So after my incredible victory at the Thanksgiving Day 5K (ie, I crossed the finish line!!!), I was feeling somewhat empowered (or possibly I was a out of my mind due to oxygen depletion), so when John and Di said “we’re doing a 5K Trail Run at Wyandotte County Lake Park in February, would you like to do that with us?” I responded with “Trail run? Sure, that sounds fun”. I must mention at this point, that I was envisioning a nice stroll through the woods on a paved or at least well-maintained path with some pretty scenery. What I actually agreed to without knowing it, is what is well-known as “the toughest 5K in Kansas”, and the name? The Psycho(yes, PSYCHO, which is what you have to be to agree to do this)-Wyco Psychedelic 5K, ICE version (yes, there’s also a FIRE version, which is in July). And this was no paved or at least well-maintained path. This was 3.1 miles of bridle trails..ie trails that horses use…do you know what happens when horses amble along a path when it’s somewhat wet, and THEN the ground freezes?) 3.1 miles up and down frozen hills at sharp inclines & declines, and with rocks, roots, and other assorted obstacles waiting to jump out a send a runner (or in my case, walker), sprawling to the ground (hopefully NOT off the side of one of the more cliff-like hills).
But the awesome thing I found out is that Trail Runners are REALLY nice and supportive, because even though I was 3rd to last to cross the finish line, when I came across, there were still plenty of people left, and all of them were clapping and congratulating me. It was really great. And they had REALLY good food there too! My time was 56:36.7. And it spurred me on to do more. I signed up for the Lawrence St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Shuffle 5K, and this one, i decided I was going to start training for and I was going to try and run it. I started to go out in the evenings for walk/runs. I mostly was walking at the beginning. In fact, I couldn’t run for an entire song….even a short one. I’d run the chorus and then walk the verse, then run the next chorus, walk the verse, and so on. Then the entire next song, I’d walk the whole thing, then go back to the split, and I’d be able to manage that for about the first half of a 5K, then I’d speed walk the whole rest of it. In the meantime, I managed to talk my husband into doing the Shamrock Shuffle run too, and he and John paired up to run together and Di stayed with me. I think I ran maybe half of it in total, and my overall time was a much improved 39:50. However, my husband finished in 38:15…and he didn’t even train for it. Since I’m not at ALL competitive, this didn’t have anything to do with my motivation to continue training and beat his time in my next 5K. (Wow, did I just say next 5K? It’s starting to sound like its becoming a regular thing!!!!)
At this point, I decided I needed to get legit. John and Di told me that the ONLY place you go to for running stuff is Garry Gribble’s Running Sports. So, I went into the Lawrence store and told the SEASONED RUNNER who helped me that I was just getting into this, still wasn’t too sure about it, and that I’m really still in the mostly-walk phase that I wanted to get an actual running shoe, but I didn’t want to spend TOO much money until I decided if I really was going to stick with it. The salesperson was so nice and patient with me and had me try on a bunch of different shoes and find the right pair (Asics) at the right price (about $65, I believe).
I continued to train and was beginning to run greater distance without stopping to walk. I remember hitting a mile for the first time. Then, sadness struck….John and Di had to move. John had completed his masters and all actual coursework for his PhD, and he was needed at West Point to teach classes. So they left Lawrence, but like a true Girl Scout, Di left me better than she found me. I continued to train, even after she moved. Again, I’m not at ALL competitive, so it had NOTHING to do with the bet we had on a rematch of the Turkey Trot. I signed up for the Lawrence Thanksgiving Day 5K here in Lawrence, and Di and John ran in New York. We compared times and I actually beat her by a couple of minutes. She told me she was very proud of me. I was proud of me too. 🙂
For those keeping track at home, these are my stats thus far:
- November 2008 Thanksgiving Day 5K time – 57:24 (Pace: 18:28.52 min/mile)
- Feb. 2009 Psycho-Wyco Psychedelic 5K Ice Version – 56:36.7 (Pace: 18:13.07 min/mile)
- March 2009 Shamrock Shuffle 5K – 39:50 (Pace: 12:49.27 min/mile)
- November 2009 Thanksgiving Day 5K – 36:44.7 (Pace: 11:49.4 min/mile)