Monday, March 26, 2012

30 Minutes or Bust

So. . . I ran my first race of the 2012 season on March 25, a 5K in Pulaski, School House to White House. Not only did I want to avoid familiar eyes (thus the 45-minute drive from home), but the race benefited a worthy cause--the efforts of the Pulaski High School marching band to raise enough money to play at the White House on July 4, 2014. Oh, and I did see a few folks I know--John and Brandi Ferrini--but that was it. I had to chuckle at the guy wearing the Ohio State sweatshirt, a day after the Buckeyes ended SU Orangemen dreams of the Final Four.
Realistic after surgery on both feet, but also eager to really break a sweat, I agreed with my husband when he asked if he should look for me at the finish in 28 minutes. That's a 9-minute mile pace, give or take, and a reasonable goal so early in my training. My warmup wasn't the greatest--the pinching at the "hardware" sight of swelling in my foot continues (not to worry, everything is fine; it's just scar tissue)--but it doubled as a half-mile fun run that I did alongside my 8-year-old. I popped a second Aleve before race time and was off!
It's hard to see, but the timer says 28:37.
This race was cool for several reasons--I always enjoy running in the villages of upstate New York, people on porches or in their driveways on lawnchairs are unfailingly encouraging, and, even though it was chilly and damp, crowd support actually was substantial. There are a lot of corners in this race, and you go into a neighborhood twice--to be expected, I suppose, because if you run in one direction for two miles, you've likely left the village of Pulaski!
Halfway through I was passed a woman I just knew was in my age group--hey, one thinks of these things when one is as competitive as this one is. I tried for a mile to pass her, but it just didn't happen.
Had I succeeded, I would have snagged second place in the age group (50-59) instead of third. Naturally, I looked at the first place age group finisher and I would have likely run that. . . a few years ago! So, I proudly placed third out of 13.
Now, I am more than happy with my finish, that I finished, and that I finished under my 30-minute goal. It's a far cry from my best 5K--22.21 at the Festival of Races. But, just the day before I had told myself I would probably never run an 8-minute mile again. Well, hey there, self: A 9:13 pace with a foot that was nagging me for 3.1 miles gives me hope that perhaps 25-minute 5Ks once again lie in my future.
So I'm onto the next: still contemplating a 5K on April 28 that benefits a daycare center, but all signed up for the 10-mile Mountain Goat Run, and just now registered for the Du the Lakes Duathlon (run-bike-run), May 12 at Green Lakes State Park.
I am thrilled that my race season has begun--I'm looking for a more satisfying year, certainly, than 2011 when my foot injury ruled the roost. And I'm looking for a half-marathon to run. Ideas?

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