Running Pays! (July race reports)

Monday, August 01, 2011

Let me count the ways…..um, 250!! As in two hundred and fifty dollars $$!! Woot woot!

I planned to do 3 of 4 races on the calendar, and I did. Yeahhhh!! Hadn’t raced since May so I was feeling the urge. In all 3, I set personal bests, placed 2nd in my age group and won cash prizes!! Grand total of $250. Un-frikin-believable!!

I love small town races. The whole atmosphere, the crowds, the camaraderie….They’re also well-organized, quick, attentive staff and no more than 200 runners which means I can actually place, and win! I so don’t do them for this reason though but it does make it all the more special.

Sun July 17, 5K in Caguas PR= 25:00
Sat July 23, 12K in Adjuntas, PR= 1:06
Sun July 25, 10K in Santa Isabel, PR= 52:55

I went to the 5K with my boss who I got into the whole running craze. She’s fit and active but hadn’t run since her college days. After doing the Spark 5K and 10K plans she asked me to get her in a road race. And so we went. It was a hot and humid day. But when we took off, what do you know—it rained!!! It was a constant drizzle enough to cool us off but then out came the sun again and it just made the heat and humidity worse. I swear I felt I was burning up inside. The course didn’t have mile markers either so I had no clue where I was and what I had left, and I refused to look at my sportwatch. The race ended at a track and when I saw the clock read 24:53, 24:54, 24:55- in my mind I wanted to sprint with all I had but my legs weren’t having it. I crossed at exactly 25:00. I was thrilled. I shaved 31 seconds off my previous 5K and I’m just a second away from a sub-25!! Haha!! And my boss, she placed 1st in her age group!!! How's that for her first 5K, which she confessed almost quitting as soon as she started.

I really wanted to do the 12K since I had never done that distance in a race before and never in that town. Adjuntas is in the center of the island and is known for its hills, curvy roads and cool temperatures. The route was shady (many trees) and mostly downhill with just a few inclines. The day began sunny but come noon time it was pouring!! And I mean thunderstorm rain showers! I figured it would let up by the afternoon (the race began at 4:30 pm). And sure enough by 3 pm it had passed, or so I thought. Minutes before the gun went off--- down came another shower! I mean cats and dogs! Later I found out it was a tropical wave. I had never run like that. It was annoying at first. My shoes were soaked. My hair dripping. The puddles everywhere. But after a while- I started appreciating it, as I thought of what a blessing it truly was, especially with the heat wave in the U.S. How if it weren’t for this race, when would I get wet like this in the rain and enjoy it? Attitude does change everything. At around mile 4 an older lady caught up with me- one of those fit old ladies who’s been running all her life. I decided I would pace with her. There weren’t many runners and I didn’t want to be left alone, plus I knew she would keep me focused and would help me make a great time. I was not wrong. She coached me the whole way. She pushed me. And she also praised me. She was amazing. And she’s 60!!!!! I was in awe of her. She crossed the finish several seconds before me. I was a grinning fool when I crossed and right after the got my medal and I hugged her and thanked her. I told her I do what I do to be like her when I’m 60.

The 10K was special because it was in Santa Isabel, the town where I live. Although the course is entirely flat it’s almost desert-like, hot and humid. Not a tree, building or hill in site. Zero shade. The only plus is that it’s windy, since we’re on the coast. And that helps with the heat and humidity. This year there were more runners than last year, especially females, I felt I was dead last most of the time. But it honestly didn’t bother me. I was running my race and felt good. At mile 4 I passed my neighborhood; where my 5 year old handed me a bottle of water, which was more like a surge of energy and love! My 60 year old running hero lady—yeah she was running too. But I only saw her backside this time!! It wasn’t until 7K that I really started passing people (but never HIlda, the 60 yr old rockstar!!! Haha!). When I turned the corner to the finish line – I couldn’t believe it!! 52: 50, 52:51, 52:52…This time I hauled a$$!!! Official time was 52:55! I was stoked!!!!!! I was not expecting a PR much less a 3 minute difference to my last 10K. With this PR I smashed one of my 2011 goals to finish a 10K in under 55. Woohoo!! A group of neighborhood friends met me at the finish line, cheered and took some pics.

So July was rockin in the running department (EXCEPT for a slight knee pain I started experiencing just after the 5K which I believe is the IT band- actually freaking out a little about it). I was also pretty consistent with meals and workout so I am pleased. August plan is in full effect!! Very excited about it. Will post soon. End of July report coming up too.

Me and the boss....at the 5K. post-race

Crossing the finish at the 12K. And there's Hilda, my 60 yr old running hero/coach!

Sprinting to the finish at the 10K. with my mean game face on!! Haha!

Have a AWESOME AUGUST Sparkamigos
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