I am not a spontaneous girl. I like planning. I like putting things in my diary, planning for them and then doing them. But somehow, I found myself signing up for a race on New Year’s Eve and running it less than 24 hours later. How’s that for seat-of-the-pants??
I took so long to decide whether or not to run because I was waiting for the Husband to decide whether HE wanted to run or not. In the end, he chose not to – he is waiting for root canal work this week and that root canal is hurting. But he nobly volunteered to come along and watch the Dude. In exchange, he would have a nap when we got home. The deal was done; my friend Gladys wanted to run too…so we signed up.
Actually, we couldn’t sign up. The race was full. But I contacted the race director, the very sweet Nancy, and they were fitting a few more people in. I handed over some online money and Gladys and I were in. We will get our medals posted to us instead of on the day, but that’s fine with us.
New Year’s Day followed the kind of mellow New Year’s Eve that accompanies parenthood. It dawned bright and sunny, but actually pretty cold, even for here! The race took place in Coyote Point, a park near where we live. We got there waaay too early, picked up our numbers and then hung round and froze a little whilst the Dude played at the fantastic playground there. The race organisers reminded us about the fruit, water and ice-cream at the end. Ice-cream, as we all shivered? Rubbish idea!!!
Eventually we all lined up. There was a very small field – we late entrants were numbers 108 and 109. I lined up between the 8 and 9 min mile markers only to find I was worryingly close to the front. I got talking to another mother runner who was out to run the 10k and looked pretty speedy. There was a kind of hilarious warm up and then boom, we were off.
The course was nice. We looped round the park once for the 5k and twice for the 10k. We ran on all surfaces – grass, concrete, bark and hard-packed gravel. We did a mini out-and-back on some kind of land-pier and then, at mile 2 1/2, we climbed the one and only hill. It was actually a bit brutal, I haven’t run hills for ages. I ran with my new friend for a while until she picked up the pace and headed off. I’d just told her I was aiming for 27 mins. Her parting shot to me was ‘You’ll do 26′. I promised her I’d eat ice-cream if I did and laughed inside. No way.
I crawled up the hill behind a slip of a schoolgirl. Two schoolgirls passed me (ugh) up the hill and then I passed them down the hill (ha). One final straight, flat stretch and then we 5k-ers were veering left to the finish line. The schoolgirl in front literally shifted into another gear and SPED off. I don’t shift gears really, so just pushed myself towards the finish line and I was done!
I was done in 26.22!!
“Happy New Year, Cathryn! Have a bright, shiny new PR to start the year”. Love from 2013.
The Husband and Dude were at the finish line and they gave me even more astonishing news. The flipping schoolgirl was first woman. Which made me second. My first ever ‘place’. Yippeeee.
Now before we all get too excited…the official results are in and things aren’t quite THAT bright and shiny. I was fourth woman and my official time is 27.15. Which is still a PR and I’m still happy but that’s quite a difference. There was obviously some time lag between the clock starting and me crossing the line, but not 50 seconds. Obviously I’ll accept the official results happily, but has anyone else been in this kind of situation? How do you reconcile your watch time and the official time? Anyway…it’s a PR!!!
To celebrate, I took my little boy to get ice-cream. The brand was called ‘Heavenly’ and it seriously was just that. I took back my rude comments about ice-cream at the end of a race. Genius idea. More races should do this!
Gladys rocked up soon, having done a good race and feeling all healthy and strong in the Winter sunshine. We waited to see my new running friend hurtle over the 10k finish line and then sloped off home to change back into pyjamas and watch TV!
I really liked this race. It was very simple – no timing chips, no t-shirts, home-made signs etc. But I liked that so much about it. I like big races, but they are so ridiculously expensive. Whereas this was fun, well organised and $20! Communication was great, and it was also a friendly race – I met Nancy, who had let us register late and she remembered us and some of the things we had discussed online. I like that familiarity. More cheap races please, everyone!
What a fantastic start to the year. I am SO excited about running this year.