts, the scattered class mentors in pink, and the other women mingling around the starting line.

The weather was beautiful--high 60s, cloudy, light breeze. The course weaves through a beautiful neighborhood, the inhabitants of which were not crazy about having their streets blocked off. There were only a few kinda-hills, all of which were shallow but most were pretty long.

Our awesome mentors ran with us for encouragement, but not competatively, which I was not expecting. We started off chatty and I tried so, so hard to maintain a slow pace. I was unsuccessful and hit the 1 mile mark at ten minutes, which may be the fastest single mile I've ever run. I allowed myself a 60 second walk before picking the pace back up.

I kept reminding myself to settle in, settle in, we're just traveling, just keep traveling, but GEEZ did the second mile seem to take forever. One of the women in my class and I are fairly well matched in ability, and we ran pretty close to each other, assuring ourselves that we totally got this. We hit mile 2 at 22:44, which meant I was back at about the pace I predicted I'd run.

By halfway through the end of the third mile I was starting to feel it. It had been a good 16 minutes since my last 30-second walk, probably the longest time I'd ever run without any kind of break. (In the last week of our training we were up to a 10 min run, 1 minute walk routine, but after the first mile of the race I lost track of timing myself and fudged it. I'm also used to timing myself with specially designed playlists, but the race didn't allow headphones.) At the last curve I felt my face twisting into a pout, and I remember turning to my classmate and sputtering, "It's getting so hard!" The hot sun had come out, the shirt I was wearing didn't breathe as well as I'd hoped it would, and my breath had become almost a wheeze. She once again shouted some encouragement and we made the turn.

It was the last (slightly uphill) stretch and out of nowhere I pumped my arms and took OFF over the last few yards and finish line. No idea where it came from, but DAMN that felt good.

Final time: 35:06:22. That's a better pace than I allowed myself by a minute per mile. Placed 143 out of 301 women.

Am I pleased? Absolutely. Will I do it again? Absolutely. For the time being I'd like to work on improving my speed, and the distance I can travel between walking breaks.

The high after that race was epic. I was grinning from ear to ear all morning, and would just start laughing at anything. After taking myself out to lunch I stopped by my friendly local running store for a badly needed new pair of running shoes. And the afternoon nap on my living room floor was also pretty epic.


best_ken_ever at 2009-06-16 00:06 (UTC) (Link)
Hey, congrats! That sounds stupendously awesome! (:
timidlight at 2009-06-16 00:43 (UTC) (Link)
Congrats!!!! That's an awesome accomplishment!
muggle_wump at 2009-06-18 03:00 (UTC) (Link)

I know i've already said this, but you are pure awesomeness and I love you. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow.
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