Saturday, April 14, 2012

Charger Challenge 2 mile Run

I ran a 2 mile race today.  I have run this race several times before.  10 times to be exact.  At least according to my records.  Which, when I went to go look it up, I was wondering if they were accurate.  Not that it will change anything.  Before looking up the info I was thinking I had run this race every year since 1996, except the years I was pregnant.  Which I was pregnant a lot and many years back to back so there were some gaps and one or two unexplained absent years.  Still, it's fair to say I've ran this race a lot.

This race includes a 2 & 4 mile run.  My records show that I ran the 4 miler back in my inaugural year of '96.  Which I don't remember running 4 miles.  I remember being at the race and not much else.  Otherwise I have always completed the 2 mile race.  I got some teasing for this since I often run much longer distances.  On any training run I'd never "just run" 2 miles, my bare minimum is 3 to make it worth while.  I mean, 2 miles for me is a walk in the park.  Can I even call it a race?  Well, I do and this one really did turn into just that: a race.

I really like the 2 mile distance for a few reasons.  While it hasn't always been the case I now only compete in a small handful of 5k's and otherwise I mostly run half marathons, marathons and ultras.  While I am used to having it take hours for me to complete a race I can get this done & over in less than 15 minutes.  How nice to say I raced and have it all said & done in less time it takes me to write this post.  Plus, for me, the 2 mile takes me back to not only my high school years, but my Army days where that was the standard distance.  I see very few (actually this is the only one that comes to mind) 2 mile races so I enjoy running them when I can (which at this point is only once a year).

I had one year that I am showing no record of my time.  Only that I was first female overall.  Aside from that possible unknown year, I set a pr today of 13:49.  (Well, not counting my high school/Army/pre baby years where I know I ran sub 13 minute times.)  I doubt that unknown year was any fantastical time since baby Carmen was only 4 months old.  Anyway, it's always interesting how my time has fluctuated yet my place is usually close to the same.  I show 2 years where I was 2nd female overall and the other 7 years I was the 1st female overall.  Yet my time span on this race has varied from an a slower 14:56 (Andrew was 5 months old that year) to my 13:49 this year.  I always know that it's really just a matter of who shows up at what race that will determine the outcome.  While I'm not putting down my time in any way, I know that it's not world class.  I'm no Kara Goucher (although I would love to have her body!!).  And at the same time, I know there are plenty of people who would say the same thing about me.  Well, I doubt they want a I've-had-6-kids body, but they'd love to have my ability to race what I did today.  It all works out in the grand universe of everything.  You are what you are when you are what you are.  (I have no clue if that just made ANY sense).

So, the race!  Well, the weather this morning was I-C-K-Y!  Pouring down rain at some points.  As I sat in my jammies sipping my coffee I had no motivation to actually get outside and get moving.  My son was also planning to run and we had soccer games later in the morning so either way I had to get out there.  Plus, I know myself, if I didn't go run I will kick myself in the end.  No worse feeling than I should have run!!!!  We had a little bit of hope when the rain stopped, but a few minutes before the start it started up again.  Not too bad though, just a light sprinkle.  Due to the weather I was not in the mood to mess with my ipod+, which tracks my running, or my ipod that I love to listen to music on.  I decided to go al natural, something that is good to do from time to time.

As previously stated we had soccer games also this morning.  My older son's (the one running) game was at 10 (race started at 9) and my other son's game was at 11.  I am the coach of that team so it wasn't as simple of just strolling over to the game to sit and watch. With the icky weather I had parents calling & texting about us playing or not and had to keep my ear out in case we did get the call to cancel.  Fair to say I had A LOT on my mind.  Mix that in with all my usual race chatter with my running friends and with little to no notice the siren went off and we were running.

I took off and felt pretty good.  Better than I was expecting.  I have to force myself to go out good and strong but not too good and strong.  Very guilty in the past of starting out too fast then dying at the end.  Since the 2 & 4 mile start out at the same time I don't know who is running 2 or 4 until the 2 mile turn around.  My 1 mile split was in the neighborhood of 6:45 (or was it :55??).  I still felt good and saw that I had 2 other females ahead of me.  I decided to start to push, but again not go all out.  When we turned into the last 600 or so of the course I kept pushing & pushing.  Normally I just do my own thing and if I win, I win.  I don't normally push myself so hard, but there were a few times that I felt like I was going to puke.  I was closing the gap as we inched toward the finish.  I don't know what made the difference today.  I honestly don't.  I just kept pushing and pushing.  I was not going to be satisfied, I was not going to let up until I crossed the finish line.  Yes, it helped that I had 2 people in front of me to chase down.  But I honestly was not set on beating them.  I just have so many races that I finish and I think "I could have ran harder".  Not today.  Well, I maybe could have pushed harder in the beginning, but for the sake of not burning out I did good with starting out at a good pace.  I passed one person with about 10 steps to go and then I gave a final big surge and with 1 step to spare I got past her & across the finish line.  They said at the award ceremony that it was a photo finish.

The local newspaper photographer was on site to capture the finish.  I can't wait to see the picture!  This will definitely be a race to remember.

Here is my son & I after our soccer games with our awards.  He did great himself and finished in 16:01.

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