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.