23 November 2012

And then there was that time I ran in a race...and won.

The Sonoma 5K Fun Run Turkey Trot has been my Thanksgiving fun run since way back in 2010. It was my first race after nearly 10 years of injury and holds a special place in my heart. My first trip up was spurred by the fact that I was an avid reader of Goals for the Week, and the race is her creation. I ran it for the second time last year and significantly improved my time. This being the year of the Don't Run, Run Faster training regimen, I went into the race really excited to see what might happen :)

This being my fall "A" race, I had some clearly defined goals...

  • universal imperative:  have an incredibly, fantastically fun time running.
  • A+ goal:  finish in 23:30 (avg pace 7:34)
  • A goal:   finish in 23:50, thereby beating Patrick's 5K tempo run workout from the other day.
  • A- goal:   finish under 24:01 (my time last year)
  • B goal:  keep the average pace faster than 8-minute miles...extra credit for never seeing an "8" in the first place on the Garmin's screen.
  • C goal: finish in one piece.
(So basically I was thinking along the same lines as the handful of people who left predictions in the comment section of yesterday's post.)

I left the house in what I thought was plenty of time, but then I checked my new phone's stupid map app and was completely freaked out when it told me I was in for a 75-minute drive instead of the anticipated 45-minute drive. Turned out it was a crap map app. 

GoogleMaps rocks. It was, indeed, 45 minutes from here to there.

The drive up was lovely. The sun was rising and the light was gorgeous...

After a minimal (quarter of a mile jogging easily) warm up, it was time to head to the start line. I'm not entirely sure where the time went. I had wanted a lengthy, thorough warm up. But you can't always get what you want.

On your mark....Get set... GO!

I started running down the hill. I was behind three girls (like, high school girls) who reminded me totally of my friends and I when we would "run" in high school (meaning very lackadaisical and sort of goofy)...except my Garmin showed that we were all running about 7:20 pace. That was a little faster than I imagined I could sustain for the entire race, so I just tucked in behind those lovely young ladies and enjoyed how effortless the pace felt...for once.

I was smiling hard. But it all felt easy. What a beautiful morning! What a great feeling! How awesome is THIS?! were the thoughts running through my head.

Things flattened out about three-quarters of a mile into it and the effort picked up a wee bit while the pace stayed relatively constant. Some guy passed me. He went on to be the overall winner.

We hit the first mile right before heading up a long, slight hill.


Last year my pace slowed dramatically in this next segment...and here was where a guy pushing a stroller passed me. Demoralizing. Well, this year I motored. I decided that this was where I would take those girls...and I did. Go, old lady...way to beat up on the unsuspecting kids :P

I pushed to the top of the hill and caught some guy, saw some llamas, the guy I'd just caught found another gear and peeled away from me like I was standing still...but no matter. I was running my own race.

And smiling hard. But it all still felt easy. How fun! I love this! What a beautiful day! as I hit the second mile mark.


As I pushed myself to hold this great pace that I had no idea was even possible for my body to run, I stepped into a pothole and flipped my foot over. Man, did that hurt! But hey, less than a mile to go... and I'm having such a great run! No way am I stopping!

I was able to keep driving the pace until I hit the bottom of that long hill...the same one that, in reverse, had made the start so speedy.

Still smiling hard...but it wasn't feeling so easy. Keep it under 8, keep it under 8... was the mantra.

I had an idea of my quarterly average pace but no idea of the elapsed time...and math while engaged in sick physical effort isn't my strong suit. I was incredibly surprised when my time was called as I crossed the line...

23:11    (7:28 avg pace)

All i could think was...

How did i do that?

And I was still smiling.

When all was said and done and I was ready to head home,
still smiling...so happy :)

First woman...and yes, there were several other women in the race :P

Check out this photo of the top three women on the race's Facebook page here. Just never mind the fact that I am old enough to be their grandma. 

I wasn't smiling so much when I saw this...

For the sake of comparison...
Hurt foot...

Not hurt foot.

It's okay to walk on it, but it is stiff. Nothing like this friend's ankle or this friend's, thankfully. I'll recover by next week. But I've been given the "no running this weekend" directive and I'm happy to go with that :)

I'll give the report on the rest of our family's Thanksgiving festivities later.

Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving!


  1. Congrats! That's a speedy race time. I love the photos of you with the other top women (girls would be more accurate). Hope your ankle heals quickly.

  2. Wowzers!! Way to kick some serious ass! I think there's something to this don't run, run faster thing. I had a pretty good 20k a couple weeks ago with a previous long run of 5 miles...unfortunately, it was in a 30k race.

  3. Awesome job but holy cow your ankle hurts me!!!!

  4. Yay for the speedy race and the win! Boo for the ankle. Hope the rest does you good.

  5. For the Queen of Random: we need a post on the ankle tat. Not sure why, just random.

  6. Wowza speedy! Congrats on the win... and BOO HOO on that foot. Hope it heals soon and fast!

  7. Congrats on an awesome race!! And you seriously look like a kid standing there with those other girls. You amaze me!! Hope the foot is better quickly so that you can get back to not running. :)

  8. Congrats on smashing that race, you did a really awesome job. And though I suspect the thrill of beating my tempo run from Sunday would have been plenty, it's really great that you got to have your cake and eat it too. Clearly those who run 50-60+ MPW just to get injured and then blog about it do not posses the same secret sauce as you do, which of course is the way I feel it should be, as you know well.

    The only thing I would suggest is that in the future avoid the terms "A Race" and "Fun Run" in the same sentence - it reads a little awkward. Perhaps the most viable option is to take literary license with the race name - e.g. "The Sonoma 5K" would have sufficed. "That Sonoma 5K" also works too as it both suggests assumed universal recognition and that you had it in the bag all along with the win coming solely down to the minor inconvenience of getting up an hour earlier than usual.

  9. Oh yeah, and in all seriousness (though the first sentence of my previous reply is totally serious), it's the Newtons. I'm telling you - there's just something about them where you pick up incremental speed with the same effort.

  10. Congrats, speedy!

    And - ouch! That foot looks painful. Rest up and heal soon!

  11. Yeah YOU;-) Love that I get to be a part of your running adventures;-)

  12. Congratulations!!! I wish your plan would work for me--it's obviously the best of both worlds. I love that you're beating the young girls. Take care of that foot, though.

  13. Congratulations on the win! Now go ice that foot!

  14. What a fantastic feeling! I'm so happy for you. I have never felt like that on a run. I just hope to cross the finish line without puking and that is in 34+ minutes!

  15. WOOHOOOOOOOO!! I know i’ve said it, but congrats again. and reading this made me realize i forgot to respond yesterday because i was already at the family gathering. can’t believe your ankle :( i hope it’s okay. and seriously, where did the speed come from? and you loved it? and smiling? i, my friend, did NOT feel that way. glad you did! hugs!

  16. OMG I love you so much. Seriously. Mostly I love your awesome attitude and heart throughout the run! Sorry about your foot though. I hope that gets better fast. :-/ Oh yeah, and YOU WON!!!!!!!!!! You are so bad ass.

  17. yikes on the foot...this does not look good ...

    but congrats on the race....that is FAST!!!!like REALLY fast!!!!!

    I hope you had a good Thanksgiving and that you are well.

  18. Ooooooh shiiiiiit that foot looks rough. (And so do your friends'!)

    Congratulations on the fantastic 5K!

  19. Nice job on a speedy run! Hope your foot feels better soon, it looks pretty painful!

  20. wow! that's so great! Congrats!!

  21. Way to go! You are awesome! Love that you beat the young 'uns:) Hope your foot heals ASAP!

  22. Congrats on your win!! Nice write-up, felt like I was there with you, but it would be my absolute dream to have a 10 min mile pace much less a 7 1/2 minute mile pace! Way to go!

  23. That's an awesome time! And YOU WON! That is freaking cool! Congrats!!

    1. Also, you are going to have to just face the facts that you are fast now. You don't get to call yourself slow anymore, ever!

  24. Congrats on the win! Awesome! I was wine tasting in Sonoma on black Friday, not really that impressed with the wineries we went to though.

  25. wooooooot! First woman you rockstar! how did I miss this post? Congratulations! Awesome race - but...OUCH on the foot - looks painful!

  26. WOO HOO!! I just saw this post...SUPER SUPER fast!!!!!!
    Great race!
    How is the foot feeling??

  27. SUPER amazing; take care of that foot! And how the heck did you run a 7:24 up hill? You're a machine! Whooooop!

  28. AWESOME!! Way to kill it, especially with the hill.

    But OW, the foot. Rest that sucker up!!

  29. Wow, fantastic job!! I love those races where you come away wondering, how did I just do that?! But ouch, that foot looks painful. Hope it recovers quickly!

  30. Oh my word, how did I miss this??? Congratulations, race winner! You star!

  31. Congratulations!!!!

    Fantastic job!!!!!!!!!

    I hope your ankle is better by now.


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