Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Salt Lake (not) Marathon

I didn't run anything remotely close to a marathon.  But technically that's the name of the event.
As I mentioned last week, I would have loved to do the half, but that was nixed.
Which was made ok by the fact that I ended up winning an entry into the 5k!
Thanks to Salt Lake Running Company I got to race, which thrilled me!

You know that question, "what would you do if you won the lottery?"
Everyone always answers with big house, nice new car(s), luxurious vacations....all those typical answers.

If I somehow ended up with some huge sum of money, I would race every weekend.
Unlimited race budget would be awesome!  (Some of which would be in exotic places while on luxurious vacations of course)

It's just so much fun.  The people, the energy, the music, the excitement....love it.
And this one had an awesome finish line party going on for hours because of the half and full and the number of people not only running but family and friends waiting for runners.  Good times.

I promised I'd break out the Totally Poppable shirt.

 If I didn't need a little support on the belly, I would have run this way.

I had looked at the course for the 5k, it winds around through downtown Salt Lake.  Great!  Looking at the elevation chart confused me a little...I lived just outside of SLC my whole life until a couple of years ago when we moved here-what's with the hills?

I knew going up the first stretch would be slightly uphill, but it's pretty flat through most of the city.  Except somehow I've never really paid attention to the fact that State Street has a nice little incline there to the south of South Temple.  Awesome.


Aaron found it hilarious that I was using body glide before a 5k.

Chafing is not fun.  You can see above how seriously I take this.  Deep concentration there.
Chub rub is no joke.  Especially when you are sporting 30+ extra pounds.
I couldn't find my 2Toms so I relied on a tiny body glide that I had from a previous swag bag.  I still got rubbed raw under one arm.  Totally sold on Sports Shield over body glide.
Also-note to self: sticking earbuds inside the top of the tank...not such a good idea appearance-wise.  Awkward.

Of course it wouldn't be a Catey moment without the pose.

(also seen here, here....yep, definitely my default)

I was hoping that the announcer would mention something about walkers moving toward the back of the start so that those of us who were planning on running could get out without trying to navigate, but no such luck.  I'm not dumb enough to think I should be at the real front of the start on a 5k with this many people, so I tried to pick a decent spot toward the front of the middle and hoped for the best.  I should have stepped up a little further.  It was tough to get out in that first little bit which was frustrating.  I can only imagine how the real fast runners that were squeezing through people and darting past me must have felt as I was trying to navigate without crashing into or tripping over anyone.  Nature of the beast I guess.  I was afraid to pick it up much though as I didn't want to sprint out and wear myself out in the first few tenths of a mile, so I did the best I could at working my way through the crowd.
I maintained a nice pace going up South Temple to the first turn, and then as we hit State Street I flew downhill.  It was awesome!  I love passing people while sporting a belly.  (sorry, it's true.)  And then I realized that I was going to have to run back up that hill I had just flown down.  Nice.  Keeping that in mind I eased off a little, knowing I'd rather run a consistent pace than end up walking at all on the uphill.

(This is actually a pic from the half marathon runners, borrowed from here-but the courses all finished along this same route.  This is just past the 5k turnaround.    Look up over these runners' heads.  nice hill.)

I accomplished that, running the whole thing fairly consistently, just a minor slowdown on that incline.
I was able to make up for that on the down as I turned back onto So Temple toward the finish.  I was very happy to find that I had a little kick left in me at the end this time and was able to pass a few people, and stay in front of the lady who was right on my tail down that last stretch.   Somewhere in that finish sprint I clocked a sub 8 pace, which is killer, even if it was only for a matter of seconds.
It was enough to pull me in one second under my finish goal.  ONE second.
New slowest 5k, but still sub 30!

(official chip time had me at 30:00 even, but I'm taking my one second dangit!)

And considering the course, I'm happy with that.
Good enough for 9th in age group too.  9/83 AG, 171/716 overall.
(trying not to think about the fact that 3 seconds faster would have bumped me up a spot in AG)

I was reminded of how excited I am to run my next marathon when I ran past the mile 26 marker on my way to the finish.  I got that little buzz inside.  Not sure when that next one will be, but I'm looking forward to it.

Such an awesome morning, made even more fun by the double takes and the smirks from the cops patrolling streets as I ran past.  By the lady who I walked past that said "wow-she's awesome!", and the fact that one guy grabbed me after the finish and said "I was trying to keep up with you...I was able to for the first little bit but then I just couldn't catch up."  I've always been one of those people who likes to fly under the radar-never wanted to raise my hand in class as a kid, would rather just blend in than stand out, and would definitely not want to call attention to myself in public.  But I have to admit that I've gone to the dark side for now.  I'm so happy to be running still that I'm all about running in the bright green tank so you can't possibly miss the big belly sticking out.  I love it.

But I have to say that my favorite part of 5k's has nothing to do with me.  Aaron and I were killing some time after my finish so I could meet up with someone, so we went walking around the new City Creek development.
(It's amazing by the way)

As we were heading up the couple of blocks to get there, it had been just over  an hour from the start of the 5k.  There were still people coming in.  The winner of the half marathon was flying down the street, and there were still 5k participants working to finish.  These are the most inspiring people to me.  Yes, I sit in awe at the athleticism, talent and natural ability of those who are lightening fast and win these races.  But I am more blown away by those who do it because it is the hardest thing for them to do.  The people who are fighting for a healthier life.  Those who have worked for weeks or in some cases even months to be able to walk 3 miles.  There was a couple holding hands trying to pick up their walk into a jog as they headed toward the finish line.  There was a woman struggling to breathe, bright red in the face, trying her best to do more than walk as she came in those last few yards.  None of those coming in an hour after the clock started are the picture of a healthy lifestyle.  But the fact that they are out there out of their comfort zone working towards that amazes me.  It literally brought me to tears to watch them coming in.  I'm sure Aaron was amused at me trying to choke out the words to explain to him why I was walking along crying.  But seeing the excitement in their faces as they headed toward that finish line, some of them in tears themselves....that's what really gets me.  Those are the ones that motivate me to better myself.  So to you people who worry about being at the back of the pack or not looking like an athlete, who are afraid to sign up for a 5k because you worry about taking too long, or even being last, know that you inspire.  Know that you motivate.  Know that you can do it.



Laurie said...

You are so beautiful! Great job on the race... I'm sure a lot of people picked up their pace a bit when they saw the very pregnant lady picking them off one by one. You rock!

Kelsey said...

Good Job! Seriously.....? Race every weekend. Wow. How bout sit on the beach and do nothing :)

Jane said...

Congrats on your 5k! That is awesome! And I'm taking notes. Body Glide, belly support, and I also like passing people with my belly. Hey, a pregnant woman has to get her thrills where she can, right? ;) Awesome race!!!

Celeste said...

That last paragraph brought tears to my eyes!! You look so cute with your little "green" belly! :)