Date: July 13, 2013
Location: Columbus, OH
Distance: 3.1 miles
Time: 28:40 (PR)
Gimmick: A fundraiser/awareness event for Lifeline of Ohio, an “organ procurement” organization.
I’ve been a registered organ donor since long before I had a driver’s license (I didn’t get my license until I was 19, but there’s a form you can fill out if you don’t have a license). Army Amy wrote some great posts on organ donation in the last year, which put it back in the front of mind. My neighborhood also does a team for this race to celebrate the life of a little boy who died in a car accident and donated his organs.
Anyways, I’d love to say that’s why I signed up for this race, but in the interest of full disclosure, I got a free bib and Mandy and Lynne were doing it. I love the cause, I support the cause, but 5Ks are expensive and so are small children. Mandy had asked me to do the race with her earlier in the summer and added me to the Team Superman group (a member received a pancreas and kidney, which saved his life).
Anyways, I warmed up for 0.5 miles with Mandy and Lynne and was told that I was warming up really fast (for me) and should go for my sub-30. I’d decided I was going to wait on that goal until fall, but the weather was great and I had them to pace me, so I decided to go for it.
We watched a mascot race, watched the 1Kers leave (and return), listened to the national anthem and then we were off! I lined up close to the front with Mandy and Lynne because charity races tend to have a lot of large groups of walkers. The start has a pretty steep downhill (which meant the finish did too), so our first mile was 9:06. Considering my fastest mile ever was a 9:45 on Mandy’s birthday a few weeks ago, I was shocked and a little concerned. We scaled way back to a 9:30 (my goal pace) as the sun started to feel really hot. Lynne told us a funny work story to help distract and Mandy told lots of Avery stories.
Mandy had lent me a handheld water bottle so we could skip water stops. Somewhere in mile 2 I started to sip because I felt uncomfortable, which made me queasy. Mandy took my water bottle and carried it along with her own the rest of the race. That’s a REALLY good race buddy. There were also a lot of hills (compared to what I’m used to), so she coached me up each one and then held me back so I could recover on the downhills.
Mile 3 was a 9:22. My heart rate was getting high and I was definitely giving 1-2 word answers to everything. There was one last looong hill before the finish, and I may have yelled some expletives. The woman I was passing at the time made a joke at us and actually came up after the race to congratulate me, which was awesome. Mandy kept telling me not to slow down and kept track of the pace for me. It was nice to just focus on running and her and Lynne talking without Garmin watching.
One we hit the 3 mile point and the top of the hill, Mandy yelled to sprint. I felt like my legs were refusing to move, but I did the last 0.1 (0.09 according to Mandy’s watch) at a 7:22 min/mile pace. I didn’t actually know my legs could move that fast. I grabbed water from a volunteer once we finished and then asked Mandy if this was what cardiac arrest feels like. We walked around for a bit to keep my legs loose and then Lynne and I spectated while Mandy did another three mile run.
My old PR from June was 32:15. Clearly I do not push hard enough by myself. I definitely could not have done this without them. I also have to keep reminding myself that I actually DID it. The confidence boost even sped me up a bit on my 5 miler this morning.
The bad news? I was wearing someone else’s bib, so the results aren’t even in my name. Mandy said to create a PR that would be hard to be beat, but now I want that PR in my own name! It’ll be hard. That run felt brutal and I don’t know that I’m good at dealing with suffering, but it’s less than 30 minutes, right?
ETA: You can check out Mandy’s version of events HERE (also, more pictures because I was too lazy to search Facebook).