So I did it! I got back on that line and started my first race in almost a year. The race was in Athens, Ohio. It was a small one put on by a bunch of college students at OU that have a running club. The race was not until 1 PM so leaves a lot of time for the anxiety to run high and crazy. But me and mom left the house around 10:30 AM. We got there before noon and they were still trying to get setup. There was this girl around 15 or so with her parents and you could tell that thought she was going to win easily. Her parents were asking questions about the course and all the question you ask when you think you will win. After I got registered I went back to the car and my mom asked about knowing the course and I told her that won't matter at this race because I knew there would be plenty of guys finishing ahead of me and possibly this young girl.
When I warmed up I went out on the course and right away I was like OH no. (I am a number person and love numbers and splits just anything to do dealing with numbers). I can't stand to run on a treadmill because I stare and analyze the numbers the whole time. So when I start I look and BAM I run into a little mark that says .25 miles, all I thought was this can't be good, then I went farther and .5 mile was marked. DOH! So I had to tell myself "No you are not going to look at every quarter mile split." That I knew would lead to over analyzing things and me not staying focused on the race.
Before the race my lack of confidence was coming out BIG time. I was looking at all these runners and thinking they can break 24 mins too (since that is the goal I had set for myself). I just kept thinking I am going to get smoked. I looked over to my mom and said I hope this guys take the race out hard because I am not today. Normally I lead races overall in the first 600 meters or so that is how I love to run my race but with the lack of confidence I had decided I was not going to go out hard.
Right before the looked around and then realized oh man some of this is going to be on thick grass. And sure enough we got the warning to watch our ankles that there were some holes in the grass. ARGH! So the race got started and a lot of people took off really really fast. I was relieved they took off fast but worried because there were a lot of people out front. And the young girl was way up in front of me. As we got going I would say she at one point before the mile mark had a good 15-20 second lead on me. But I could tell she was falling apart as we approached the mile mark. As we got to the mile mark in 6:42, I pulled up beside her and just kept trying to run, well she took off with me. Then she kept pushing me off the side of the bike path (it's a 2 line bike path). So I was getting frustrated and would try to slow down some and then she did the same. Whatever move I made she was making along with me didn't matter whether it was a surge or slowing down. So at the turn around of the 5k (out and back course) I knew I need to get a jump so I could be on the inside of the turn around so right before it I surged to turn around the girl standing there. And that little move was all it took. I never saw her again. And in the final results I think she finished a good 1.5 minutes behind me so the race at the end looks nothing like what took place during the race. But I kept going forward and at the 2 mile split I was told 14:18 and I knew something didn't seem right but I really couldn't figure out what was wrong at that time. (Later after the race I realized that they put the 2 mile mark where the mile mark was so it was actually the distance of 2.1 miles) I kept pushing on and saw where we had a quarter mile left where we go up on the grass so I knew it was almost over. I pushed on but got a little surprise for the last few feet. A guy near the end yelled out my time so I stopped thinking that is where it finished but I was wrong I had to go another about 10 feet or so, so a little unexpected break.
I finished the 5k on my watch at 21:20, but at the awards they announced 21:12, which was not correct. So I am going with the time my watch said and not what they gave me. So my dad and me were both wrong about the time I could run. I was hoping to break 24 minutes and the day before my dad was hoping for 22:30. After I ran came the lungs burning for not having ran hard in almost a year, it was like that indoor track feeling. But worse were the allergies or sinus pain I was having. I couldn't stop sneezing and my nose was going crazy and I had this pain in my nose it was on overdrive.
We got the awards none of which I can use because they are all for places in Athens and it's not worth the over hour drive to there. But oh well, the real goal was getting my first race done. I am really happy and pleased with my race and being the first female but if I have to be critical about a part I had too many guys beat me. However, these guys are all in a running group together in Athens, so it's not like they were just regular Johnny come lately runners. But still I didn't like having that many guys ahead of me. Thanks