Monday, May 19, 2008

The Drag Races and a Chicken Without a Head

Might as well do two races in myself a little behind on the blog!

So, as I noted a few weeks back, I cajoled Frank and our friend Carl into participating in the Red Dress Run, a 5K-ish (more like 3.6542 something miles :P ) race in which the participants, mostly male, don red dresses, hit the Junction for a casual race, then gather back at Red Robin for food and drink provided by the owner of the local running store (also race director for this race).

I was VERY proud of Frank for actually agreeing to do this. Also duly impressed that Carl got out of his comfort zone and in the spirit of the race-at probably about 6'4", he couldn't find a dress that would fit him, but as any girl knows, accessories are the key to any good outfit. He sported a very flashy red boa with a red printed blouse the once belonged to his wife, and bike shorts.

Frank has lost a good amount of weight in the past year along with me, eating well, working out at the gym and home, and riding his mountain bike-not so much in the running department, though. On very minimal training, he managed to pace himself consistently for a nice midpack (can you call it a midpack with only 35 people in the race) finish. He and Carl also caught two teenage boys who collided and almost wiped out directly in front of them (again, not sure how that happens in a 35 person race), so the whole event was truly good times race, not a race where you shoot for a good time.

Then, this past Saturday, it was my turn to race again, in the Mike the Headless Chicken race. For those who don't know the story-yes, Virginia, there really was a chicken who lived for 18 months here in Fruita after a farmer was sent out by his wife to get a chicken for dinner. Mike is celebrated in a festival every year that includes a 5K, and it actually has one of the better turnouts in our smallish area.

Alexis was running this too...but age groups were completely wonky. Instead of a 10 and under, or 11 and under or something like we normally have at local 5K's, it was a 14 and under age group, so I told her this was one of those times that you just do your best for yourself and don't compare...since a third grader against a high school freshman is quite a leap. We both wanted to take time off our PR's (mine was 23:06, hers was 26:59).

Well, this was a "sneaky tough" course as Carl put it. And...I discovered after saying "Fruita's pretty flat...I bet it's a fast course" that there ARE indeed some hills in Fruita. Whoops. I had a great first mile (for me), averaging about a 7:00/mile, then had to climb up a hill and kind of felt like dealth straight on through to the finish. I didn't even match my PR on Saturday and was actually 20 seconds slower, coming in at 23:26, but given the hills, the heat, and wind-I'll take that. I didn't have anything else to give on that course so that's all you can ask for, I suppose!

They were only giving out first and second place awards overall, and then first in each age group. I wound up finishing 3rd in 30-39 women, and 5th out of all women, so I didn't think I'd be getting anything. In a dumb fluke, though, the first two women overall were in my age group, and there was no double dipping on awards at this race so I "won" my age group! My award was a $25 gift card to a local paint-your-own-pottery studio, and, of course, a headless chicken medal.

Alexis did not have a PR day either, but hung tough on a course that all runners seemed to agree fit the "sneaky tough" bill. She came in right at 29:00 even, which wound up being fourth out of fourteen in her age group behind a lightning fast 9 year old, and two 13 year olds. She was a little down on herself but Frank and I were incredibly proud! This wasn't a kid race with wall to wall fan support, and again, it wasn't the usual age group. If anything, it was a GREAT tuneup for both of us girls the week before we head up to Boulder for our "fun run" with 50,000 other runners.

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