This morning was my first race since April 2012! I ran the For Kids Sake 5K/10K run in Carbondale, IL. I did the 10K in a time of 56:34 (I think? Who knows?)
Since I got hurt in April, I've been doing a lot of different activities to keep in shape. I wandered into a spin class early one morning, and have been doing it twice a week at our campus rec center since then. I probably jumped back into running earlier than I should have ( I would have run with my stylish black cane if I could have), but you live and learn. You learn about massage, and what pain remedies work (I became quite the collector, amassing pain remedies with names such as Recovery Rub, Bio Freeze, Perform, Sombra, and my favorite, Voltagen (sounds like a comic-book villain, doesn't it). The only thing that healed my ankle was time, and it still acts up now and again, just to remind me to take it easy.
I learned that one thing my running was missing was the mental element. I've been researching self-hypnosis, meditation, yoga nidra (also called "sleep yoga") and all sorts of mental self-care strategies. The one thread through all these techniques is breath--sounds so simple, but learning to breathe better has been great for my recovery and for my own personal mental health.
So back to today's race. I did this race last year---a great community event designed to raise money to feed, clothe and educate orphaned children in Bangladesh. The organization that puts on the race, For Kids' Sake, has both local and international ties. I had a great time at last year's race, and enjoyed this year's race as well, though there were some glitches.
One of the frats on campus was working with For Kids' Sake as their community service project, so the guys set up a sign up table right near the building I work in. I figured that was a sign for me to get back to races, so I filled out the form, and handed it back to the guy behind the table. He took the registration form and my fee ($20, paid in full and in cash).
When I showed up to the race today (so great, right in my neighborhood so I walked), no one could find my registration form. Wonder if I bought that frat brother a six-pack? The folks from For Kids Sake believed me though, so I didn't have to pay an extra fee.
Most of the people there were doing the 5K. I detest 5Ks. I'm the type of runner who would rather run 6.2 than 3.1--because I'm not fast. I'm always disappointed in my 5K times. So I lined up with the few folks who were doing the 10K. I knew I'd probably get an age group award, because I appeared to be only woman there over 45!
The race itself was a breeze. I never really pushed the pace, because I wanted to finish without hurting my ankle. Two loops of a neighborhood route that I know very well and I was done.
The award ceremony was very fun--a dj spun tunes, and there were a few songs that everyone did in group line-dance format (it's was like a wedding broke out). I waited for my name to be called--first place, 45 to 50. There was only one other person in the age group, but still.
I sensed that there was some anguish about the timing. So I went over to the timing computer to see my time. I thought I was in finish chute in the 57s, but the on-screen results said 56:34. None of the races around here are chip-timed, so the posted times are all estimates anyway. At least I was not in the position of one woman who ran the race and whose time did not register somehow. I'm no expert on race timing, but I don't know how she was not in the system, given that she had a race bib. I would have been pissed had I been her--meditation be damned.
So I'm not sure I trust that 56:34, but I do like the medal I got. I'm looking forward to my next race, which will be the Saint Louis Track Club Half Marathon in November.
Update 9/30/12: I was right about the timing being off. My official finish time was 57:03. Still won my age group (granted only one other person was in the age group).