Monday, November 23, 2015

Two Races, One Weekend

You know what happens when you are mad at your husband. You turn on your computer. You log onto the Internet. You bust out the credit card – his credit card. And you use it.

To register for a race. Or two. Or three.

Or maybe that's just me.

I'm not even sure what I was mad at Mark for that day (I was probably just tired and irrational) but when I saw that some of my fellow run clubbers had signed up to participate in the fifth of a night run series, I decided that it was time I stopped worrying about how the boys would do and start getting social. So I clicked register.

A few hours later, I saw an ad for the track clubs' annual turkey trot, which is on a Saturday. (There is also a Thanksgiving Day race hosted by a race company but we're out of town.) I thought some of my other friends might do that so I clicked register. Again.

And then I didn't say anything. Until Monday, when I realized that the race were that week and a mere 13 hours apart.


Double oops because I had nothing to be mad about anymore and I had my wits about me, realizing that it was a bit selfish of me to do what I did. But, because Mark is awesome 97 percent of the time, he didn't care and might have been a wee bit supportive. It's moments like those when I hate how bitchy I can be.

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Photo credit: Team NeighborLink

Race One: Team NeighborLink Night Moves Race Series, #5

The mission of Team Neighborlink is to "use athletics to raise awareness and funds to improve the lives of vulnerable homeowners and transform neighborhoods." The mission of the Night Moves race series to be a complete hipster by running at night, in cool areas and finishing with beer as you order from a food truck. Beards are optional.

OK. Maybe I'm being  a bit flip but they were a whole lot of hipster beards and a food truck and beer.

Anyway ...

This night's 4-mile run was raising money to help by Robert a furnace. Robert is one of those vulnerable home owners the group looks to help, and he had been without heat since early 2015. He spent much of last winter in the cold. Combined with previously raised money, $700 from Friday's event was going to the heating system that will be installed next weekend. For all the races we do for charity, I thought it was totes rad that I knew exactly where the money was going and it was in my community.

The race started at 9 p.m. at a very hip(ster) art gallery about a mile from my house. I decided to run there as a warm up and hoped a friend would take me home.

My mission for the night was to have fun. So when Cynthia asked me if I wanted to run with her at a relaxed pace, I said yes. When a volunteer asked me if I wanted to tackle the tree obstacle, I said yes and headed into the woods. When I was offered a beer at the end, I said no ... but I did accept a Stella Artois cider.

The event was a total blast, and I'm hoping the group continues the series into the winter. It's a great way to be social with a conscience.

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Race Two: Fort Wayne Track Club Turkey Trot

It was the 20th year for the race, which is advertised as a 5K on "scenic, flat trails" at a county park. I've run the trails a couple times and though scenic, I wouldn't call them flat. Then again, I'm not trying to get people to sign up for event.

Before any race, Mark will ask me if I'm going for time or a PR or just having fun. When he asked me Saturday morning, I didn't know what to tell him. I had put in a hard effort on Thursday and ran the night race Friday. I had no idea what kind of speed, if any, was left in my legs. Factor in trails and the whole race could be a crapshoot.

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The race got off to a brisk start as we navigated the roads of the park before landing on trail. From the beginning, it felt like a challenge. My breathing was labored, and I couldn't keep up with people with whom I normally can.

During the first mile, which seemed unusually long, I wavered between slowing down to enjoy the views, pushing forward and even just walking. "Why are 5Ks so hard?" I thought. I have felt better during runs four times the length.

"You don't run long runs at an 8:47 pace," I scolded myself as I reached the first mile marker and saw the split.

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The temptation to slam on the brake was real when I saw the display on my Soleus. I was beginning to switch gears when a boy, who turned out to be 8 years old, came up on my left and pulled ahead. There is part of me that knows I shouldn't care who passes me but it's a bit demoralizing if they haven't yet sprouted a chin hair (and I have three because I can't find my tweezers).

I dug in a little on a hill and passed him. He wasn't happy with that so he dug in and passed me. Repeat times 500 for a good mile and a half when I was finally able to successfully pass him.

I tried to catch a few others in the last half mile in the event they were in my age group but I didn't have anything left. At 27:46, I was done. Happily done.

There was an awesome assortment of refreshments – cookies, doughnut holes, fruit, coffee – at the nature center. The boys had come with (Miles running the 15,000 centimeter dash) and we enjoyed a few things before heading off. I don't like to leave before awards*, just as a courtesy, but it was ridiculously crowded and, after 13 hours, I needed to put on my mom hat again.

I would be remiss if I didn't give a big thanks to Mark for not getting mad at me and supporting me even when I act like a big baby. I promise I'll be nicer and more rational when Si starts sleeping through the night.

*I ended up 6/17 in my age group. I'll move up next year, and I'm not looking forward to it. The older you get, the more competitive.

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