Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Quest for First Place...

I'm no elite in the racing world, but I do earn a place in my division in nearly every race I run. And I do have the quest of qualifying for Boston on my to do list this December. I bring to you a random story with a bad beginning and ending.
After returning from an injury I found myself earning 2nd place. 2nd place. 2nd place. Like a broken record. When I came directly behind the first place winner, in yet another 5k, I headed home with my medal determined to earn a coveted trophy like the 1st place winner received.
I barge into the bedroom and tell my husband, "That's it. I don't care where that next stupid 5k is, because I am going to run it and I am going to get first place." I jump on the web and find the nearest 5K, the Strawberry Festival, 1 1/2 hours away in Portland, Tennessee. Apparently, Portland has been declared the strawberry capital of the world. You will notice a theme of this througout Tennessee. Situated below Spring Hill, the current city that bears my being, is Columbia-the mule capital of the world. My other post is on Bell Buckle, the moon pie capital of the world. Is this weird or what?
So, that weekend I drive myself down to Portland, where there are indeed TONS of places that sell Strawberries. About 330 runners, and some of the top runners are present. I turn on my trusty Garmin with GPS capibilities, eat my magic beans (which is silly for a 5K, but desperate times call for magic beans), and I'm ready.
The race begins. Feeling great. Split one, 7:05. Perfect. I usually start off to fast (6:40) and die out by mile 2 1/2. Split 2, 7:05. Perfect pacing. Slowed down in mile 3 a little, but enough to know I was the top 5 females overall, and I could hear them say I was 20th overall as I came in with a time of 22:36. Enough to earn me 1st place in the largest competing division. And it's not even my PR (which was earned on my first 5K ever on a hilly course that I ran after doing a 10 mile run the previous day-boogling).
So award time comes. I can almost touch the trophy in my mind. I'm ready to bring this one home. "Look at this Brayan!" And the award for this first place win.....drumroll....

Oh yeah. Strawberries in a crate just like this photo. Oh, and a mug. My award meet its death in a banana/strawberry smoothie blender. The pain... all in vain.

All over the place today...

Before-Me, Anisia (my niece) and Eli (age 3)

After-Donna, the grandmaster champ, passed me at mile 4 (on left), and Emily passed me at mile 2 and came in 2nd for our age division. Yes, they are both wearing their Boston gear. I'll get there soon...

I ran the Moon Pie 10 mile race in Bell Buckle, TN two weekends ago. Last year I ran it in 1:17:00 flat. Being the confident person I am, I thought, "1:16, no problem." On mile two I already knew I was toast. Toast with jello legs. The weather was unbearable (94), I couldn't breath properly, and to make it worse I started getting passed by runners with headphones (this is usually a bad sign) and my former running partner .
The first 5 miles were ROUGH and much hillier than I cared to remember. The 4 1/4 mile hill was so painfully elevated that I made my first ever stop in a race. This lasted approximately .2 seconds as a lady screamed, "Come'n! Don't stop." Her tone let me know that if I didn't listen to her, she was going to hurt me. From mile 5 on I picked up the pace and started passing runners. If there was a female in sight, I focused on them and made sure I passed them. Then another. Then another. On mile 9 I passed a very athletic runner, but that took all of my mental powers to make that pass . But it was all in vain. There wasn't enough time to make up the slower pace from mile 1-4 1/2. The athletic female that I worked so hard to pass, passed me again on the last .10 of the mile. Encouraging as she was, "Come on. You can do it," just wasn't enough... and I came trudging in with a time of 1:20. That is an 8:04 pace vs. my 7:42 the previous year. Oh well. Can't win them all.
6th women in my division, 26th female overall. 850 runners.

Yeah, that's me third back. Okay, my competition doesn't look to tough,

but I did pass these two.

Fan of random photos

As I crossed the Moon Pie line...."I'm going to DisneyWorld!" Okay, I didn't scream that, but I really am going to DisneyWorld and Epcot next week. I'm even skipping a doctoral level course. I astound myself sometimes!

More random photos. This is my bedroom. This is what my bedroom should look like. This is not what it currently looks like. Being jobless for the summer, I have an obligation to be housewife-like at least twice a year.

Speaking of random...let us take a trip down random picture lane.

Maria, Brayan's sister, visiting us from her current home in Hawaii.

Home sweet home. Actually, I'm not too attached. We are planning on selling this soon. Anyone interested?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A moment on the beach...darn global warming. It's ruined any attempt at living near a beach.

The world really is flat...

I can't help but think about this book that I am reading at the moment, The World is Flat. I often do writing workshops and talk about some of the things good writers do. One of the things good writers do a lot is wonder. Life after death, supernatural events, where is that ant going? As a child, it was the thought of infinity that kept me up at night-restless. Could something really go on forever? How was that possible? My current fascination is how easy it is to create pointless, rambling website, such as this one. Why are there so many free sites? How many websites are there at the moment. This is my adult version of battling the concept of infinity. The prehistoric ages, pre 1995, where have you gone?
Anyway, enough babble. Here are some pictures for you Andrea. :)