Saturday, October 01, 2011

Project Athena 10K

I would like to start this off by saying I was No. 1 in this race!!  Okay so I'm talking about my bib number, not my actual placement in the race.  But I did get a lot of cheers for No. 1 from other participants and people on the trail which made me smile! :)

This was the race that almost wasn't.  I fell off the bandwagon after the YGG Half and just wasn't motivated.  I had the finishing the race high followed by a low.  Plus there was that little side trip to Disneyland that distracted me.  But what better to get me back on the wagon than a race?

I was a little nervous going into the race as I knew it was a small race and the 10K was technically only for "runners".  But as the course was mainly on "my" normal route I figured if it was too bad and I was way far behind, I could hide my race number and just pretend to be out for a normal walk.

The 10K racers started and sure enough I was last within no time at all.  Well this is going to be fun.  Will this be the day I am last?  It isn't so much that I care about being last - it is more about people waiting for me to finish.  There were 2 women just ahead of me who were alternating run/walking and was able to catch up and pass them on their walk interval.  They would pass me back and so we leapfrogged for a little while but I kept gaining a little more and finally was able to increase the distance enough.  Okay, so I won't be last if I can keep this up!  I played the same game with 2 other women.  So now there was at least 4 people behind me.  Whew!  A little breathing room.

The goal behind Project Athena is to help survivors live their adventures.  The survivors were given orange shirts to wear.  I was now behind a group of 4 women, 3 of whom were survivors.  Of course they were my next targets! :)  But being behind them I was able to see racers coming back giving them support.  Even the super fast men gave them high fives or shout outs.  It was really neat to see nearly every participant giving support to these survivors.  When I finally caught up with them I added my own cheer and they cheered me on as well.  We leapfrogged a couple of times but when we hit the turn-around I was able to pull ahead.

Wow, we're at the turn-around already?  The problem with being on my familiar route - as I passed by my normal parking lot I was ready to step off the trail and get in my car!  Haha!  Not quite yet - I still had a a good 2 miles to go.

I caught up with another woman and walked along side her for awhile.  It was her first race of any sort and she was just hoping to finish.  I told her she was doing great and she was going to finish!  I walked with her for awhile until I saw the finish line and the clock which was ticking towards 1 hour and 30 minutes.   At the beginning I was hoping to finish within 1 hour and 35 minutes but somewhere along the course I was starting to think that 1 hour and 30 minutes was possible.  And when I saw the clock at  1:28 I took off.  I was tempted to run but kept up the walk and finished in 1:29 and some seconds.  I don't remember the exact seconds and I can't tell you because the results aren't up yet.  Grr!  Where are my results?  Ha!  Apparently I am impatient today.

And there you have it!  My October race is done.


Fruit Fly said...

Awesome! That sounds like a really nice, fun time! I think at Portland next Sunday I'm going to adopt your method here and just pick off people one by one. I'm going to Galloway the entire race, which is VERY new to me, but I'm excited to see how it goes! I bet I'll be leapfrogging with other people, just like you did!

Emily said...

I really need to look into the Galloway method once I start running again. But yes! Definitely try the pick off people method - it helps!