Friday, November 23, 2012

A Day of Thanksgiving!

Yesterday morning I awoke with great excitement in anticipation of my first race in some time. After downing 2 Gatorades and heading to the gathering area in Ft Worth, I discovered that evidently almost 15000 others had the same idea which made parking quite difficult. It was not long before the announcer stated that the 10K would be starting in 5 minutes. And then the 2 Gatorades made their presence known in my bladder. I asked a race official if he could give me the location of the nearest portable facilities and after getting directions from this fine gentleman, I rushed to the facilities only to find out that I could complete the actual 10K and still not have made it through the long lines to the facilities. At this time, the announcer declared that the 10K would be starting in 2 minutes so I rushed back to the starting line and after a few side-straddle hops and cartwheels, the race began.
My racing strategy was quite simple. I planned to start slow and the gradually go slower. When I reached the 5th mile, my plan was to catch everybody that was within my vision to the front by sprinting to the finish line. I felt that since I ran 6 miles on Monday evening in 1:08:35, I was going to aim for a finishing time of about the same for the 6.1 mile race. I decided to play it safe with my ETA since I had never run this course before and only had one rough map to gauge elevation.
Surprisingly, I kept to my strategy quite well during the first 5 miles and I found that the time I spent studying the course with the rough map I did have proved quite helpful. At no time did I not know where I was on the course and how far was left to negotiate. The hills that were on the course were quite tame in relation to the trail hills I have faced and thus I was able to power up the hills with some ease. It was amusing to hear people curse when they arrived at the hills and then watch them slow down to a walk. It brought me great pleasure to pass these unprepared enthusiasts.
Before I knew it, Mile 5 had arrived and I was ready to begin racing. I gradually increased my speed and began roping people in. It appeared I inspired a few runners in my area because a few of them attempted to start their kicks with me. One female wearing a White Rock Marathon shirt seemed to be especially keen on staying with me for the last 1/4 mile. But when I saw the finish line ahead and the PA speakers blaring SRV, I smirked and took off even faster leaving her behind to enjoy the view of my posterior. My finishing time was 1:06:06. but strangely my phone read a distance of 6.3 miles. If that is accurate, I actually ran faster at the race than I expected to!
As I crossed the finish line, I headed straight to the facilities and found no lines. I do not know which felt better: finishing the race or relieving myself in the facilities. After this task was complete, I began to look for my work friends who were on the 5K course. I reversed the course and was able to walk in to the finish line with them thus completing this race day chasing a very fast 5 year old grandson of a coworker across the finish line. He crossed the line and yelled "I won!". Yes you did!
After a few more cartwheels and side straddle hops, I headed home to begin my feasting and to give thanks openly for my great speed!

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