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<span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I ran into a girl a couple of weeks ago at my gym that was asking me about my running. I’ve been using the indoor track at the ladies gym when the weather wasn’t so great around here. She told me about a local running club and asked if I was going to do the Mardi Gras 10K in a couple of weeks. I didn’t know about it before then so I said, na I’m really just getting ready for a 5K I’m doing in Birmingham in a few weeks and I don’t think I’m ready for a 10K. She said; well think about it, it wouldn’t be a big deal at all if you wanted to walk/run it.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I thought about it for the entire two weeks. I made list in my head of reasons to do it and reasons not to do it. I didn’t tell anyone about it because I wanted it to be my decision without outside influences, if I crashed and burned I wasn’t sure I was even going to mention it, I was nervous enough as is and didn’t want to talk about it.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I’ve been reading a couple of books. Runners World Complete guide to Running and Running for Mortals. I e-mailed a couple of friends that have more experience than me and asked race day questions to get a feel for the do’s and don’ts of races. I read a few things you guys have posted to obtain good information too. Doing all these things helped big time so thank-you very much! I felt pretty well prepared.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">The morning of the race I got up really early. I hadn’t pre-registered. I am a procrastinator and even though I knew in my mind I had already committed to do it I still waited because I was nervous. I didn’t want to eat at all, I’m not a good eat breakfast person but I’ve been making myself eat breakfast more because you’re supposed to.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I went to the race by myself. I had considered talking a friend or two into doing it with me but when I thought about it more I didn’t want to have to stop and walk with them if I could keep running. I had so many things I wanted to see when I did this race. I have no idea what my true pace could be. I’ve been thinking I’m insane to have signed up for the HM in Madison in May. I need to do this to see where I was at with my running. I’d never run six miles before. I planned to walk run the 10K, get a feel for a real race day, things like that.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">The start of the race I let a good many people be ahead of me. So I guess I started towards the back and I didn’t think to time myself and I didn’t pay attention to what time I hit the starting line. See how freaked out I was at this point?</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">This was also the first time I ran without music and I was fine with that. I figured too many of you would have been pissed at me had I used my iPod in a race and didn’t want to be the person using the iPod everyone glared at. Turns out the majority used their iPods. I didn’t care; I still think going without it was a good decision.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">When I completed the first mile the guy yelled 10:45 at me. I thought, okay this is fine no knee problems I feel good at this pace. Maybe if I stick with this I can run further when I hit two miles. This was the point I planned to walk for a minute. I hit two miles with ease and kept going throwing out my original plan. My original plan also had me finishing under 1:30; I wasn’t planning on a steady running pace for this race. I just wanted to experiment and finish. When I hit the first mile at that pace and kept going past the second mile I threw my original goal out the window. In my mind I said, okay I want 1:08.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">At the 5K mark I pulled out my cell phone because I wasn’t wearing a watch and wanted to see what my time was at that point, get a guesstimate. 38 minutes at that point. A little past that point I slowed to a fast walk to drink some water for about twenty seconds then started running again.</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I can’t remember at what point I hit Tiger Stadium but when I was running by there I ran a little faster thinking this is for you Holliday. No kidding, I love that kid and he is a speed demon! After Tiger Stadium I hit Alex box and had a surge of energy thinking if I run a little faster here maybe my Tigers won’t suck as much this year and make it to Regionals and then to the College world series. I know, irrational, but that was my thoughts running past there. I’m telling you, my mind never stops. If I listed all the things I thought about during this run you’d be here reading this for days. I figured since I am LSU_Fan_Tiff these random left field thoughts were justified. If you don’t think so, deal!</span></span><br><br><span style="font-size:medium;"><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';">After I passed mile four I started thinking, I’m running this whole darn thing. I’m not giving up now. I have no idea where that thought came from but it planted itself in my head. When I reached mile 5 the guy said 53 something, I think it was closer to 54 minutes and I was kinda sad cause this meant no way could I finish under an hour, yeah I was getting a little greedy at this point, but hey, why not dream big?</span></span><br><br><span style="font-family:'Times New Roman';"><span style="font-size:medium;">I went a little faster at first but I started getting tired and didn’t want to have to walk in so I slowed back to my original pace at most likely after 5.5 miles. I got near the finish line and thought two things. Don’t look stupid for the picture and what does that darn clock say? Someone screamed my name right before I finished. Still not sure who. I did run into a few people I knew after the race was over. I remember it being 105 something and was pretty sure it was right after 106 when I crossed the line. I still don’t have official results yet and that is driving me nuts! My first thoughts after finishing the race were mixed. I was happy because I had run almost the entire time (with one more 10 second walk thrown in that I don’t remember where it was) but I was pissed at myself because I felt like I could have run faster. Yep, I am very competitive with myself. That’s it, said and done. For a first race I was overall pleased. Oh heck, now I have to train for that HM after all!</span></span>
 

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<b>Tiff</b> Oh it sounds like we may have ourselves a new race addict in the 30's group!<br><br>
Congrats Tiff!!! To me there really is nothing quite like the race environment...I so love the atmosphere and it is way cool to hear you describe your first expereince with it!!!<br><br>
Madison HM shall be your bitch!!
 

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Way to go, <b>Tiff</b>!!! Welcome to the Wonderful World of Racing! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Outstanding! Great job. That's an awesome race debut. You'll be setting the streets of Bham on fire next weekend.
 

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Great job, lady! What an awesome race!
 

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Wow! You really did underestimate yourself! Well done! Now you know you can do the half! <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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Come run a half in CA!!!<br><br>
You can be UCLA_Fan_Tiff for a day. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
Great report!!!
 

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<b>Congratulations Tiff!</b> Sometimes it is those unexpected, not-really-planned-for races that end up being the best experiences of all. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 
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