Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Dodging Rockets...

A 5K podium finish for a middle-aged ultrarunner? Yes, this REALLY happened. This is the only time I ever get to be the tallest person around!

I didn't win the race overall, I was 2nd overall woman and 9th overall of everyone, but this was the age group awards and I had to get a picture of this. And I wasn't even wearing anything from Walmart!

This was the Berthoud Family Fun Festival 5K, small race, small town, probably had a hundred or so participants. It was for the kids, and from the look of the starting line, it was ALL kids. But it really wasn't, because almost all of the kids in the race lined up on the line itself, leaving the adults to dance around and avoid tripping over them for the first quarter mile or so. Once we got past a quarter mile, the kids were no longer in front.

But it should have been called the Obstacle Course 5K, because that's how it felt to me out there. There were other, much more scary obstacles than little kids: hamstring cramps and snot rockets.

I got through the first mile just fine, hit the mile marker in 7:09 and was very comfortable, it was actually a good thing to have the kids in front at first as they held me back from sprinting out.

Lots of turns on the course and a lot of jumping on and off of sidewalks and bike paths. Not blazing fast at all, but I'm in it for the workout. There was one woman about 20 seconds ahead of me at one mile, and I wondered if she was fast or if she would crash and burn.

Soon after mile 1, there's a sharp right and you drop down a steep little hill. About halfway down the steep little hill my right hamstring cramped up, which nearly brought me to a stop. I hopped for a few seconds until I realized it was just a cramp, and I had to slow down.

At the bottom of the hill there was a flat but winding section of sandy trail and the cramp started to let up. Soon this came to an end and we got back on city streets and climbed a BIG ASS hill, pushing as hard as I could without making the hamstring hurt, until the course flattened out again around 2 1/2 miles.

At this point I had lost sight on the one woman in front of me, but there were three men who had passed me while I slowed down for the cramp, and I was gaining on them again.

I passed two of the three, and as the course wound back onto the bike path before it hit the final nasty little hill climb for the last tenth of a mile, I was gaining on the last of the three. As we made a 90 degree turn I saw him look over his shoulder, his face had the unmistakable, eyes wide with fear, "I'm not gonna let her chick me" look and he dug in.

Well, that dude doesn't know me. That look summons death, the grim reaper, the chick machine. Any man who dares show me that look in a race is now in my sight and THE PRIME TARGET. He began to blow snot rockets, one of which I narrowly dodged. That made me laugh. Ha! You think you can hold me off with a snot rocket???!!


I decisively blew past him and up the hill, beating him by a couple of seconds.

Not only was he chicked, he was sharpei'd too...he was only 40! HA!

Finish time, 23:42. Not fast, but it wasn't a fast course, and I was running intentionally slow for most of that middle mile with that cramp.

So I wonder, is snot rocket-blowing a last ditch desperate attempt by a man to avoid being chicked?

These questions run through my head...

The race itself was a bargain. For a $15 entry fee, we got a decent t-shirt, a jump rope, some recycled pencils, a magnifying glass, and some coupons...except for the Chick-Fil-A coupons, which I wasn't thrilled about. Nice that they would sponsor the race, and they kept their presence low-key. I'm just glad they weren't giving out Chick-Fil-A cows as prizes. Instead, we got orchids, which were really nice.

Next race: Equinox Half Marathon in 2 weeks. Tomorrow's plan: More Bacon!

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