Monday, September 7, 2009

Peach Days 10K

This year I ran my third Peach Days 10K. I was not as prepared for it this year as the last two years, but what the heck, I did it anyway.

Heading out the door↑

"Trying" to head out the door! ↓ Yes I am on the phone! Talking to Sego Lily telling them I am going to be needing a massage soon! :D

In the parking lot before the race...getting ready to make a run for it.

I really wish I had a picture of the racers all lined up before the gun went off. There were a LOT of racers again this year! Almost 400! The conditions were NOT very conducive to getting a good time because the WIND was just blowing and pushing so hard. The temp was perfect, but the WIND was a pain! Running against the wind is one of the hardest and most grueling energy depleters there is for a runner. It's ten times worse when it's uphill! There is a part on the course that has a killer uphill, and this year, the wind happened to be the worst at that point.

I was trying so hard to get catch up to a couple of big guys so they could break the wind for me. I kept pushing it and pushing it so I could. Going uphill on the hardest part of the course is not a good idea when the wind is blowing so hard against you. I felt like I was running in slow motion because even though I was really pushing it, it felt like I was barely moving. When I finally got behind my big wind breakers, I didn't notice any change. Other than I was exhausted! Luckily after I reached the top of the hill, I had about half mile of downhill to recover.

Still running. This was just after the hard hill and wind! Only about half way. That's why I'm still smiling and giving the thumbs up.

The course goes right past my cul-de-sac. Almost to my house. So tempting to go up and grab some Gatorade and a little nap!

The last part of the race is a steady TWO mile uphill climb that you run in front of the parade spectators. The good thing about it is that there are so many people cheering you on when you need it the most. The bad thing is that if you want to quit, you don't dare! Well, maybe that's a good thing too!

I have to admit, this was the FIRST race I have ever ran that I honestly wanted to quit. Either that or DIE first!!! Not even the two half marathons were this hard. I was really feeling it and wasn't sure if I had it in me what it took to cross that finish line this year. I kept pushing it and began looking for my fam. My sister-in-law told me where she was going to be saving a spot for all of us. When I finally got to that point, I saw her on her cell phone and a male runner that had just collapsed laying on her tarp. He didn't look so good, but I kept going knowing she had it under control. Each year, there are runners that collapse or are taken off in an ambulance. I have to admit the thought crossed my mind that if I fake a collapse then I won't have to finish this! In fact, I was beginning to think I might not need to "fake" it. As I kept running uphill towards that much desired finish line, an ambulance came rushing by me. I was certain it was going to the man on my SIL's tarp. I was right. (See sidenote at bottom)

I don't know where it came from, but I found what I needed to cross the finish line. It was hard. It was very hard, but I did it. I don't know what made it so tough for me this year, other than the wind. Most runners were complaining about how much harder it felt this year. The Peach Days course is touted as the hardest 10K in the state. Runners come from all over for the challenge. This year there were runners from Canada, New York, Hollywood, and all over the west.

My friend Mont (on right) about to storm across the finish line.

Oh! Almost there! NOTHING has looked this good to me in a very long time!!!

I REALLY wanted to beat my last year's time. Just missed it by a minute! Guess that's not too bad considering the wind really slowed me down. At this point, all I wanted was to STOP running!!!

WATER! I NEED water!!! This is the first race EVER that I sat down! It was also the first ever that I felt nauseated after I stopped. I was feeling EVERY inch of those six miles! Luckily, I started to feel much better after about 20 minutes.

Wow! Even a smile! Jen, ALWAYS my supportive friend, asking me how it went.

Survivors of the grueling 2009 Peach Days torture run! ↓

Julie, Mont, and me. Mont is holding our pal Mike's number because he had to "dash" off.

So happy we made it and lived to tell about it! And I am NOT joking about this either!!! (read SIDENOTE at bottom)

The best part was I got a MEDAL!!!! I placed third in my age division! WOOT-WOOT!!! I was sooooooooo happy!!! Was NOT expecting that!!! I came in 153rd out of 389 runners! Not bad, for an old woman!!! Especially considering the majority of runners are much younger than I am! Well, I don't want to emphasize "much", but you know what I mean! Ha!

Me and my medal!!!!

Another Peach Days 10K down! I hope next year's is a little more of a fun run! Fun run? Did I say that? I am sure that's an oxymoron!

The runner that collapsed and was laying on my SIL's tarp, didn't make it. He stopped breathing and the paramedics were unable to revive him. He was only 32 years old (I believe) and a seasoned runner. He ultimately died of cardiac arrest, but I still haven't heard the report on the autopsy. It has been very hard on my sister in law as she was the one that saw him start to stagger in the road and so she went up to him and asked if he was okay. He didn't respond and so she helped get him off the road and onto her tarp. He collapsed on her before she could get him all the way off the street. Several people started CPR, but were never able to get a pulse. Once the ambulance arrived, they shocked his heart, but no avail. It was very sad. Isn't running supposed to be GOOD for you???