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“80% of life is showing up”

Friday, October 04, 2013

That quote is often attributed to Woody Allen. I never checked the source further, but I always liked the sentiment.

The first race on my schedule after returning to the USA was on a very tough course. Lots of hills – not my favorite even when I am well trained which I absolutely was not. With my vacation weight gain I also would be running while suddenly carrying the equivalent of a sack of potatoes.

It’s a very popular race attracting some very fast people for both the 4 and 10 mile options. This year there was also a separate 4 mile walk. So I figured at least I would show up.

I registered for the 4 miler, the distance women my age generally prefer. I knew the first 1.5 miles would be OK since it was mostly downhill. After that though we had to make up the elevation in the next 1.7 miles The .8 to the finish was pretty flat.

This picture was taken as I almost reached the top.
An appropriate caption would be “Are we there yet?”

I may not have been prepared physically, so I prepared mentally.

No expectations: I never did well in this race and the “energizer bunnies,” as I call them, always won the age group awards anyway.

Carry my own water: That’s why I wore shorts with pockets over my tights

Walk the steeper sections – about 12 min altogether (3/4 mile) and aim for a 10:00 pace the rest of the time. That would give me a combined 11:00 pace or 44 minutes.

My goal was to show up and finish feeling good.

Everything went exactly according to plan except that my first mile was 9:40 so my finishing time was 43:14. Yea!

I felt really good so instead of waiting for one of the buses which were provided to get us back to the start (and the 10 mile finish), I walked the 4 miles back and cheered for the 10 milers along the way.

The results were posted online later in the day. Surprise! All 3 “energizer bunnies” ran the 10 miler. I won 1st place in the 65 to 69 age group. See, sometimes you just have to show up.

Side note:
The lines for the porta-potties were extremely long. As my turn came I heard the National Anthem playing for the start, so my “warmup” was sprinting over to the road and joining the group next to the 16 min/mile pacer. The race was chip timed, but I had to do a lot of weaving around in the beginning to find clear running room.
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