Last year at this time, we were all 10 days from the Vegas Half/Full. Being that was my first-ever race, I was scared to run any type of race before then. So, I opted out last year.
This year, I was ready to go - as it was on my favorite race & training course - 6 Tunnels. You may recall, it is at the same location that I ran my first-ever sub2 Half Marathon back in October.
Arriving at the 6 Tunnels parking lot during a race is always a thrill. I love how Mountain Man always has an inflatable archway for the FINISH line.
It makes a statement, much better than just crossing a mat and "oh yea, you are done, here is your medal". Little details like this, really make a race event.
Pre-race - met up with Marathon Mitch and Giovanni. Giovanni is the runner who ran the Hoover Dam Full AND the Veterans Day 11K carrying an American Flag. He does this for the Wounded Warrior Project.
In the back of my mind, I was thinking the last time I ran this 5K course. The day after Ladybug had died. In my heart, I asked her to send me another sign - just so I know she is still with me. A few minutes after that, a man cycled up to the Finish Line and he had a back pack on. I noticed he had a little dog in the back pack.
I walked up to him and asked if I could take a picture of his dog. His name is Jack - here is his picture:
|Jack the Jack Russell|
Why is this important? For those who do not know - here is a picture of our Ladybug, two days before she died:
I had my sign.
As I walked to the Start Line, I had a perfect peace. I felt her with me. I couldn't help by smile.
My goal for this race? Have fun. I wasn't working towards a PR. I just wanted to enjoy the run, and use it as a training run (of course)
We started at the big iron gate leading into the Tunnels. It truly escapes me why no one, not even Lake Mead Park Service, won't open up these gates all the way. Anyone know?
12K racers started promptly at 8am and 5k'ers started at 8:10am.
At the gun, we had an instant bottle-neck - because of those darn iron gates. So puzzling.
Working my way through the pack of runners, my left foot landed on a rock and for the first time on this course, I twisted my ankle. Felt uncomfortable, but not sheering pain.
Kept running and moving my way up. By the time I got to Mile .8 - what happened? I twisted my ankle again. Okay, now I was irriated. I could get through the dark tunnels with no problems, but I trip over 2 rocks?
I come through the two tunnels and back on the turn around.
As in classic form, Ladybug kicked me into high gear around Mile 2. At this point, I felt I was going about a 8:20ish pace. Hard to tell, since the GPS signals are not that clear out there.
Then, what happens at Mile 2.5? Yep, I twisted my ankle for the third time on a rock. Okay, this is getting dumb. I was so focused and intent on getting myself to the finish line, I saw none of the runners I was passing. Hope no one thought I was rude.
Coming through the finish line - I knew I had a course PR (which was 26:32) and when I saw my watch it said 25:06. Oh interesting! I started my watch too soon (before the timing mat), so the thought did cross my mind that I did another sub25 5K. That would be a hoot, if I did!
After I drank some water and one of my Coaching Clients came up to me to tell me she PR'd by a minute! GOOD JOB, CELESTE! (see, Speedwork sessions do help)
|Me and Celeste - she set a new PR!|
Thank you, Ladybug for sending me another sign. I love you so much!
The finish times were eventually posted and my finish time was 24:52. 8 seconds off of my PR. Now, that was funny, considering this is a trail and I wasn't trying for that. Nice to have another sub25 5K.
Waiting around for the Awards and who do I see? My Chiropractor, Nick Savagty. He was first male Overall. Some sick-o time of 16 or something like that. Luckily he was there, because he was able to tell me what to do about my ankle/calve/shin - since I twisted it 3 times.
Age Division Awards were announced and I was happy to receive the 3rd Place in my Division. Casey C. once again took this great picture. How she gets these pictures of me, never ceases to amaze me.
|Picking up my 3rd Age Division Award|
|We did it again, Ladybug!|
Me and my Chiropractor after he received his beautiful Alabaster 1st Overall Award.
|Me and Dr. Nick Savagty - 5K 1st Place Overall Male|
Here are a few more pictures post race.
|Mitch, Me, Giovanni and James|
|Me, Mitch, Casey and Jill (with Casey's Daughter)|
And I finally met online friend, Sarah. M.
|Me and Sarah M.|
It was a great day and a great way to start the Holiday!
Edit: When Final Results were posted, I earned 2nd Place, not 3rd Place. I guess I need to swap my plaque.
This is my last race as a 49 yrs old. Closing out my chronological year at 6 Tunnels AND with a sign from my Ladybug. Makes for a great race day.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
(c) C. Ragsdale 2011
Celebrate Your Finish,
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Certified Sports Nutritionist, Running Coach & Public Speaker
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