Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Day I Fell In Love with Squirrels...

Ok, so I know that I told you that I hate squirrels and that I am down right scared of them, but today I fell in love with squirrels.  So much so that I even....

What's the certain turn around you ask from the last post, highlighting my life long fear of squirrels?  Well, to understand we have to start from the very beginning (I know, find a new musical reference! seriously!!)

I woke up this morning with butterflies in my stomach and ready for race day with a spring in my step but sad to see the rain.  But as I said to Aaron, I would rather have the rain than the heat of the past few days.

Well, lets cut to the chase, we got to Quincy to get ready for the 5 mile Squirrel Run with an hour to which time I waited and stretched and waited and went to the bathroom and went to the bathroom and went to the bathroom. Ok, yes it is only 5 miles but my bladder is literally the size of a peanut, and I was not taking ANY chances.

Finally, it was time for me to warm up...unfortunately the warm up scared me because I immediately felt the IT Band, plus the first start of the run is downhill, the worst thing ever for the IT Band, but I shrugged it off and took my spot at the front (hey, a girl can dream and it was a local race so why weave when I do not have too).

The gun sounded a million Garmins chimed, and down the hill I went (very slow, as me and the PT a.k.a my Guru had discussed) and it was short and then we were on flat ground without pain! YES!

Here I go zipping by, see the little girl, she totally made it in like record time, it was awesome! Anyway so the plan was to go the first 3/4th a mile as my slowest and then settle in, but I felt great so I just went with it. It felt EASY and PAIN FREE, so even though the Garmin blinked 7:14 and even a 7:01, I trotted along, amazingly passing people as I went.  And that is how the first two miles went, playing a little game in my head of who could I pass next? Mile 1: 7:21

Mile 2-3 we hit the beach, and the WIND TUNNEL OF HELL!!! It was soo windy and a bit of an incline and it hit me hard. I tried to keep up but those I passed, caught up, to my dismay.  I kept pushing, pretty much pain free but the wind was tougher. I promise as soon as I can I will buy a manufactured wind tunnel and practice in it, run along the windy Charles and massive hilly areas all the time.  Mile 2: 7:14

During Mile 3, I ran a lot with the "gray haired man in a yellow shirt" I passed him, he passed me, and then continued in front of me. That got me mad, so fine, if I could not pass him, then I was going to draft behind him...hey don't yell at me, that's what the PT told me to do. And at Mile 3 who was handing out water but my GURU!!!! Just what I needed (this is his race that his family puts on!).  At that moment, I really felt like this is what it is to have a coach because at that moment Jake screamed:


I can't let Jake down, no no! So I did what I was told and passed him.  Unfortunately he got  the better of me and we kept up the back and forth.  Mile 3: 8:01

But I kept myself going, I had a major stitch in my side and did not think my legs would make it and I wanted to puke but I carried all the mental energy I have learned lately.  The best one was from Lauren @ Health on the Run she recently wrote a post about racing that really spoke to me.  She explained her track coach used to yell at the end Dig Deep and how she always wanted to yell back, I have nothing left with the coach countering, if you can yell then you have something. I took that to heart! THANKS LAUREN!  I repeated that constantly.  I also used, baby steps, I run for the people who can't, One day I won't be able to run today is NOT that day (countering with I will always run) and so forth.  7:50

Mile 4 we were meant with about a half mile worth of hills.  It was at this point that I saw my first woman.  Now I have not really mentioned this yet but somewhere in me I had this little hope, feeling and this little thought/question, where are all the women, where are all the people? I must me a front runner?!?! Wait what?

But anyway, this girl who liked she was 15 ran by me (sorry girlie, you look, at the moment, so young, but not that I should talk, I always get comments like that too), I must have looked pretty awful because she said with a smile, "only one more mile, but the hills ahead stink."  She spoke like she was talking a quaint little stroll. I heaved back, "Yea its a bitch," and off she flew....UGH! Actually she was really sweet, I love her.

Ok, so Mile 4 still NO pain, but the hills sucked!! Ok I PROMISE MORE HILL TRAINING, running buddy get ready!...(and I thought I was doing hill training...).  Finally, we hit the point of no return, the gray haired, yellow shirt man returned and I knew we were almost there.  I looked at my Garmin and starting thinking PR PR PR PR!! Could I do it? I really had to Dig Deep! And I did what I know I am never ever supposed to do, work the downhill! I KNOW I KNOW, but I could not help I did (luckily my knees were nice to me and did not sing with pain).  Bye bye gray haired, yellow shirt man.

Home stretch, I just have to climb up the hill that I started on and I will be there.  I turn the corner to face the beast the hill watching my clock and trying to not waste time watching the clock.  And from out of nowhere this girl flies by me, OH NO, Aaron says he should of warned me as he saw it happen while snapping pictures uuuuhhh yea....see here it is in sequence, yay NOKIA camera, capturing my major fail lol

OK here we come I am in White, see the yellow shirt dude and the girl with the blond ponytail, watch her

 Here she comes OH NO!

Here I am, seeing her pass me...there is nothing I can do about it, at this point, I am giving it all I have got!
Ugh the shame...
Ok I am just pissed off here, but nothing I can do but get ready for this hill, ask my legs to be kind and make sure to beat the yellow shirt dude, as Jake told me too...

Oh it was a killer but PR PR I go

In the zone or what, thank you legs!!

I pretty much collapsed and held on to the railing at the end after I finished, oh my I never thought I was going to make it!!!  Aaron says the guy behind me almost fell over me because I stopped short so quickly, but hey at least I know I put my all into it as proven by the fact that I wanted to complex afterwards ;).   
And the point is I did it PRRRRR!!! 37:04, beat that last's year's 37:11!!!!  I am psyched, and I then went over to the other two girls that whizzed past me to offer my congratulations, they were both super sweet. I was really happy for them! 

And thus the beginning of my new found love for squirrels.  I think my favorite line from Aaron to explain my new speed was, "are you serious?!?" Yes siree!

And guess what?!?! You guessed it, 3rd in my age group (7th for women, 40th overall)!!! My first win ever!!! I might as well have won the Superbowl, I am that excited.  It has been a really emotional journey for me running and it is only lately that I have seen myself as someone who is really training to run, compete and not just to stay fit but for a competitive edge and love of racing.  All the training, all the emotional ties, all the hard work.  I can't even explain how much this means to me, there were literally tears in my eyes. I made Aaron take a picture of the results haha...and here I am with my medal, that yes I wore ALL day!

And thus my love for squirrels!!!!

And here is Jake and I (he is the kindest, most amazing, sweetest coach in the world, but smiling for pictures eh..)

Oh gosh, what a day!!! I am so happy and I could not wait to tell all of you my exciting news :) Oh btw, the gray haired, yellow tee-shirt dude that Jake yelled at me to pass was...his brother - yup thats the way we roll at my PT ;)

Happy Weekend!

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