Monday, June 16, 2008

Overall Peanut

Let's get back on topic, ok? My friend CJ asked me to run a 5k on Sunday that was close to my neighborhood. She was doing the duathalon. I agreed because besides being pretty close to where I live now it ran through my childhood neighborhood, starting in the park that hosted my brownie meetings and summer day camp. I couldn't pass it up!

Unfortunately, the race started at 7:30. I am not quite the early riser I once was, but I managed to make it there by 7:15. I preregistered just because I know myself that well. I was still half asleep, I swear but when I ambled into the restroom I found CJ. She was all cute and nervous and pre-race focused. Normally I imagine I'm like that too. It's nice to not give a sh*t and to pull up minutes before the start and line up somewhere in the middle and just bumble out of the start and just enjoy it. I always enjoyed racing really, but in a stressed out high stakes kind of way. I have to say, I like this relaxed way better. Hopefully when I'm back being competitive I'll remember this.

I found the starting area and met CJ and her fiancee and chatted with them before they ditched me to head up to the front. Of course, that's where they belonged and I waved from my mid-pack starting spot. The race started and as we made our way our of the park parking lot I remembered riding my "Blue Angel" banana seat bike into the same entrance some 24 years ago. It was actually at this park that I realized how much I love running. I'd play capture the flag with the boys and no one ever complained when I was on their team because I could climb up in the pavilion to hide the flag in the rafters and of course run just as fast as any of them. And it was when I was in day camp at this park as a 9 year old that I participated in our local Junior Olympics. I ran the 50 and 100 yard dashes and performed the running long jump. I came in first or second place in all three.

We made our way through some shaded neighborhoods. We passed one house with a young mother holding her baby watching us through her doorway. She smiled at me and I smiled back. We headed out of the narrow-streets and out to the main drag and passed my elementary school, where I also demonstrated my athletic prowess on the chin-up bar and that rope that used to hang from all elementary school gym ceilings. I have such fond memories of that school and of the park. They're from when my childhood was good. When we lived in the little red house. Before my dad was really sick and before he died. When I was too young to understand that food stamps were not good things and that normal people don't drive their kids around in cars that break down every couple of days. My age of innocence.

Around a mile or so (there were no mile markers) I started to feel really hot. The course was all out in the open sun now and it was really affecting me. I still felt my pace was comfortable, but I just wasn't feeling it as much as Wednesday. We finally came to another shaded neighborhood section with about a mile to go. I started to push the pace a bit. I felt good and strong. And then we turned and we were off road. It was nuts! They had us run through a woody access path back to the park and then about a quarter of a mile on bumpy grass! Not good for pregnant ladies! I had to slow way down because I am not about to risk a fall on unfamiliar terrain. I finally made it over that section and into the shoot. The woman who ripped off my tag said way to go. You and baby are number 1! I picked up a piece of cold watermelon (yum!) and then a trophy.

I put all my stuff back in the car, grabbed my gatorade and then headed back out for a two mile cool-down jog and to watch the bike portion of the duathalon (5k run, 20 mile bike, 5k run) and biathalon (5k run and 13 mile bike). I waited until I saw CJ enter her final lap. I cheered her on and finished my jog and waited for her to reenter the park for her final transition. She came blazing back in in fourth place but she was only a minute behind third. I told her she can totally catch number 3 on the run. After a very quick transition (I was impressed! It would take me 5 minutes just to put my running shoes on) she was off. She looked very strong. I ran back off for my second cool-down run. I was feeling good and keeping it to the shade so I was fine. I went out into that neighborhood that constituted the bulk of the last mile of the 5k. And sure enough CJ came around the turn in third place! She had about a 30 second gap on 4th too! She looked great. I ran with her for about 200 meters or so (all I could do at that pace!) and she was talking and seemed so relaxed. I let her go on her way and jogged back to the finish where I found her already finished with a medal around her neck. She did great and I really enjoyed watching the duathalon. I've never seen a multisport event in action and I always love going out to support my friends!

Anyway, I finally left the park around 9:30. I got home and ran to mrp working in the garden and showed him my trophy that said "Overall Female" on it. He was all proud and we laughed about how only about 5 people probably ran the whole thing! But, I've only won a race two other times so even though it was a small race that was part of a bigger multi-sport event it's still pretty nice, especially with peanut on board. I took it inside and I covered up "Female" with "Peanut." I'll save it as peanut's first winning trophy. Go Peanut!


TrainingtoTri said...

Holy Moly woman you are amazing! Cheers to Peanut for winning it's first race.

CJ said...

I'm so glad you did the race...and won! You and Peanut kicked some butt this week!

Thanks for all the cheering and running with me at the end! That helped a lot.

E-Speed said...

woohoo! Peanuts first overall!

Meghan said...

Go Peanut! You'll have to display the trophy in the baby's room for his/hers first win!

Oh yeah, and congrats to you, too, girlie, for hauling Peanut around like that!


kenyarunb said...

You and Peanut are so inspiring, Salty!! I think Peanut is going to need a trophy case in his/her room very soon. I also think that road races ought to have a new category (in addition to age group and overall) for expecting moms!

On another note, thank you so so so much for all of your computer cheers (I swear I can hear them). I almost pulled out of the race last week and early this week, but I jogged on Monday suddenly felt inspired to go. I'll be thinking of you and Peanut during the race :)


Mindi said...