Thursday, June 14, 2007

Happy Flag Day!

Yesterday was quite a day. I woke up and did my easy 3.5 mile run down to the end of my street and back. I love my street. It meanders along a river with some rolling hills, lots of trees, and just wonderful amounts of wildlife. I saw 3 great blue herons in the river yesterday! One was flying low along the river. One was wading looking for fish. One was standing on one leg all yogi-like. I love those things!

After that it was home to water my flowers (which I’ll have you know I haven’t killed yet!) I am so proud of my little flower boxes with the zinnias and sweet alyssum. It’s big pops of red and yellow intermixed with little delicate white. I do have to get more dirt for the one box—remind me, k?

Then it was the mad dash to work. Mrp and I work at the same place, which is great. We don’t work in the same department, so we don’t really work together so it’s all the convenience and none of the weird awkwardness of working with the one you love. Anyway, we commute together, and mrp drives us in the morning. I enjoy this time. We listen to NPR or chit chat about this or that. I used to fall asleep, but now that I’m running in the morning I am usually wide awake and ready to take advantage of this little bit of time alone together. Once we get to work we have to run to the fitness center, shower, and do all that and then finally I run upstairs and plop myself in my office and get cracking on my blog—I mean work. Heh.

Yesterday, I had to run over to my rental property on my lunch hour. I bought a house a couple of years ago before mrp, before going back to school, and all that stuff. Luckily, I had the forethought to buy something that I could eventually use as an investment property—I bought a duplex in a popular suburb. When I decided to go back to school, I just rented out the side I used to live on. Since then, both sides are rented. This has not been too much of a hassle. The house is old though, so there is always something to fix. Well, one side’s tenants called me and told me the a/c wasn’t working well. So I had a heating and cooling guy over yesterday to check it out. The a/c is essentially fine, but we discovered the furnace needs to be replaced. Since the other side’s furnace is around the same age he strongly encouraged me to replace that one too. Yeah! Two furnaces! Ugh. At least that problem is easy to solve. It’s expensive, but relatively simple. And it’s a capital improvement that I can write off, so that’s always good.

Of course, my lunch hour was more like a lunch 3 hour, but whatever. I took some stuff I had to read and got that done while I waited around. I came back to my office and kicked some butt on some of my projects, so I don’t feel too guilty about it. I did have to head out right at 5:00 to make sure I had enough time to drop mrp off at home and get to the race on time. (I bet you’re reading this and thinking—SHUT UP about this crap—how did the race go?!)

Anyway, I got to the race and registered and all that. I started my warm-up and I spotted this guy I used to talk to when I did workouts at a local track. Last summer we ran really similar times at races—I came from behind and beat him twice—Sorry B! He’s super nice. And he’s a mailman. Anyway, he gave me the bad news that his knee is shot. He was able to run until 61. Not too shabby! I know he’s bummed. Maybe they’ll figure something out for him. I hope, anyway.

After chatting for a few minutes with him, I headed off for the rest of my warm-up. I found a nice loop in the shade and ran around and around. I passed two women headed in the opposite direction. I came around the corner and passed them again. One of them said my name. I turned and she said, “Hi. It’s me, E-speed.” “Hi!” I yelled back. It was so nice of her to introduce herself. I always wonder how I’d do that—introduce myself to someone I only know in blogland. Could I bring myself to actually refer to myself as Salty? It’s funny, I have this blog persona and it is very much like the real me, but it’s still a persona. It’s not actually the real me, you know? Ah, the metaphysics of blogging.

Anyway, it was about time to make my way to the starting line. I turned off my loop, and oops, wrong turn. Uh oh! I ran back, and was a little worried. I picked up the pace. Ok, time to do strides!!! Heh. Luckily, I made it with a few minutes to spare. First, let me tell you about the adoreable WWII vet color guard making the Flag Day 5k very festive! I love those old guys decked out in their uniforms, all solemn and holding their flags in just the correct way.

Anyway, I lined up right next to E and we chatted some more. That girl is cute as a button! She was worried she wasn’t recovered fully from a ultra(?) relay she ran a few days before. I’ll have you know she kicked @$$ out there! She ran (a minute or so?) faster than she’s been running her 5ks. Awesome! I think those big long run workouts she’s been doing—the marathons, the relay legs, etc--are catching up. I’m telling you, there’s nothing like mileage to boost your fitness!!

Oh, I’m getting ahead of myself. Where were we. Yes, the race director’s speech, the national anthem, yadda yadda yadda (not making light of the national anthem, just the pre race rituals), horn! Off we go. Weeeeeee down a hill. OOOOOOOooooops going WAY too fast. Pass a girl who I KNOW will be passing me later. Oh well. Two younger girls go flying by me. At about the half mile point, I go flying by them never to see them again. Just before the mile marker, the girl who I KNOW will pass me does and that’s good. She’s been on fire lately and better kick my @$$ today! I hit the first mile in 5:50! Double oops!

At this point, the course is completely open with the sun blazing. I could feel the pace in my chest probably since my cold is not completely gone. I decide to ease up—afterall, this is for C race workout purposes, not A race setting solid PR purposes. I also knew I was in third and not going to move up and would probably hold as long as I maintained even this slower pace. We hit a spot where it’s uphill, in the open sun, on blacktop. Yuck! Although I see my grandparents sitting on lawn chairs here (the course passes their condo). Awww. Thanks guys!! We run up the hill to a sharp turnaround and back from whence we came. My mile two split was something atrocious like 12:20!

After that we headed up to some paved trails in a wooded section. It’s nice to get out of the sun, but the trails are hilly, twisty, and bumpy. I passed some people in here. I actually felt really good, like the pace wasn’t too hard. I felt like I wasn’t running all out. This is good. I decided with about a half mile or so to go to start pushing it a little bit. I did and came in with a little PR of 19:29. The low tech race is crediting me with 19:30, but I know I ran a 19:29 and I am clinging to that one second! I came in third and got a gigantic flag festooned trophy.

After the race, I had the pleasure of talking to the second place woman (the one who I KNEW would pass me and did) and her dad. Her dad is from Slovenia so we had a lot to talk about there. It was fun. Oh, and she ran a great 18:49! I also met my ART guy’s brother who I always end up finishing around—he just edged me out at the finish yesterday. I’ve heard a lot about him, so that was nice. I also met a lady named Leslie who ran about a mile of cooldown with me. She was nice too. It was a really fun time and a great workout to boot, just like I knew it would be. It made up for the crappy news about my furnaces, I got to talk to all kinds of great people, and I even had fans (can I tell you how cute my grandparents were on their lawn chairs!) Just as I predicted, I am happy I did it.


GP said...

Great job on your 5K! What a killer day to finish... a race, literally, all the way to the end. I'm glad it turned out well and that you kicked butt.

And that your grandparents were out and cheering you on. Now that's cool.

Jim said...

I'm sooooo jealous! Sub-20 minutes and then some. Awesome job.

Quinto Sol said...

Darn Woman, you set a PR and you didn't even break a sweat... AND, AND you had a cold! How cool is that? Congrats!

DaisyDuc said...

Way to go with that bad arse time in the warm evening conditions!!! Guess you could not resist going for the PR!

How sweet of your grandparents!! Congrats!

E-Speed said...

You rocked out there! It was great to get to meet you in person. Hopefully I can eek out some of your speed before too long. Sub 20 sounds so nice :)

My watch was also a second faster than what the race credited me for and I even started right with the gun. Oh well :)

Maybe they'll give you a deal since you are buying two furnaces?

AddictedToEndorphins said...

Hey! Sounds like it was a good race..Congrats on the PR!

Question: Did you do the 3.5 mile run on the same day as the race?

Papa Louie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Papa Louie said...

Congratulations on running a great 5K race! What a happy flag day I'm sure it was for you!