I figured if there was a good place to run a sub20 5K, this was the race. Sally was a local athlete and a few years younger than me. I distinctly remember when she joined the high school cross-country circuit. My coach told us that < insert local highschool > had a new faster runner, even faster than Sara Gorton. I hadnt realized that people were physically capable of running faster than Sara.
I never ran with Sally but I saw her (at the finish) of many local races. I always thought it was cool how I could see her in real life, and then turn my TV on and see her pink socks on my television.
One night earlier this year, I fell asleep while watching the local news. David woke me up to inform me that the "runner girl I liked" had been hit by a car while riding her bike and died.
I had a few emotions.
Although her running career which much faster, it mimicked my own as she went from cross country runner to marathon runner to triathlete. As much as admired her, I also related to her, and it was hard not to think - Wow, that could have so easily been me.
I never get on my bike and not think about Sally.
She reminded me that none of us, even the best of us, are invincible.
She was so talented and amazing and it is so unfair that her life was cut short. But in her short time she was able inspire runners everywhere, which is why 1000 people showed up this morning to run in her honor. And some of these people were FAST.
My original plan was to pace myself a steady 6:20. I knew the Banditos would be there, along with some professionals. I didnt want to get caught up in their race and lose sight of my own.
But on the morning of race day I learned that it was not a chipped timed race - so I had to re-strategize. I didn't want to start in the back and be stuck behind slower people, but I also didn't want to start in the front and be that slow person.
So the new plan became 6:10/6:20/6:30 splits for a 6:20 average.
The start was not nearly as fast as I anticipated - I didn't need to sprint nor did I get trampled. I found my groove early on and passed Mile 1 in 6:16.
It was a little quick, but also right on par with recent mile repeats and I decided that I was going to keep that pace. For Mile 2, we had the option of running on a sidewalk, or the corresponding road. I started on the sidewalk:
but I didnt like the constant dips so I switched to the road. This is where I failed to notice that there were rather large speed bumps.
And I tripped.
I did not fall but I stumbled forward and while catching myself, my leg hit the ground in a very awkward position. I felt my hamstring twist from the back of my leg to my groin.
"Oh my God!" someone exclaimed behind me.
"Are you OK??" someone else asked.
Dang it , I said in my head. They are talking to me.
I didn't know if I was okay, or if I should stop.
I spent the remainder of Mile 2 thinking about it, and asked myself, What would Sally Do?
I had no idea what Sally would do and passed Mile 2 in 6:17.
At that point, my sub-20 is in the bag and there is only one more mile left. I decide to keep running.
My right leg hurt and I knew I was limping.
This, of course, slowed me down. At one point I looked down and I was running a 7-minute mile!! My sub-20 was slipping away and I spent the rest of the race getting my pace back down.
Mile 3, which seemed to never end, took me 6:28.
I sprinted the .12 to the finish, if you want to call it a "sprint" for a 19:40 finish:
My average pace = 6:20, right what I originally wanted.
I am pleased about that.
I am less pleased about my leg.
The minute I stopped running, the pain intensified.
I looked for a medic. There was not one.
I looked for a massage table. There was not one.
I looked for ice. There was none.
So I hobbled around for 30 minutes,
ate some IB profin,
cried a little,
talked to friends,
and drank diet coke.
Eventually, the pain went away and I am hoping everything feels okay tomorrow. I will update next week, and resume posting adorable token pictures of the twins.