Saturday, November 1, 2008

We are in trouble, my dear!

I am just back from my first post-high school running competition. I knew I was in trouble when the name of the park was Cobb's Hill. I am familiar with the venue but didn't give much thought to the fact that it is very hilly. No big deal, I can run 5k with my eyes closed, right? So, as the announcer starts prepping the crowd and runners for the event, he commented on the UPHILL course for 2.5 miles. The groans from the runners began (and my eyes opened a bit wider than usual.) BUT, I said to myself, NO PROBLEM, you're a RUNNER. You can do this! Not to worry, the announcer said, the finish line is downhill (cool, I LIKE GRAVITY). So, I positioned myself toward the back of the pack - I wasn't going to run like hell, I just wanted a nice workout and by the sounds of things, the course would take care of that challenge for me.

So, the starting whistle blew and my COMPETITIVE adrenaline kicked in. To heck with a leisurely jog - I was going to kick this hill's hind end. Even so, I was afraid to start too quickly (heed the words of Hot Hal.) My first mile was a slow, but comfortable 10 minutes even. Then, I heard the inner Laura voice saying "That's not fast enough, start passing, start running faster, become one with the hill, ...." I DID. From that moment on, I passed and passed and passed and passed. Most of the people just kept to themselves as I passed on the hills, passed on the curves, passed .... Some of them didn't have the energy to say a word. Some of the runners were so encouraging "looking strong, go get em." So, GO GET EM I did. I hit the 2 mile mark feeling fantastic. I came around the top of the reservoir at the top of Cobb's Hill and started the winding downward hill home (lengthening the stride, relaxing the arms, catching my breath.) The closer to the finish line, the better I felt. Could I actually be wishing that the race was longer? Sure, I could have done it, but I was happy to hear my name as I crossed the finish line. I was psyched to see my kids and husband run to hug me after the race was done. What a great time I had showing that hill who is boss. I posted a time of 27 minutes and change - not bad for a first-timer (and an uphill battle, at that.) I ended up 6th in my age bracket (out of 20.) I'm happy with my finish.

So, why are we in trouble? Kari - I didn't think that I would be competitive at this age. I thought that streak in me was long gone. BUT, you know that I am going to find another 5k race next week (or maybe even a 10k) and I better be faster than I was today. I am in so much trouble. It was a blast - even if it was hard, it was a blast. I just hope I don't hit the streets of Paris and feel like I have to show the marathon who is boss. It is one thing to push for 3.2 miles, it's another thing entirely to push for 26.2 miles - should be fun, though.


  1. That's how I feel when the whistle blows, and the soccer game begins. 88 minutes in midfield? No problem! Men 100 pounds heavier charging me down? Bring 'em on.

    The competitive adrenaline rocks. You go, Laura! That is so awesome. :)

  2. For a second there I totally thought you were Rocky! (especially with the mini lady lib there behind you!)Except Rocky wore a hooded sweatshirt, I think...

  3. So, next time I will wear a HOODIE, just for you. You won't be able to see my beautiful profile, but anything for a picture.

  4. You do have quite a nice profile, I have to admit. You two are inspiring me! Time to go have a morning run.