Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Winning Feels Really Good

After the marathon I was worried I would feel aimless and depressed with no running goals to work towards so I signed myself up for a 5 mile cross country race that was going to take place up the street from the OHOOD. I also have been wanting to run it since it was one of a few road races I ran in high school. I have a t-shirt that I wear quite often from the 1992 running of this race. Of course after I signed up shit started hurting and I doubted I jog it let alone race it. I would not be deterred on Sunday morning, however. I woke up and pretended like it was a race and I drove up there and warmed up like it was a race. I talked to my mailman running friend Bob about how crappy I was feeling just like I've done before previous races. And then the gun went off and I raced.

The first two miles were muddy and hilly but not too bad and I managed to run 6:50's for both, but then miles 3 and 4 were hellaciously muddy and hilly--through a wet horse field!--and I slowed to 7:50's. But then mile 5 was like the first two miles again and I managed to run 6:50 on the nose (at least according to the race people's split times they were calling out. What's really funny is shortly after the first mile I was running behind a girl. One of her friends yelled out to her that she was the first woman. I decided that I wanted to be the first woman so I passed her and never looked back. I can't tell you how thrilling it was to know I was in first place. I have NEVER had that feeling running before. I have never even had a hint at a chance to win. It was definitely a running mile stone.

Of course, I told myself it was a local thing, my time sucked, and no good runners were there. But it turns out that's not true. Some really good high school girls ran it. The girl I passed at mile one runs college cross-country and the woman who eventually came in second ran a 1:32 half-marathon a couple of months ago. Also, the 14 year old kid that I ran the last mile with ran 18:40's in high school cross-country 5k races. (yes, it's sad but I looked. I wanted to put it in perspective and I'm glad I did). And looking back I pretty much passed people from mile one on. I think I might actually believe I could be pretty fast on a road course right now. In fact, I am really excited to try it out. I'm going to run a 5 mile road race on Thanksgiving if my legs are still in one piece by then. But the point is that I think I am actually really proud of myself and not cutting down my achievement for once! Woohoo!

In other news I almost didn't vote. I am a big weenie and forgot to change my address on my registration in time. But I checked the voter registration website and found out that I was still registered at my old apartment and the voting station is just about 2 miles from work. So after a business lunch of jambalaya (I know) I laced up my shoes and ran the two miles to the polling station, voted, and ran back. I got to mix two of my favorite things in one outing! How cool is that?!

And guess what? Ohio's turning blue today! I can feel it!

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