Sunday, October 2, 2011

RACE REPORTS: Cancer Awareness Weekend

This weekend, I ran two 5K's - one on Saturday and one on Sunday.  Not a physical test of endurance by any stretch of the imagination, but it sure was fun!

Saturday - One of my clients/friend is a 2 yr Breast Cancer Survivor.  She asked me to run with her on the American Cancer Society "Making Strides" 5K on October 1st.  She had a goal - and my job was to make sure she accomplished it.

Sunday-  was at the Season4aCure at Nevada Cancer Institute (sponsored by Four Seasons Hotel).  This day, we were celebrating a friends racing anniversary.  A year ago - our friend started her racing journey and we all came out to support and celebrate the day.

I call this Cancer Awareness Weekend.  Of course, as usual - I thought about my precious Ladybug, each step I ran. 

First Day:  Saturday, Oct 1st  I arrived at the JW Marriott.  We got ready for the start.  It was a VERY casual race - no timing and mostly walkers.  We had to run around the walkers to get any pace going.  My focus was only Jenn.  Period.

It was one of the worst planned courses I have ever seen, even if there was walkers.  To have the runners/walkers run down the SAME side of the street as we are coming up (after the turn around) - I couldn't believe it.

People were forced to walk/run into bushes, sidewalks, etc.  That should of been avoided.  This was a time for people to run/walk out of triumph.  They should of been given the opportunity to run/walk to the best of their abilities and not have to worry about head-on collisions with others.

My Garmin kept ticking away the miles - by the time we finished it was 3.5 miles, not 3.1 - and it made this finish even more special. Jenn accomplished her goal!  (can you see the smile on my face!!!!)

Here is our Celebration Photo!

It's moments like this....that reminds me why I LOVE to Coach!  Good job, Jenn!

Second Day:  Sunday, October 2nd

Another 5K, but I was going to RACE this one.  My last 5K race was in June.  I knew this would be a fast course and even faster competitors.  My goal was to PR or match.  Unfortunately, the night before - I started to develop a head/chest cold.  Nothing overly major, but one that knocks you out of whack for a bit.  I felt VERY stuffy the morning of the race.

Once again - met up with the great ladies - we were ready to rock it and have fun!

At the start, my Garmin would grab onto any satellites.  So, as I started the race, I had nothing to help me ensure I was starting too fast (bad habit of mine).  I ran by feel and by the time the Garmin kicked in - guess what?  I was running at a 6:32 pace (I typically run a 5K at a 7:45 pace) - WAAAAAAAY too fast for me, but I kept holding onto it.  Around Mile 1 I could feel the slight tinge of side stitches and I knew it meant I had pushed myself just a little too far. 

I slowed it down to get a breathing pattern going - now, I was around a 8:45 pace.  WAY behind my PR.  With a gun time of 9am, it was getting pretty warm, too.  This race should of started at least an hour before.  9am in Vegas is still too warm for a race.

At mile 2.5 I was able to pick up my pace again to be around 7:45-ishy.  At this point, my breathing was so labored (from going out too fast) I was in the "gotta finish, who cares about a PR" mode.

As I came up on the Finish - I had flash backs - who was waiting there for me?  Tim and Joan.  You might remember them as my heroes of when I hurt myself in Laughlin.  Without their assistance, I would of never made it to the finish line, this past Spring.  This time - I didn't need their aid, I ran right by them.  Boy, times have changed, huh?

I didn't PR - I finished 35 seconds slower than my PR.  Oh well, it was my fault - I should not of gone out so fast and held back until my Garmin kicked in.  

After watching a few racers coming in, I decided to run out to find a runner friend of mine (I will refrain from using her name, as I don't want to potentially embarrass her).  I ran and ran and I couldn't find her.  I thought for sure she would be closer to the finish, by then.  I ran back and found another runner and then we both ran out to find her.  I was so worried my friend was injured.   

Flashbacks to Laughlin were crossing my mind.  I have never left a runner stranded on the course, and I was not going to do it now.  I needed to find her.  

We finally found her and yes, she was slightly injured.  We walked with her the rest of the way in. 

As Awards were being handed out - I was hoping that I would at least receive an Age Division Award.  After the Overall Winners were announced, I didn't hear what the next group was, but they announced my name. 

So I jogged up the stage and quickly learned I had won 2nd Place in the Master's Women's Division.  Here is our "podium" shot - I love this picture!  Everyone should have a picture like this.

Then, my friends, Joan, Lovelace and Jenn won an Award in their respective Age Groups!  Below is our "Winning" photo with fellow runner, Alejandro.

This has been a great weekend.  Running for a Purpose and Running for a Reason.  

By the way, if you live in Vegas and looking to join a fun Healthy Lifestyle Workout group, I encourage you to join R.O.A.R. - it was founded by my two friends, Jennifer and Gertrude.   You will be accepted for who you are, regardless of your fitness levels or goals! 

(c) C. Ragsdale 2011
Celebrate Your Finish,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Certified Sports Nutritionist, Running Coach & Public Speaker
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