Today I ran the Miles For Marines Trail 5k Race. I wanted to do this race last year but for some reason that I can't remember I didn't get to. It's for a really great cause which is a big bonus reason to run other than, "I like trail running." "All proceeds will benefit the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. The IMSFF works tirelessly to assist injured Marines/Sailors and their families on the road to recovery. We are proud to be a part of their mission. Oorah!"- from the Miles For Marines website.
I had been planning for months to run this race. But, last night I was not feeling the race. Luckily I had already told others I would be there so there was no backing out.
I won't go into the boring details of the prerace nerves and lack of motivation. I'll just jump into the race itself. I checked out the other runners as we ran down the grassy hill into the main trail. I realized there was only one female in front of me. Ruh roh! The pressure was on! A couple of teen aged girls popped in front of me for a tenth of a mile and then fell back and were not seen again by my eyes. So I leap frogged with the other female for the first mile. After mile one she took off, easy breezy. I thought to myself that she had just been leap frogging to wear me out. So I resigned myself to second female. At this point I was already having moments of feeling queasy due to pushing myself like one should in a 5k.
Around mile 2 the bigger hills started. At this point I checked behind me for any other females and there were none so I chose to start walking the larger hills. Each time I'd walk a hill at least two guys would pass me but then I'd get them once it leveled out.
At 3 miles (according to my Garmin) I caught sight of the lead female. She was far enough ahead of me that I thought a miracle would have to happen for me to catch her. By 3.1 miles I had shortened her lead by half of what it had been. "Not too bad, maybe there is hope?" After looking at the distance on my Garmin I decided we couldn't be too far from the finish so I surged and managed to overtake the lead female. "Sweet, not much longer now!" Famous last thoughts. With each turn of the path I kept expecting to see the finish in sight, nope, no such luck. Each time I thought, "How much longer can I keep up the vomit inducing, leg cramping pace?" At that point I had to keep going. I just couldn't let her get me. I wasn't sure how much of a lead I had. I was afraid to look back for fear of tripping myself up. (At this point my Garmin was reading over 3.4 miles) When we finally turned for the finish I let out a groan upon seeing that we would be running back up the grassy hill we started on. I kept up the pace, telling myself the pain would be over soon. People started shouting that the first place female was coming in. Several people with cameras started taking what I'm sure will be very unflattering photos of me. I raised my hands up in victory as I crossed the finish, thrilled to finally have my first overall female win!
Trying to get the tab off my bib in the shoot was torture. I just wanted to fall down and be doused with a tub of ice. It was so tempting to crawl into the baby pools full of ice and water bottles but I refrained from such unbecoming behavior. While shoving ice down my sports bra a local newspaper reporter stopped me and asked for my name! Oh, it's good to be popular. At that point I realized I hadn't stopped my Garmin. Oh well, I'll just have to wait for the online results for a more accurate time.
I got some sweet prizes! I must say I picked an awesome race to finally have an overall female win!
I'm so glad I didn't poop out on this race and not go. The victory was great but I did get to enjoy the company of my friends (who all ran the 15k). All of us walked away with a gift certificate to a local Tri store since everyone else all placed in their age groups. It was a great morning all around! Seems the races I'm least excited about end up being the best sometimes.