Sunday, June 19, 2011

Second place? That's a fancy word for losing.

I did a 5K race on Saturday. It was the first annual race sponsored by my school. We have a soccer coach whose job in the off-season is to set up and coordinate all kinds of fitness initiatives. So he's done 6-7 week walking competitions, blood drives, etc. This year he decided to go all out.

I decided to do it and registered.

Then last weekend, my mom was telling me about the 5K she did with my dad. It was a race for the cure and there were 25,000 people running. I said, "Oh that's cool. I'm running a 5K next weekend. I might be the only person there."

Well, to my surprise (and very fortunately) I was not. There were 80 people preregistered and about 4 or 5 more came and registered that morning. But there were some who didn't show, so I'm going to guess that there were 75 people who came and ran or walked.

I've been in this leadership program at work, and one of the things we did was strengths quest test. So I learned what my top 5 strengths are. But Saturday proved that "competition" must be in my top 10.

I did not train at all for this race, I just kept up my usual exercise regimen (which has not involved tons of running over the past month). And I went and said I would run, but I'm not really competing, I'm just here to finish it, and support a new race.

When I got there one of my coworkers had brought her daughter, so she introduced us and said, there you two can run together. So we started off running together. I just set my pace to match hers and keep with the people in front of me.

At about a quarter-mile, the daughter passed me.

And then it was on.

I passed her back, and passed the whole group that I had been following.

The course was mostly an out-and-back, so we had to turn around. When I got halfway, I started seeing people coming back. Then I realized that there was only one woman in front of me. So then I was determined to be the second woman across the finish line.

I was also secretly hoping that she wasn't in my age group, so I could be first in my age group.

I was the second woman across the finish line. Yay!

But the first woman was totally in my age group. So no medal for me. I did win a super fancy reusable grocery store bag.

The funny story, besides my sudden competitiveness, happened after. I drank my bottle of water and then went in to the bathroom. Another girl followed me and started talking to me.

"Wow, you were really going fast there. What was your time?"
"31 minutes. What was yours?"
"Oh that's good."
"How old are you?"
"I just turned 30."
"Oh good! You aren't in my age group!"
She keeps talking, "I'm sorry, I know you aren't supposed to ask women their ages, I was just wondering if you were in my age group, You totally don't look thirty, you look really young." (Yes, I'm not using periods in all of that on purpose.)
"Oh thanks," I said.
"I hope I'm that fit when I'm thirty."

And then she left the bathroom.

And I'm standing there thinking, "What the heck?! Wait, I beat you! I'm faster than you! You don't get to call me old! Get back here!"

Oh well, I'm awarding a medal to myself.

File:Silver Medal.jpg


  1. Hey, I'm impressed and age has nothing to do with anything. I can't run that much that fast! I can barely walk up the three flights of stairs to my apartment without needing 5 mins to catch my breath ;) (cary says that's funny cause it's true.)

    Anyhow, congrats! I need to join the rest of the fam in this whole racing hobby.

  2. Congrats!! It sounds like an awesome race... and clearly that young whipper snapper doesn't know anything :) but maybe she will get more in shape because you inspired her!