Saturday May 28, 2011
(Pre-Race, still smiling)
In 2010 Grant and I had run the Barefoot 5k in it's inaugural year. This year, since Grant had been training his butt off all spring and didn't want to jeopardize his chances of a 50k PR the following day, i had to find another victim...er partner to run with. Mandiee had expressed interest months prior in running a 10k. I figured this would be perfect. Rolling trails, generally cool temperatures, and a silly excuse to get boozed up later that night. For me, it was just getting out and putting in another handful of miles to add to my meager total on the year.
(Looking a bit more nervous just before the start)
The weather was just about perfect. It was a big muggy, but that aside, the temps were cool, the sky's were overcast, you couldn't have asked for a better day for a first 10k. Mandiee was full of questions, "Am i ready for this?" "What do i do?" "What should i be eating?" Perhaps i'm not the best person to run your first 10k with, but i think my response of, "don't worry about it, you're going to do fine." was really sufficient. Less than 1/2 mile into the race she says to me between puffs, "You aren't going to make me run this fast the whole time are you?" I simply smiled and said, "maybe, at least we'd be done faster right?"
The ultra runner in me always wants to walk the hills, so of course i did at the first "major" climb. (Major in quotes because it's simply perspective and Pineland's is timid by comparison. While I enjoy the break, i forget about how long Mandiee's legs are and she can easily out hike me. Fortunately she's breaking into her own personal barriers as she runs beyond any distance she has run in the past. "I can't do this, can we stop?" I give her a GU Packet and tell her to scarf it down, drink her water, and "Smile, it's a great day to be in the woods, soak it all up!" How would i live to regret those words the following day.
With only a few climbs to go I ask if she can smell the BBQ. Or hear the music or the roar of the finish line. Poor thing, she's in her own little world. I think trying to not lash out at my positivity in a time of great pain and suffering. I tell her she's got plenty of gas left in the tank and we could catch that woman in the red shirt. Next thing we knew we were picking off other runners that were burning out at the end. I tell her that she's made it and all she's got to do is sprint it in. "No f-ing way!" and then takes off running. Her long stride making me regret poking the bear.
(Finish Line Sprint)
We crossed the finish line is a very respectable 1:09:06. We grab our water bottles from the little boys volunteering at the end of the shoot and she finds the first open spot to lay down. For a trail race, and a first timer running a 10k she did fantastic. I think plans for the 25k are in the works for 2012!
(Can i stop running now?)