The original idea was to find a half-marathon I could sink my teeth into after the Boston Marathon – early June, which still (usually) offers good long-distance running weather in the Pacific Northwest. Then I realized I was definitely not excited about running 13.1 miles competitively so soon after a marathon. (“Competitively” = putting my all into the race. I do not win these things.)
So I decided on a 10K.
The North Olympic Discovery Marathon’s 10K race, to be exact. Sunday, June 1, 2014.
It’s a great race weekend in Port Angeles, WA, just across the water from Victoria, B.C. There’s a marathon (of course; hence the name), a half-marathon, a 10K, a 5K, and on the Saturday of race weekend, even a “kids’ marathon.” We saw all manner of children running around with little race medals on Saturday in downtown Port Angeles. Very cute.
And then, I went out and popped a good one.
Now, this is a downhill course (especially in the second mile, where it feels like it would make a good ski run with a little snow on top). But still, everything just felt good on Sunday. So I pushed it a little. And then a little more. Talked a little pretend smack with a woman ahead of me, who turned out to be in the 50-59 age group (she won her group). And then, notched a second-place age group medal for my little ol’ age group!
This does not happen often.
So, we celebrate. Age group awards are pretty nifty, and even though my Garmin measured this 10K a wee short (6.1 miles instead of the 6.2 it should be), it was still a very decent pace at my advanced age. (Ha!)
What it taught me was this: Yes, I had a slightly Eeyore-ish May here at Every48. I didn’t run a ton. I didn’t exercise quite as much as usual. But the conditioning you get from relatively consistent exercise sticks around. And once in a while, that’s all you need.
This is why I love racing, or any type of organized group activity. It’s just fun. It’s great to get out there with a group of like-minded healthy people and just test yourself and see what you can find out about yourself. And it’s great to just “show up” out there in the big wide world and participate in civic life in a healthy and active way. I just love this stuff.
Some people are Half Fanatics – they go out and run or walk half-marathons every other weekend. Some are avid hikers, hitting a trail as often as they can. Others are of that swim-bike-run ilk that check out the local triathlon scene every summer. And still others head off to their local athletic shoe store and join up with other like-minded folks for 5K walks…or training groups…or just company.
So this post is really about community: about finding a great group activity, whether it’s a race or something that just gets you out there with other people. Getting out the door is hard. (Whoa, it was super-hard to wake up early on Sunday for this race…two snoozes on the snooze alarm.) But once you’re in motion, you’re in motion. And then, you’re going to be tough to stop.
So get out there with people and move. And you never know – once in a while, you just might pop a good one.
Recent #Every48 workouts: 6.1 mile RACE in Port Angeles on Sunday – just a hair under 50 minutes for second place in my age division. Monday 6/2 was a day of rest.