Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kirby Derby

Last week at work was pretty tough.  The University had required that we do an annual inventory of our stock, and that just so happened to fall at the end of last week.  That is why I was unable to post on Thursday.  What was worse was that the inventory had required long hours of work, which translated to little sleep and limited training on my part.

So when Saturday morning rolled around and it was time for the 2011 Kirby Derby, I was not nearly as psyched as I should have been and much less enthused than I was for the marathon relay.  I resigned myself to finishing the 10K race in less time than last year and tried not to focus too much on setting any records. 

The weather was cool and rainy when we arrived to the staging area.  I figured the cool temps would be great for racing, but the rain was a little disheartening.  Katie had signed up to run the 10K.  Since training up to 7 miles for the relay, she figured she could carry that on to this race.  I could not have been prouder of her for committing to the longer run.  Plantar Faciitis had reeled in her training a bit, so she too was not exactly excited about the race, but she soldiered on anyhow.

We ran into quite a few people that we knew.  Some we knew we would see, others we were pleasantly surprised!  I must say it is a lot of fun having a race like this in our small town!  It says a lot about the community.

The start of the race was delayed by about 15 minutes, but as the rain began to sprinkle down, everyone began to line up for the start.  I kissed Katie goodbye and wished her good luck.  Last year, I felt like I got kind of stuck behind some slower runners at the start.  So this year I lined up towards the front, hoping that space would open up more quickly.  Finally, the gun went off and the race started.  I took off very quickly and space certainly opened up soon after the start.  I was running near the head of the pack.  I knew that I was probably starting off a little too fast and was worried that I might be expending too much energy too early.  But then I thought, "Who cares! Run as fast as you can for as long as you can, and just see what happens."  So I ran hard, surprisingly hard.  I ran my first mile in 6:30.  Again the fear of burning out crept in, so I decided to pick out a runner to keep up with.  It took awhile for me to pick somebody that was not quickly pulling away from me.  Then I saw a 10 year old kid running ahead of me, and I decided that was a worthwhile target.  I chased that kid for the next mile and a half and never got with in 50 feet of him.  That little kid was fast!  I was thankful when the kid stayed straight for the 5K route and I turned for the 10K; I don't know if I could have handled being beaten by a child!  I had run the first 3 mile in almost exactly 21 minutes.  I felt great about that!  I was starting to get pretty tired about mile 4.  I had picked out a woman to try and keep up with and was again humbled by her superior speed.  Eventually I came to a spot where the route has runners going in both directions.  That was when I passed the leader.  That guy was flying!  I turned to one of the volunteers at an aid station and said, "I don't think I am going to beat that guy."  He laughed.  As I continued to push on I ended up by myself for awhile.  There was nobody for me to really catch and nobody really pushing me from behind.  At that point I was really tired and reminded myself that time didn't really matter, so I worked on my form and continued to try and push myself.  Eventually, I was caught by a couple of other runners, but I managed to stay within shouting distance of them through the end of the race.  I ran my second official 10K in 44:29.4.  I finished 17th overall and second in my age division.  All of which are improvements over my performance last year.  I am still very excited about the results.

I am also excited because we officially became a RACING HOME.  Katie finished her 10K in 63 minutes; not her ideal finish, but a tremendous feat nonetheless, especially considering her injuries.  Plus both kids participated in the Kid's Race!  They had so much fun!  The got finisher medals, and most importantly, snack when they were done.  Alaric actually said he wanted to run in the "adult race" next year, and we are actually considering it since they offer a 5K walk/run.  I could not be more proud of my family!

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