**Warning: Short race, long report
Skip to the bottom if you just want the finish time**
The Eugene Celebration Mile - Eugene, OR
Fear, doubt, backing out and "incentives"
I almost didn't do this race for several reasons.
First, I was a little leery of spending money for such a short race. It's so short that if things don't go well, the money's spent and there's no time mid-race to make much adjustment.
Secondly, I am very inexperienced still at short distances. I have only ran on a track for a mile once as an adult last year. In high school we did the mile-and-a-half timed test once a year for PE. That's my track background.
Also, It's been a long session of training since my last race, with very few rest days . I finally took a rest day yesterday, though, because I thought my ankle might be getting a bit "twingie".
Interestingly, after my last blog post, one special friend emailed me and offered to pay my entry if I didn't PR. Ha! No pressure there!!
Finally, curiosity got the best of me. I decided that I might never have such a great opportunity to run a fast mile for an official time again. You really never know when your running days might come to an end, or other things in life might need to take over.
I don't want any regrets. Yes, I'd have passed if up if it was more more than 25$, but I was willing to throw that much away today.
I arrived way too early for this race. This never happens. Maybe it should more often.
They were still setting up the tables for the 9:50 race at 7:40 when I got there. What can I say? Someone else was watching the kids! I knew I need to warm up, but not for 2 hours. I sat in my car and listened to the radio.
I had already eaten a bagel and half a banana, drank coffee w/ sugar and milk, and quite a bit of cola Nuun.
I went back to the tables, now set up, and payed my entry fee. Now I couldn't back out!
I looked for a port-a-pot. Would you be surprised if I told you there weren't any for a mile race? Nevertheless...I was glad that the race start was situated conveniently next to Starbucks.
I went for a warm-up run and cruised part of the course and headed to the U of O campus, circled around the cemetery and back for a total of about 2.5 slow miles. With less than 5 minutes before the race, I did a few short strides and lined up near the start with the other racers. I was surprised how FEW people there were! I set my watch and had no problem getting a spot on the start line.
I had some goals written on my hand for each 1/4 mile, based on the running calculators. But they were really just optimistic targets. I didn't set any alerts on the Garmin this time- I just put it on the screen for current pace.
The RD explained to the racers that they had rolled (measured) the course 3 different times and that it was accurate to within an inch. There was also a small distraction with a man who had some pro-life signs slightly in the road. The police asked him to move to the sidewalk.
"The best pace is a suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die."
When the gun fired, I did my new "usual thing" and went out way too fast.
My first clue was when we got to the 1/4 mile, there were only a handful of guys ahead of me still, and one of them was wearing a yellow cape, and yellow helmet with a chicken strapped on it! I figured anyone wearing that kind of costume must be VERY fast-and VERY cool. He was.
I put on the brakes a smidge, realizing I could not sustain the pace. Then I let ChickenHead pace me.
I watch many men passing me at this point. I was OK with that, and I think I may have caught a few later.
We rounded a corner with crowds cheering. I could hear things being said about the chicken and shouts for me! For such a short and small race, there was a load of crowd support!! It's great to run a race on a parade course right before the parade! :)
In short time, I could see the flags waving at the finish line and tried to maintain speed. My unplanned mantra while running was, "You can die after you cross the finish line!"
I ended up with about a 5-6 second difference between my first half mile and the second- positive splits.
And, since there were so few people, and the 5:30 ladies didn't show up this year, I ended up first female in 5:41 a new PR!
|Chicken-Head was a GREAT pacer. Super fast and super nice!|
I spent some time cheering for the other finishers and eating the snacks & water provided.
I met some new people and had plenty of time for visiting and talking about races with them.
Afterwards, I went for a run to cool down and reflect on things near the Rexius trail. But after about 20 steps, I realized I might get my shoes dirty and went back to the pavement, ha!. Not a trail runner today...
I am SUPER happy that I decided to spend the money on this SHORT race today and got plenty of "bang for my buck". Thanks to the friends I have here who have had confidence in my racing and encourage me. Again, God was gracious to let me run and I am thankful!
BIG thanks to my SUPER MOM and DAD for watching the kiddos while I was racing (and my hubby was busy tracking elk- Go get one honey!!)!
A few photos from their day today:
|Levi with a grabbing wolf head. Here comes trouble!|
|Serious fishing done again!|