Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Little Women That Could

Last Saturday, my Aunt Jeanne and I kicked arse in the Zooma Women's 10K!!  As you all know, my Aunt basically lapped me in the last race we did together and I was pretty disappointed in my performance overall.  But this time we were on my turf, sans New Orleans heat.  She was the perfect partner and pacer and we both performed exceptionally well.

But, ahem, I beat her.  Big smile. And a wink.

So it goes like this - Jeanne had on Tiffany blue running shorts, and every time she passed me on the course I tried to stay about ten feet behind her.  She finished the Classic doing a little over a ten-minute mile, so if I kept up with her, I figured I couldn't be doing half bad.  I knew better than to ostentatiously pass or say anything to her, lest I get a yank to the back of my shirt.  She can be a leetle competitive!

At some point, we'll say around mile 3, I pulled ahead, careful to keep my peripheries open for the sky blue shorts that were pacing me!  Um, but then, I had to go to the bathroom.  Womp Womp.  As the door to the port-o-pot slammed, I figured that Jeanne had pulled ahead.  I looked for the shorts everywhere - but couldn't find the right woman in blue.  After all, there were 3,200 women in this race. Pastels were abundant.

I started to lose hope.  As I passed the Mile 4 marker, I couldn't help but get discouraged.  I thought we were much farther into the course - like at LEAST the 4.5 mile point...  And we were approaching a bridge with a very steep incline.  I knew there was a turnaround at this bridge because there were people on the opposite lane, and I was praying all the way that the turnaround was at the center of the bridge, before the decline.  But no.  The turnaround was at the end of the bridge.  So we went uphill again.  Twice.  This had already been the hilliest route I have ever run.  But then I saw her!  On the other side of the first hill, heading back towards me was my Aunt Jeanne who waved towards me saying, 'Get up here!'  I still had a ways to go before the turnaround - but after that, she remained about 500 feet ahead.  I could see her and she was pacing me!  Not intentionally, but she was none-the-less.

At the end I closed in, blah blah, I don't need to explain how I may have the same competitive genes that my Aunt does.  But I will say that I may or may not have hidden behind a larger girl when I was passing for the final time, just so Jeanne wouldn't see me and try to race me to the finish!  I had very little energy left (or feeling in my feet) - and only enough to finish about 20 seconds ahead.  Which, hell, I consider finishing together!

Honestly, it was the best race I have ever run and it's the best I've ever felt running that distance.  The course was incredibly hilly, and being able to keep my Aunt in my sight made me like 'The Little Runner That Could." I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...  And I did!  I set a PR for myself at Zooma: 62:09; a 10:01/mile pace.

Unfortunately, that course turned me into "The Little Runner That Can't...Walk."  When I wake up in the morning, my muscles are so tight, I can't stand erect for the first few minutes.  And after sitting for a prolonged period at work, I limp to the water cooler.  But it was worth it!  A 10 minute mile is something I never thought I'd be able to accomplish and I only look forward to shaving seconds off of that time in the future.  Well, that... and racing my Aunt to the finish line every time!

The Start


Muscle Milk laid out these yoga mats for post-race stretching.

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