On Saturday, May 14th, Mr. R&R and I ran the Guts & Glory 5k. The race was a fundraiser for the Crohns & Colitis Foundation and Mr. R&R's trainer was the co-race director, so we rolled out of bed on a chilly May morning to run for a cause. On the way to the race I joked that it was ironic that we were racing for a charity devoted to gut issues because my stomach was in baaaaad shape that morning. I seriously considered staying in the car while Mr. R&R ran because I thought I was going to toss my cookies!
We pulled up to the race site and were greeted with one of the friendliest and most organized packet pick ups I've ever seen. It was a tiny race (only 62 people), but the race directors and volunteers behaved like it was a much bigger race - and the extra effort didn't go unnoticed.
I went out faster than I should have, but I felt good so I thought I'd ride it out and see what happened. Almost immediately, we took a sharp right turn and headed up a small hill. I could see the runners strung out in front of me and started figuring out where I was in the pack. At the half mile mark, I was the 5th female overall. That changed quickly when a woman pushing a jogging stroller came charging past me. There was no way I was going to catch her, so I let her go and focused on putting one foot in front of the other - happily passing a couple of 20-something dudes who had sprinted the start, crapped out, and were now walking! I hit the Mile 1 mark in 8:45.
I was doing okay for the first part of Mile 2, but the combination of tummy troubles and my over-ambitious first mile started to take their toll. I hung on the best I could, but could only muster up a 9:46. My race was headed in the wrong direction and just when I thought it couldn't get too much worse, a woman who looked to be around my age passed me.
Mile 3 was a death march and I'm pissed about it. I know I was capable of running better, but my mind basically gave up and another woman passed me. At that point, I was a) furious at myself for pushing too hard in the first mile b) in pain and more than ready to be done and c) 99.99% sure I wasn't making the podium at this race - especially since they were using 10 year age brackets instead of the usual 5 year brackets. My final mile was an atrocious 9:53.
I tried to muster up something that resembled a sprint for the final tenth of a mile and it was finally over. At least the course measurement was 100% perfect.
|Miserable and In Pain|
Apparently Mr. R&R had one hell of a fight on his hands in the final mile. He ended up in a sprint finish against another guy in his age group - and he won. Mr. R&R took second in his age group by 1 second!
I ended up 4th in mine - by 37 seconds. (I will note that the 3 women who came in ahead of me were all between 30-34.)
Mr. R&R collected his medal, shook hands with the guy he nearly killed to get it (I saw the guy depositing his breakfast in a trash can), and headed home.
This race reminded me of 2 valuable lessons that I learned a long time ago, but seemed to forget on race day:
1) NEVER eat ice cream (or pretty much any other dairy product in large quantities) the night before a race.
2) NEVER GIVE UP
Time: 29:13 (9:25/mile pace)
Overall Place: 20/62
Gender Place: 8/36
Age Group Place: 4/10 (F30-39)
Again, I can't say enough good things about this race. It was inexpensive, well-organized, perfectly measured, and the post-race food was fantastic (whole bagels, bananas, water, gatorade, and a profane amount of cookies). I'm already looking forward to redeeming myself on that course next year.