I had no plans on running this race because I was still on my high after earning that 13.1 bumper sticker. I’ve been looking into more mini marathons to add to my race schedule since I think I’m all that now! Well, I am! Another motivating factor this past week was watching one of my favorite athletes, Floyd “Money” Mayweather extend his record to 44-0 at the age of 36. The same age as me!
Foster Daughter asked “Mom, are you doing the race at the zoo?”
I said “I wasn’t planning on it but I will go ahead and register.”
Now my mind is in high gear. Being this is a shorter distance than the last three I have ran, I wanted to make it fun! I wanted to do an animal themed running outfit but I was not able to find any cute animal print gear. My Mom found some shorts at Kohls but they were more like Cheer shorts. I do not have time for anything riding up or falling down on me while I’m running. The next option was to wear something with bright colors.
It was easy for me to find matching polish in my toolbox of nail stuff. Getting creative with my nails was my relaxation for Friday night. I broke the tradition and did not make Grandma’s Tuna Surprise. I’ve been hooked on these homemade hot pocket things I saw on a Pillsbury commercial a while back. I made a ground turkey, manwich and mozzarella cheese batch on Thursday night. I ate leftovers and even took a couple bites of the cake I brought home for Teacher Appreciation week. Actually, two bites turned into seven or eight. My co-workers would be so proud.
Just before bed, I got everything laid out and I gave myself some harsh words of encouragement. I was basically telling myself I needed to aim for a Personal Record (PR). I don’t wake up at 4:30am two days out the week to hit my spin class for nothing. I don’t get wet by sprinkler systems that are programmed to turn on at the crack of dawn to not try and better my performance. My physique has improved and my full length mirror was in agreement as I mimicked Beyonce’s 2013 GQ cover pose. Sometimes, you have to build yourself up. Don’t let anyone set, raise, lower…or that word I hate…”maintain” the bar for you. It’s OK to get mad otherwise you will remain in the same ole routine. By the end of my self talk I was pissed and ready to Turn Up!
Fast forward…Easy parking, long port-a-potty lines, and small crowd compared to recent races.
I see the familiar faces of Karen and her room mate! We chatted about upcoming races, headbands, some race courses not being accurately measured and minor aches and pains we’ve been having. Karen was just returning from a race in freezing MN last weekend so this was a shake off event for her but I couldn’t tell! You will soon read why. I told her about my plans to PR and before I new it the race was underway. I forgot to start my cheapie Walmart watch because I was so busy talking with Karen and her fancy Garmin at the Start Line. 🙂
The route was broken down into three parts: residential and out onto the main road of Poplar Level, Joe Creason Park, and the Louisville Zoo. I knew in order to PR I would need to start fast, maintain my speed and finish fast. Basically, I had to run my butt off the entire time! The first mile was ran with fight and courage. I had good nose breathing. A volunteer shouted a time of 6 minutes and some change and I knew that was on target to beat my goal of 22:44. On the second leg, I was told a time of 14 minutes something and I was still on goal.
Just as I was passing the Tiger exhibit I was starting to get tired and my feet felt hot. I was angered at how 5k’s don’t give you that runner’s euphoria. You have to really work for speed and now I see why serious runners stick to the longer distances. I glance over and see Karen pass me! I didn’t even hear her breathing hard! This girl was getting it with her arms just a going. We went up this incline they call Gorilla Hill. Now, I’m thinking where in the heck are the monkeys? I’ve only been to Louisville’s Zoo one time for volunteer work a few years ago but I remembered the layout.
Finally, we pass up the monkeys but there was only one peeping out. The course winds “Throo The Zoo” as the name suggests. I can hear cheering and I see the Zoo entrance. I thought the finish line was right there so I kicked it up and passed Karen who was about 3 strides ahead of me.
False alarm! I still had about 100 yards to go! What the heck! I saw the clock at 21:45, 21:50, and 21:55. After that I was seeing the seconds go by in slow motion. 22:44 was about to be a thing of the past! I beat my time by over 30 seconds. Based off the photo I assume 22:08.
On the way to the parking lot to go change I saw the 1st and 2nd place men’s finishers. They are brothers and one was wearing a Boston 2013 jacket. Must be nice! I know their parents were proud. I made it back to the finishing area and there were plenty of refreshments. The River City Race organizers called out about 30 raffle numbers from tickets they gave the runners at the finish. At 9:30, the top 5 men and women were announced. As the weather remained in the 50s with overcast skies, the remaining 2500 or so of us were notified there was a glitch in the scoring and they wanted everything to be correct before they announce anything. Karen’s roommate gave me a high five and told me I was #8 woman overall! Freaking awesome!