Monday, April 22, 2013

"The Biggest Loser 15k"

April 14th I got to run The Biggest Loser 15k in Springfield OR.  I was given this race from Laura at Girls Gone Sporty, because I'm a Sweat Pink Ambassador. She couldn't run this race.  Since I'm from the area, she offered it to me.  This was my 2nd 15k.

Sunday morning I rolled out of bed about 4:30, UGH!  I needed to get to Springfield early because I couldn't go get my race packet the day before.  Not too much traffic around 5:30am on a Sunday morning!  I got there with plenty of time to spare.  I got a good parking spot close to the start/finish line.  It was cold out!  I went inside to get my packet and see what the sports expo had going on.  I was happy to get my shirt and number without a long line.  I walked around and got a few photos and then sat down for a bit.  The gym area was starting to get busy and the lines were getting long.  I was glad I got there early.  I headed out to my car to wait until it was time to start.  I felt kind of weird to be all by myself, yet in a big crowd.  I knew Tori from Monmouth was coming but never did end up seeing her before the race started.

That's me in the yellow!
About 10 minutes before 9:00am I decided I better go join the crowd.

I made my way into the gate.  We were all bunched together.  I stood by a lady from Alaska who was doing the 5k.  She was cold and couldn't believe I had short sleeves  I was also by a guy from Roseburg who ended up coming in 1st for the 15k.  That's him in the yellow jacket.

We stood while Dan from Season 5 of The Biggest Loser sang the National Anthem.  A runner up front had an American perfect!  The runners were all
Dan singing the National Anthem
asked to come to the front.  There were lots of walkers for this race.  I happily worked my way through the crowd and barley fit into the first wave of runners.  It was chipped timed, so they started us in waves.

The gun went off and so did I!  I was mixed with 5k runners and 15k runners.  We started on a wide road so I didn't feel like it was hard to make my way around people or stay out of faster runners way.  The road was nice and flat.  I knew it was an out and back course and I liked knowing, all I had to do is go out, and come  back!  I had my watch (Garmin), but had been given some advise to not take my watch.  I wore it only to be able to check my mile splits after the race.  I never looked at it.  The reason I did this?   Focusing on your pace can mess with your mind (your mental game).  I was told to just find my pace and go with it and that's what I chose to do.

We quickly made it to the 5k turn-a-round and many turned to go back.  A timer was set up, and I thought, wow, if I was doing the 5k I might PR...oh well!  I wondered if I should slow down, but just went with it.

I started passing people and kept my eyes on the man with the American flag.  I love it when someone runs with the flag!  We turned down a road headed to a park path.  Before I knew it, I was running with the guy with the flag.  He was talking with another runner about the Eugene Marathon.  I passed them and headed onto a more narrow path in the park area.

I think this path was my favorite part of the course.  We ran along water, but the creek was pretty low. I passed a man that looked about my age.  Up ahead was a man/lady couple.  I settled in behind them and just stayed awhile.  After awhile, I decided to give it a go and pass them.  They stayed right on my tail.  Then passed me back. We did this a few times, then the lady passed me and the man got left behind.  Never saw him again.  This lady and I started running together.  

Soon we came to the 15k turn-a-round.  I looked up at the timer and saw I was on target for a 1:15 finish time.  That would be a nice PR, but I would have to hold the pace I was at for another 4.6 miles...UGH!  I didn't know if that was possible, but I might as well keep going!  

I loved running back.  Since I got to start in the lead wave, there were lots of people behind me.  I decided to watch for Tori...this gave me something to do.  The lady I was playing passing games with started to chat with me a little.  I found out her name was Laurie and she had been running with her husband who wasn't feeling well. That's why he fell behind.  We continued to push each other and it was great.  As we got closer to the finish we got into the "walker" groups.  Some of the people made me laugh.

I saw a lady walking with her kindle..yes, she was reading while walking her 15k.  Several groups of women walking together...I think that's great, but in one group, one lady was turned around walking backwards so she could talk to her!

I was happy to finally see Tori...she looked like she was doing great! 
Tori and me at the finish line

Finally I made my way out of the park and back onto the road.  I knew I had maybe two miles left.  I needed to dig deep at this point.  It was getting hard.  I would start to feel like really slowing it down, then realized I didn't want to let Laurie get way ahead, so I just kept steady with her even though my stomach was starting to feel it! Blaaaaa.....

As we came close to the finish line, lots of 5k walker were just
Me and Laurie (green) nearing the end
coming in.  The road was wide, but these walkers would make these walls you would have to go around and it was kind of annoying.  I just went around the walls of people and kept going.  I had no idea if I was at 1:15 or not.  All I knew was I had stayed with Laurie.  I did end up passing her just before the end, but her chip time was the same as mine when it was all over (we didn't start at the same time).

I crossed the finish line and stopped my watch.  I was handed a finishers medal and then looked at my watch.
Laurie (in green) and me stopping my watch
 It was right at 1:15.  NO WAY!  I wondered what place I had came in?  I knew I was near the front but I also new there were some women who were in front of me.

I went inside to get some food and wait for race results to come in.  At this point I was just happy to know I did PR by quite a bit.

I got a half of a bagel, a banana and a bottle of water, then stood with the other 15kers waiting to see how we all did.  When the times went up, I had to do a double take.  It said I came in first for my age-group.  This has never happened to me.  Overall I came in 14th place.  5th place in all women. 1st in my age group.  There were 142 15k finishers.  103 females, 39 males.  The average finish time was 1:41:41.  My finish time was 1:15:03 (8:04 pace).  I was pretty excited.  I knew I would get a certificate so I found a spot to sit.  Dan and Jackie Evans from Season 5 were there talking to people and letting people take photos.  Dan and some other guy sang to us up on the stage.  Finally certificates were given out along with ribbons to the top 3 in each age group and overall.  
It was a good race!
Dan and Jackie Evans from Season 5

I went to meet my brother in Eugene for a very nice lunch at one of his favorite places.  I was so hungry!!!

Next race is Hippie Chick Half Marathon,  coming May 11th!  In the meantime, I'm in training for Newport Marathon, coming June 1st!

Happy Running friends.....

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