Sunday, February 10, 2013

Strawberry Race 2013!

I ran the Strawberry Distance Challenge yesterday morning!  It was just a 5K, a distance I do twice a week and I do even more on my longer days.  So why did I pay money and travel about 50 miles one way to do this race?  Because it was a STRAWBERRY race and I’m the Strawberry Queen, that’s why! 

I started by having my daughter paint my nails for the occasion.

Then I put on my chocolate-dipped strawberry earrings.

After I got to the race and picked up my registration packet, I put on the Dri-Fit shirt and had my picture taken with the strawberry guy. 

The start and finish lines were not at the same location, so I got my mom situated at the finish line and then I walked a good ½ mile to the start line.  On that walk I stepped down off a curb and felt pain in my right knee.  God, please heal and strengthen both knees and my ankles so that I don’t get hurt.  (I realized on the way home that I never had another pain in any part of my body after that!  Thank You, God!)  At the start line I felt happy and energized to be running in another race.  I love my runs with Melisa twice a week and my runs where it’s just God and me, but there’s excitement when I’m running a real race!  They had someone pray before the race began.  Cool!  And we’re off!  I’m running.  With the sun in my eyes.  This is why I like my very early morning runs, before the sun comes up. It didn’t last long, though, and we turned a corner.  People started passing me, as usual, which was okay except that I had a goal in mind for this race.  I wanted to pass at least five people.  At some point I passed two walkers.  Okay, technically I passed people, but they were walkers so do they really count?  Actually, I didn’t even keep count of the people I passed, I just tried to find people and pass them.  I saw a father and his young son and passed them but then they passed me and then I passed them, etc.  I imagine that father’s ego didn’t want a woman to pass him and his son so they sped up.  Oh well. 
Let me back up to the 1-mile mark.  I was at 11:44 at that point.  What?!  I usually do a mile in about 13 minutes.  Sadly, my first thought wasn’t that I was running faster but that the measurement of my distance at home must be off.  L  Then I did the calculation of when I should be at mile 2.  Just before 23:30.  At mile 2 I was at 24:09, 40 seconds slower than I wanted to be.  Sigh.  Keep running, Michele.  At least you’re still running. 

I recovered from that little letdown and just enjoyed running.  We were running through a very nice subdivision in Plant City called Walden Lake.  We passed a little pond and I looked at it wondering if I would see an alligator.  If I did, would I say something and freak out the other runners?  Should I say something even if there isn’t an alligator and see what people do?  (hee hee!)  Run, Michele. 
I saw a woman who was bigger than I am now but not as big as I was before I started losing weight.  And she was ahead of me.  Ooohh!  Now she’s walking!  I can overtake her!  Closing in…getting closer…almost there…What?!  She started running again.  Aarrgghh!!  That happened a few times but I finally caught up to her.  I said, “Every time I try to pass you, you start running again!”  She said, “I’ve never run this far before!”  I told her good for her and that she was doing great.  Run, Michele. 

At some point the scripture “My lungs expand with His praise” entered my mind.  (Psalms 34:1 – MSG).  I remembered that and breathed deeper, letting my lungs fill up with more fresh air and my mind fill up with more praise to the God who made the air and my lungs. 
The whole time I was running I felt strong.  Not strong like

But strong like alive

I crossed the finish line in 38:19!  That’s 6 seconds faster than I texted some people this morning.  There’s always a difference between gun time and chip time, and 38:25 was what my watch said.  I’ll take 38:19! 

My info is a little past the middle, at #675, my bib number.  I came in 10th out of 17 women in my age group.
They always have water, bananas, and sometimes other food for the runners after a race.  This is what they had for us today!
This was as good as any medal to me!

I high-fived the strawberry guy!

I got a ribbon!  I’ve never gotten a medal, ribbon, certificate, or anything like that from any of the 7 or so races I’ve done.  And I got strawberries! 

This was one of the most fun races I’ve ever run, and I'll definitely be making it an annual event! 
Now I train for the Gasparilla 8K in two weeks.




No comments:

Post a Comment