Last week I was starting to get nervous about the upcoming Hood to Coast relay, because I realized that I only had time for one, maybe two, long runs before the event. I was also nervous because I hadn’t heard anything from my team about our plans for the run, and was starting to assume that I had been secretly been kicked off the team. Then on Saturday I found out that Hood to Coast doesn’t actually start until Friday the 26th, instead of this Friday like I thought, and so many more things in life made sense. I’m also now able to go to the many parties I was invited to and initially had to turn down (two parties). I’m especially excited because I really need the time to get some long runs in – even though I requested and was graciously given the easiest leg (leg 4, van 1), I’ve done so little distance running recently that I was feeling unsure about running seven whole miles all at once. Hopefully now that will be feasible.
While my long distance fitness may be suffering, I have been working on my 5k time. On Friday I did another race called the Catnip Friday 5k, which was shortly followed by the Mouse Miler. In this 5k I did my first mile in 6:58, a whole 15 seconds slower than in the Bowerman 5k, which helped me finish in 21:44, almost 50 seconds faster than in the Bowerman. I got 4th overall for women, and then I got 3rd place in the Mouse Miler with a 6:23 mile. I had no idea that a 6:23 time would put me in the top three, so I completely ignored the announcer when they were giving out awards. The website says they’ll contact us yesterday or today if we didn’t pick up our awards, in order to get them to us, but the award was a bag of cookies, and I don’t really want cookies from five days ago. The guy I went to the race with won a bunch of cookies anyway, so I got my fill. I also got 2nd place for combined time, but they only gave away cookies for the 1st place winner of that (the Joe Dudman award).
Times and placing aside, the Catnip Friday 5k is actually a really nice run. Is starts at Sherwood High School, which is a terrible place for a 7pm Friday race to start because traffic getting there is the worst ever, but once you’re there it’s great. It’s a little bit neighborhood-y and a little bit cement-path-through-a-forest-y. I ran my first mile in a big group of people, but right after passed my last person until about 500 meters to go. This person was a small girl who looked really strong but as soon as I passed her she started sounding like she was having an asthma attack. This stopped after a minute, leading me to believe she either a) fell far behind, b) stopped wheezing, or c) died (I hope it was b, and now have good reason to believe it wasn’t c). I then spent the next fifteen minutes about 100 feet behind this guy who didn’t even look like he was in very good shape. I was happy to finally pass him at the end.
The best part about this race was that my dad surprised me by showing up right before the race started, and running in it. He used to run in road races all the time, but it’s been a while since his last time. I feel like a very lucky girl to have a dad that can still go run a 5k in a decent time at the drop of a hat. The worst part about the race was that right after the 5k they had a whole bunch of pizza you could eat if you wanted, but the mile race was still coming up in about 15 minutes. I don’t remember the last time there was free pizza and I didn’t eat it, but it didn’t feel like a wise decision at the time. It reminded me of earlier in the night when I was stuck in traffic for 45 minutes in a car with a big bag of trail mix. I didn’t eat that either, even though I really wanted to. I threw it farther in the back so it would be much more difficult to reach and keep me from eating it and getting sick before the race.
My next race will probably be a 10k, the Tillamook Bay Run happening this Saturday. When I initially heard about this run, I thought it was stupid that they were doing a beach race the same weekend as Hood to Coast. This is one of the things that now makes sense to me.