Monday, May 17, 2010

8k Race report - the details!

As a "big girl" the first thing I look for is how many runners there are as big or bigger than me. It's just what I do. At a 5k, there are usually a number of women bigger than me and many my size. Today that wasn't the case. Apparently adding 3k eliminates a lot of plus size runners. I did not see anyone my size. My husband told me there were a few other big girls running - but I didn’t' see them. Talk about a head trip - I was really nervous!

The announcer released my group and we're off!

Less than a quarter mile in, I realized that I may not have thought this race all the way through. Let me just mention, I'm scared of heights. I used to be terrified of heights - now I'm just scared. I mostly do fine with them but bridges still can bring on a panic attack for me. The name of this race: Beat the Bridge. Um. Like I said, I may have overlooked part of the planning this race out.

So less than a quarter mile from the start, there's a bridge - not THE Bridge - but A bridge. And it's my worst nightmare - I'm SURROUNDED by runners, there are no options, and the bridge is constructed of grating. Probably 2"x2" grating that I can see straight through.

*panic attack ensues*

My body STOPS. I had to force it to keep moving forward (or risk being trampled!). My heart rate soars - if I had to guess it was 200+. My lungs stop working, my vision blurs, and it takes ALL of my energy to keep moving, breathing, and not give in to this panic attack. And there's one bridge to go. But I focus on running - making progress - meeting my goal. It took the rest of the first mile to get my senses back under control.

I was more prepared for the second bridge - and it was the bridge I had to cross to "beat the bridge". it's a drawbridge that they raise 20 minutes after the last group leaves. And I made it - I crossed it before they lifted it! And I'm now about 2.25 miles, nearing the half way point and I'm still on time to meet my goals!

While I've been training, my mile times are between 13-15 min. per mile. Today's goal was to finish in less than 1hour10 minutes. Roughly a 14 min. mile pace. And I wanted to run the entire race - no walking.

Rounding the corner for the last stretch (1.5 miles to go) I see my husband scanning the crowd for me - I wave my arms to get his attention but keep on running - I've got goals! I call him quickly to let him know I've passed him and how much I've got left.

With a mile left to go, I'm struggling but determined. I'm trying to keep pace with the runners around me - and I'm still getting passed by some super fit athletes. But I keep going! The finish line is ahead - somewhere. I can't see it and I'm not familiar with the course - but I'm past the 4 mile marker so I know its coming. Slight incline around the back of the stadium and my brain is SCREAMING for me to walk - I'm tired - beat - out of gas. Running through the stadium parking lot and behind the back of the stadium, I'm trying to figure out WHERE the finish line could possibly be. My music station (Pandora rocks!) changes songs and I can see the finish line. The final song? "I will survive" by Gloria Gaynor. I try and put on a last minute kick - a finish line sprint - I see the time on my watch and I'm amazed. I scan the crowd looking for my husband - spot him with his blackberry facing the sky behind me - what the heck? But ok, there's usually a finish line photographer and I'll have to find out what he's thinking later. Right now I'm single minded....FINISH LINE DEAD AHEAD.

As I cross the finish mat, I stop my stop watch, make my way to the chip bucket, drop my timing chip in - check my watch again, and try not to cry with joy. It's all I can do to stay standing but I want my husband - this joy is his to share. And what was he taking a picture of as I ran in the stadium??

We find each other and he's beaming. First thing out of his mouth: "anyone can have a picture of crossing the finish line - I have a video of you on the JumboTron!!"

Yup - he was videoing me on the jumboTron as I came in the stadium!! He's so awesome. *waving* Hi Honey!! He's my biggest it should be! :)

As far as my goals go?

Well, I did NOT walk one bit. I ran all 8k (5 miles) but I didn't finish in 1:10:00

I DID finish in 59:13

That's right - FIVE MILES IN UNDER AN HOUR!! I'm so over the moon - my training is paying off - I love seeing results!!
Next race is another 5K on 6/6, I want to get under 35 minutes. I'm determined!!

Then - 6/25 - my A race, the half marathon.

Now I'm signed up for a sprint tri in Sept. and I'm debating between a half marathon in November but have to decide, local or travel to Malibu and run the 13.1 miles on the coast highway!

And I'm down a full 40 pounds now.

And I got in a moto ride with my husband yesterday.

Life is awesome!




JourneyBeyondSurvival said...

Congrats LauraLynne! You did so well! I can imagine that something that gave me that much anxiety would probably make be barf. I'm proud of you and yay for Husband taking care of you!

congrats, your enthusiasm is contagious.

Melanie said...

Way to go LauraLynne! When you don't limit yourself, you can amaze yourself, and others.

Lindsay said...

congrats!!! Great race report :)

amandakiska said...

You are a super STUD! I love the Gloria Gayner and the Jumbo-Tron!

Flabby McGee said...

That is so totally, unbelievably awesome!! Congrats! I have a fear of bridges too, I almost crash when I have to drive over them - and I'm a traveler, so I've seen many crazy brides. It gets a little better eventually. But that running is AWESOME!

Molly said...

OH MY HECK!!! Good for you! I'm so inspired this! I absolutely know the feeling. Thanks for sharing - you are amazing and you did great!!!

Drazil said...

I hear you on the bridge. OMG - I'm so super proud of you for doing this. Amazing!

Aylilth said...

Well done!!!

Btw I gave you an award on my blog.

Morgan said...

You are totally amazing, as always! Congrats!

Bringing Pretty Back said...

That is incredible! You must feel like you are on top of the word! Down 40 pounds! amazing!

Debi said...

Laura Lynne, thanks for leaving your comment on my blog today. In answer to your question, I need the trike wheels because our Gold Wing is so big that I can't even put my feet on the ground! Plus it weighs about 900 lbs! So there is no way I can support it on my own.

Which is why we need to put on the trike wheels for me, then I can ride it by myself!! If you want, check out my post dated Thurs April 8th, titled What Am I Getting Myself Into? Eek!!, it has a couple of photos of our Gold Wing with Walt sitting on it. Now remember, he is 6'4" and I am 5'3"!! LOL

As for your 8k Race, wow! You did so amazing. Even beating out the time you were hoping for. Not to mention working through your fear of heights. You are my hero!!

Julie said...

WOW! Congrats on a great race!! I hope to not have to walk at all when I do my first 5K in July!

Anonymous said...

Sorry I'm late to the party. I'm FINALLY getting caught up on blogs.
You rock! Doing an 8K and being on the JUM-BO-TRON? Epic.
Way to go!