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On December 2, 2006, I ran my first ever race, a 5k. Finishing time: 34:59.<br><br>
On March 17, 2007, I ran my second ever race, the Steve Chadwick 5k - finishing time: 36: something. This was after I had the nasty beer run ankle sprain and had decided upon the spur of the moment to try the 5k. Did it all by myself and didn't tell anyone about it until after.<br><br>
Then, there was the tri then the trail race last year and then. . .not a whole hell of a lot.<br><br>
During this not really running time I learned that having a race to train for made a huge difference in how I approached my running. I love to run. But the motivation for running isn't always there when it would be easier/more convenient/more comfortable to do something not running.<br><br>
So, I signed up for the Madison half marathon in May and Grandma's half in June. Now I have not one, but two races for which I'm training and my running has gotten much more consistent. I like that part.<br><br>
However, I live in Northern MN and that will come into play later in this report.<br><br>
Okay, the race itself: Steve Chadwick was a soft-hearted left standing man whose friends and family started the race after Steve died from brain cancer at the age of 40 15+ years ago. It's run along Lake Superior on the Lakewalk and starts/finishes below the Fitger's complex.<br><br>
DH also ran this race. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> He's zippy. Which is good because it means I have pictures of me finishing. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
Absolutely stunning day today. Drove into town at 10, the temperature at the grocery store = 19 degrees. Very little wind and the sun starting to break through the clouds. No real sheet ice left on the lake, but still some of the martini ice which is so pretty.<br><br>
I started back because I know I'm slow. DH started with me. Cowbell to start. Yeah, gotta love Duluth.<br><br>
There are a lot of people (well, in my mind a lot) who run this race, and a number of walkers, too. The first mile I was solidly within a pretty good group of people and felt like I was pushing, but not that I was going to die.<br><br>
That first mile really felt long, though.<br><br>
The second mile was after the second turn around point. On my way out I saw the leaders and then DH on their way back. The single chant in my head: I can do this. Nice, even 4 count phrase. I can run and breathe to it.<br><br>
I was disappointed to hear my time at mile two, but I had stopped for a couple of seconds to help a woman with a runaway stroller that was heading for the rocks and the lake. Yes, I saved her mitten while she saved her daughter. Pure heroism there.<br><br>
So, now it's just back to where we started. My legs hurt. I hate the hills. I want to push but what if I am already pushing and can't do anymore and then have to walk? I really don't want to walk. But I really do want to make my secret time goal for myself. But I really don't want to walk.<br><br>
I agree to push in hard when I reach mile 3. Except there is no marker for mile 3 and well, that shot that plan. I did however stretch it out when I finally saw the end:<br><img alt="" src="http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/McTortle/DSC_0592-1.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Felt pretty confident, pretty good. Girl in front of me in the chute threw up - I didn't have too. In fact, while I was winded and hurting a little, I was excited to have finished.<br><img alt="" src="http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/McTortle/DSC_0602-1.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Then, I saw the clock.<br><img alt="" src="http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/McTortle/DSC_0612-1.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
Okay - remember those first times? Well, I really wanted to beat those for sure. But, I've been running with my running buddy and we've been clocking in 3.2 miles at 33xx times. I really wanted to beat 33. Actually, I really wanted to beat 32:30 which was a trial 5k time that DH had run with me last summer when I was training for the tri.<br><br>
My finishing time in today's race was 34:36.<br><br>
I was so incredibly disappointed. But, after I finished being all emotional, the regular me came back in control:<br><img alt="" src="http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/McTortle/DSC_0613-1.jpg" style="border:0px solid;"><br><br>
DH asked me a question while he was waiting for me to get back to being me:<br><br>
"Why do you run if you're going to cry at the end of the races?"<br><br>
I thought about that. Because I love to run. I give everything I have while I'm running by myself like that and it's such an emotional experience. I can't help the tears at the end. Some people throw up. I cry.<br><br>
When I was in theater in college, I had a director who told us there are no excuses acceptable. Only reasons. So, with that in mind here's what I learned today:<br><br>
Excuse 1. Weight. blah blah blah<br>
Excuse 2. Influenza and thick, sticky chest. blah blah blah<br><br>
Reasons why I did not do as well as my super secret goal today:<br><br>
1. I do not know how to run fast. I know how to run slow really, really well, but I have no real practice running faster and therefore no idea how to know what pushing myself really means or feels like.<br><br>
2. Running inside on a track or a treadmill is not the same as running outside. (yes, this one is a "duh" one.)<br><br>
Other things I learned today:<br><br>
1. I still love running.<br><br>
2. I actually am a super-competitive person, just not with/against anyone else, but damn if I don't set really high expectations for myself.<br><br>
3. While I was incredibly disappointed for a few minutes, once I got over it (which really does happen fast for me) I recognized that to be able to run on a day like today is a gift. And, for the first time, I felt like I was participating in something and not just waiting to be the last person in.<br><br>
So, with that in mind, I call today a success.<br><img alt="" src="http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/McTortle/DSC_0618-1.jpg" style="border:0px solid;">
 

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Way to go Mary!<br><br>
You'll get the hang of pacing with more races.<br><br>
And super secret goals or not, you still <i>officially</i> PR'ed<br><br><br><img alt="icon_cheers.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/icon_cheers.gif"><br><br>
Great report!!
 

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Yay Mary!! Congratulations on the PR.<br><br>
I remember that I had my super-secret goal in my 1st 5K and my first HM. I did not make either of those goals either and like you, I got over the disappointment quickly. I think super-secret goals are good for us, <i>especially</i> if we don't make them. It makes us work that much harder the next time.
 

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Mary...It makes me teary eyed-hearing about how emotional running is for you. I so totally get that.<br><br>
Good for you to be able to be disappointed in missing the super secret goal, but letting it go fast enough to realize running really is the goal here not how long it takes you to run.<br><br>
proud of you Mary!
 

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yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa <b>Mary</b>! Good for you. Your positive attitude and honesty is always very refreshing. You are a <b>winner</b>. There I said it!
 

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I enjoyed your thoughts and report. It was really good to hear the emotions we all go thru.
 

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Woohoo Miss Mary!<br><br>
Sounds like you had a maaahvelous day! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Love these pictures (nice bum by the way! <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"> )!<br><br>
Determining how fast and what your version of fast is in a race can be really hard to gauge, but practice makes perfect and you've got many races in your future and the PRs will be coming.<br><br>
Great race on a brrrrr cold day!
 

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I love reading your posts - always thought provoking, and worth my time. Please change your avatar to either of the last two pics in the RR. Or the beer wench or belly dancer <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">
 

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Mary, you are awesome!! Congratulations.<br><br>
... and I think this photo needs a repost ... it's just perfect!!<br><br><img alt="" src="http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/aa41/McTortle/DSC_0618-1.jpg" style="border:0px solid;">
 

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The photographic journey is interesting, capped off with a "All Praise ME!" shot at the end. Good stuff!<br><br>
Best way to learn how to run fast is to, well - run fast. Hard to do on a TM without losing your mind and hard to do in MN in winter. More important - by FAR - is being consistent with your running and it sounds like you're doing that. The sub 33:00 will come - and probably something faster than that as well!
 

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I echo nettie regarding the butt.<br><br>
Your report really captured what goes on in my head too during 5 and 10 k races.
 

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That was a great report McT.<br>
I'm with you. At the end of a race I'd rather cry as throw up.<br>
Regardless of your goal, and time, by the determination, joy and exhuberance of the pictures, it's obvious you're a winner.<br>
Hope your training goes well for the HMs.<br>
Congrats on saving the mitten <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br>
jjj
 

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What a wonderful RR! Congrats on a great time, even if you didn't meet your goal...there are many more attempts ahead and I know you'll meet them. I absolutely LOVE the race pics, especially the last one - what a victorious pose! Thanks for sharing what you've learned...i think a lot of us have had (or will have) similar feelings after a race. I can't wait to meet you in Madison<img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Great race report!!! I loved the pictures, mostly the last one! It's all about how you feel when it's over and you've taken EVERYTHING in that counts!!!
 

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Excellent effort Mary! Running is all about the good, the bad, the ugly and the pretty - some days it's a little of each. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 
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