Saturday, January 8, 2011

Cold, Smack and Hills - my day at Races

Hi All – I had a little secret – since RnRLV I had been training for a 5K.  Why did I keep it a secret? 

RnRLV was so emotional for me – I need to run a race in solitude, for me.  Just a little experiment.  Was I motivated by the cheers of my loved ones or by my personal goals? 

Not until this week, did my own family know I was running this weekend.  How is that for a secret?

**January 8, 2011 – Race Day

To say the course at Calico Racing’s “Running From an Angel” is HILLY is an understatement.

It’s no joke.  At ¼ mile you hit your first hill and it is up hill from there.  By the time you reach the turn around – you are like “okay, who cares – let’s just finish this thing!”

Let’s start back to why I decided to run a 5K – one month after my RnRLV experience.
Well, I had always planned that IF I could finish the RnRLV and actually enjoy the experience – I would set out to run 10 more races within a year – so I would have 11 medals by the next RnRLV 

11 medals = 2011 (pretty clever, huh?)

I arrived at the course way too early.  Well, if you know me – that is typical.  I am early everywhere, all the time.  Would rather be WAY early than cutting it close or God forbid – LATE

I knew this would be a smaller race.  Okay – anything less than the 28K runners of RnRLV is small – but my purpose to run this race was to gain some valuable race experience and I wanted to see how my body would react on a race day – when I know I have pushed myself in a long-distance sprint.

I arrived and chatted with the gentleman who was unpacking the Finisher Medals.  So, instead of standing there looking lazy – I started to help unpack the medals.  You know I can’t stay away from the Racer Bling!

So – times rolls by.  I cheer off the Full and Half Marathoners.  I am next.  So, I take off my warm up pants and start my warm up. 

For some REALLY odd reason, this gal walks up to me and says to me - 

“first race?”
I say, “yes, 5K – but not my first race”
She says with a giggle – “I race these ALL the time, I will most likely beat you”
Me “sure…okay…knock yourself out”


The gun goes off  and I take off – okay back to the famous ¼ mile mark of the HILL.  It wasn’t a gradual incline – it was BAM, a Hill.  Then we turned the corner (what I thought would be a level out) and I see ROLLING hills…

HUH??? What in the world did I get myself into THIS TIME?

I found my stride and my 1 mile split was at 11:24 – oh, I GASPED…and immediately my brain went into survival mode.  “Let’s just finish this, okay?” 

As I turned at the turn around – I realized I was going to go mostly downhill and level the rest of the way. 


So…as a Jockey does to her horse – I told my legs – “let’s rock it, baby!”

Zoom – wooosh…..I started picking off other racers

And as I entered Mile 3 – what do I see?


I laughed and thought back to Mile 12 of RnRLV – my now famous, thumbs up with a smile picture

He screams – “SMILE!”

So, what do I do?  I smile and did my customary thumbs up, once again (I see a pattern, here)

Turned the corner for the last stretch and I was REALLY down hill now….and my legs developed a mind of their own…and took me faster than I ever imagined they would go. 

I crossed the finish line and I had no idea of my time (something happened to my watch after mile 1 – it wouldn’t keep track of the time, so I have no idea of my Mile 2 or 3 splits, either)

Of course, knowing my Mile 1 was at 11:24 – I couldn’t imagine my finish was a noteworthy time

My kids were jumping up and down – screaming and I kept hearing “YOU ROCKED IT!”

So…I got my finisher medal and something to eat

Then, the Awards

I knew I had several women ahead of me (well, I thought I did!) – so I wasn’t counting on anything – MAYBE a place in my age group.

1st, 2nd in the Women’s Division and then the Organizer announced my name as 3rd in the Overall Women’s Division.  My kids jumped up and down and I said, “are you serious?  3RD!!!!!!

And I finished in 28:08 - which is an 8:50-ish pace (not bad considering my first split was 11:24!)

I went up to get my Award and as I was walking back towards the finish – who do I see crossing the finish line?

The gal who was talking smack to me at the Start. 

Was I tempted to rub my 3rd place Finish in her face?  (Oh seriously, I am human!)

But, I didn’t – I walked up to her and shook her hand and said, “Good race!  See you next time?”

Of course, her eyes glued to my Award – and I didn’t have to say a word

Will I always have good races?  Of course, not
But – I accomplished my goal, once again – I ran my heart out
And enjoyed every moment

Onto Race #2 for the Year

Live and Run Strong,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Half-Marathoner, Business Blogger, Public Speaker & Hosts IMPACT Radio Channel
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