Sunday, September 28, 2008

Autumn Leaf Festival 5k & B.O.T.T.

Start of the ALF 5k (I'm in purple - one of my favorite colors - see, I'm um girly and stuff)

The leaves are starting to change into beautiful hues of red and yellow, and the smell of fall is in the air (literally, it is, I smelled it today on my bike!). It was a wonderful weekend at the Clarion ALF festival and after a week that almost tried to kill me from long hour and lack of sleep, I was still able to pull things together with a little help from a supportive husband and lots of prayer!
By the time I arrived home on Friday night at 9:15pm from traveling for work I was spent. When I say spent, I was like knock down, dragg em out, almost falling asleep while I was driving, went the wrong way home from Cleveland for 8 miles before turning around, tired. I don't know if I have ever been as tired in my LIFE! Kyle could hear the distress in my voice among the bitching, and was kind enough to have ice cream and a new MP3 player (which I had broke from sweating so profusely during my long run on the treadmill on Wed) waiting when I finally got home, so I was incredibly grateful. Way to go rock.

Anyway, I was having serious doubts about the race at that point. However, I decided to just hit the hay and not worry about it. It was just a 5k right? Only about 1/200th of what I am about to do in a week and six days (I know this because of that dang counter on the blog.. a little TMI now that we are this close).
I slept like a rock and woke up feeling excellent. I had a very laid back, relaxed feeling as we headed over to the race site to meet up with 300 of my closest friends and fellow ALF'ers. I did a long warm up because the last thing I wanted was to pull some dang muscle at this point, and lined up feeling ready and determined to have a great race.

As we started I got right behind Jayson, the women's cross country coach at Clarion, and his lead runner Erin. Erin is a great runner and an All-American to boot. She definitely should pursue running after college. I think this is her last year of eligibility. During last years race, I only hung with her until the first mile, then she was long gone. This year, I decided to give it a go and see what happened. I made a decision early to not look at my watch for heart rates or splits as I knew I might be above an beyond what I was used to doing based on my effort level and breathing, but no mas... all that mattered was that I gave this my best effort and let the chips fall where they may. Low and behold, Erin was still in my sights, as was Jayson at the one mile, and then I held on till the two mile mark. I started loosing a little ground and was about 10-15 seconds behind each of them as we climbed a grade into town. The entire time I kept telling myself, "no limits Kim, no one says what you can and cannot do, just believe" and I did. I was going to PR today, even without looking at my watch, I could just feel it in every bone within my body as I ran. Coming down toward the track where we would finish I saw my husband and Mom waiting and I was excited to know I would be done after one short lap around the track!

Almost to the track! I can feel the finish coming and IT IS GOOD!

As I crested the first curve I heard times being called in the sixteens and I thought someone must have made a mistake. Honestly, that was impossible. I'm in good shape, but I don't think I'm in THAT kind of shape! I watched as Erin pulled away from Jayson and I tried to make up ground, but I could tell I was going to be behind by 100 feet coming into the finish. I could see the clock, and I could hear the announcer telling me to push it into the finish!! I crossed the line and I was so happy to have given it a serious good effort. These are the races that make you stronger!!

Tired at the finish, but a happy camper!

Erin was the first women, and I was the first "open" runner (aka able to receive a cash prize) so party time it is folks!! It was nice to work toward an incentive to share with my fellow triathletes, and maybe even have enough left over to buy a few things at the expo. I'm so thankful for this little race. Afterward, I ran into many people I knew from high school, and the community in general. It was awesome. They are even starting a running club so hopefully that will be something I can tap into when I am back home in November.
Oh--and I just found out that Oscar kicked my butt during the first 5k of his 10k race! Geezz Oscar.. what did you eat before the race! Let a girl in on the secret! Wow!!!
One, Two and Three! Girl power baby...! Great job to all who raced!!

So, that's the story morning glory!! I hope it is a good sign for the upcoming weeks.

Oh - so you're wondering what BOTT is huh.. Well, that is my new saying for BRING ON THE TAPER. I know many of you don't like it, well, I put in the work, and I LOVE IT.. I am ready to get a little r & r and attempt to pack this week which I am dreading already. Seriously, how much do I have to pay for someone to come do this for me? I can do $30.00... so worth it.. please. Email me a packing resume if you are interested, including references that say you didn't forget anything when you packed for your last races. Thank you for your interest.

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