Monday, June 24, 2013

Race Report by Melanie

Since Jimmy's race reports are very technical and full of detail, I thought I would approach this one a little differently.  While my time wasn't any worse than my first 5K, I wasn't completely happy.  But it was definitely a mental battle.  From my timeline below, you can tell the mental monster ran this race with me.  Although I'm trying to be funny (and a bit sarcastic at times), I hope to take from my report that you can do it.  Even a bad run is a run.  Get out there and push yourself.  You may surprise yourself in the end!

Race: University of Mobile Ram Run 5K
Location: Oak Mountain State Park - Birmingham, Alabama

7:58 - Walking to the Start Line with Bob.  Feeling a little anxious for some reason.  Jim's dad was running a little behind to get baby girl so Ash was going to get a late start. 

7:59 - The race director says a prayer (a first for us but happily joined in) and then outlines the course.

7:59:30 - "Follow the markers down the hill onto the main road then back up the hill."

Ummm WHAT?  She said "hill"   At this moment, time stops as I remember the description of this race said "a mostly flat, shaded run around the lake."  I look and the lake is to my left.  I'm officially confused and freaked out.  I don't do hills well at all. 

8:00 - Gun sounds and we are off. 

8:01 - Note to self: don't wear dryfit pants that are too big.  They slide until you are wet enough to keep them up. 

8:05 - I hear "Hey Mel" and see Ash running up beside me.  Oh thank goodness. 

8:10 - Ash gets ahead of me and I watch her feet and try to stay in step with her.  Thinking this strategy could work.

8:15 - Realizing the "hill" from before was the dang mountainside.  Having to slow my pace...I don't feel confident running into the hill like Ash does.  I don't feel coordinated enough and could see myself tumbling down.  At least I would get to the bottom faster...

(note: time is now irrelevant to me) -

 - the lead female runner is coming up the hill on her way back.  She's about 50.  And amazingly fit.  She starts shouting at the runners she passes.  She yells at me - "You are amazing"  "Keep it up"  "Great job"  I barely choke out an audible "you too!"   She makes me feel good.  And she makes me want to be her.

- I see Jim running up the other side of the mountain.  He's so focused. 

- I hit the bottom of the hill/mountain/depths of hell and see Bob.  I almost cry.  He tells me to keep it up. 

-I'm really starting to feel sick.  I can't decide if Bobby shared his stomach virus from earlier in the week or if the mental battle was killing me.

-I finally see Ash make the turnaround.  She calls out to me. 

-I try to keep my eyes on her feet again as we start the incline back up.  She's a freaking beast.  Every time I looked up, she was running.  Everyone else between us had slowed to a walk but she was still in running position.

-Blur.  I don't remember much of the hill at this point.

-I can see a parking lot through the trees.  Hallelujah we are almost there. 

-Nope.  Not our parking lot.  I'm mentally yelling at Ash "turn!!" because I'm certain we are finished.  I don't dare look at my distance anymore.  I can't.

-I can feel someone coming up behind.  The elderly lady has gained on me.  And is now passing me.  I have officially hit rock bottom. 

-I watch the lady run/walk.  She's tough.  She's fighting.  I am suddenly her cheerleader.  I start to be philsophical (so a heat stroke was imminent) and decide that this race isn't a race against other people.  It is a race against myself.  I can stop it all.  I can jump right into that lake and cool off.  I can give up.  Or, I can get my hiney in gear and finish.  Who cares if I am first or last.  Carrying my body 3.1 miles is a challenge for me and me alone. 

- I look up to see my knight in shining armor except this time he was sweaty in running clothes.  Bob meets up to me (having already finished) and walks and runs the last 1/4 mile with me.  I picked up my run and ran to the finish line. 

8:46 - I finished.  I won.  I won because I could have stopped.  I could have stayed home.  I could have said no back in March when we started running.  But I didn't.  I conquered that dang mountain.  It wasn't a pretty battle but I won. 

And now some bragging moments....
So Jim placed first in his age group.   Bobby came in third.  And Ash second in her age group.  Go team!

I'm super proud of Bob.  And apparently the lady giving out the awards didn't realize they were engraved...but that's ok.  He's owning it.  It's definitely one-of-a-kind!

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