This last week has been so full of accomplishments for me, I am feeling very proud of myself.
It all started last Saturday with the Corporate Challenge 5k. Every year my company participates in Corporate Challenge where we compete against other companies in Las Vegas in a wide array of events ranging from sports like soccer and basketball to running and even random events like archery and go kart racing. It’s really fun and I think it brings us employees closer together to do events like this. This year we teamed up with a few other companies to form a team big enough for the C Division. So last Saturday was the 5k and I was pretty excited. It was freezing that morning and we had to be there to register at 6:15am. The race started at 7:30am and by then it had warmed up a bit but it was still cold. We got started and I really could feel the adrenaline pumping the first two miles. The third mile was tough, especially since it was uphill, but I powered through it and ended up finishing 1st in my age group with a time of 22:31. I was so happy! Vince had brought the girls to cheer me on and it was so great having them there. I was on cloud 9 all day!
The next day was the Corporate Challenge swimming competition. I was super excited about this because I am really a swimmer at heart since I pretty much grew up in a pool and swam competitively through high school. We were allowed to participate in 4 events and there was another girl on my team in my same age group, so we split up the individual events and each took a leg in one of the relays. I swam the 200 yard freestyle, the 50 yard freestyle, the 50 yard backstroke and the 50 yard butterfly in the medley relay. There was more than one heat in some of the events, and they still haven’t posted the official results (seriously guys, how long does it take??) but unofficially I’m 99% sure I got 1st place in all 4 of my events. I will come back and update when I find out for sure. Our team definitely had the best showing at the swim event and I think it was just enough to put us in 1st place overall. Very exciting!
Then just this past Saturday I ran the Xterra Trail Half Marathon. My friend Heather, who is new to running, talked me into doing it. I had never run on trails before and wasn’t really sure it was something I wanted to do, but when a Groupon became available for it for $22, I figured, why not? Being as it was my first trail race, and I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not, I literally bought the cheapest pair of trail running shoes I could find. 6pm.com had a pair of New Balance shoes with a rock plate for $39.99 so I bought those and started training. Heather and I did most of our long runs together out on trails by the Las Vegas Wash. We had a lot of fun training together, but in hindsight, we really were not prepared. We should have been doing a lot more hills and steep climbing, not just running on packed trails.
The race venue was really fun. They had a big running and triathlon expo going on and lots of pump-you-up music and even a real cannon to start us out on the race. The first half a mile or so was just to get us out to the trails and from that point until about mile 3, it was the hardest run I’ve ever had in my life. It was literally nothing but steep hill after steep hill for almost 3 straight miles. The hills were so steep and rocky, you could hardly even run up them and just when you rounded a corner thinking you were at the top, you were faced with an even steeper higher hill. I thought they were never going to end. Finally we reached the top and started our decent down, but even this part was hard because when we got down to somewhat flat ground, the area was so washed out that we had to run for a least a mile in about a foot of really soft sand. I remember cursing myself for doing a trail race at this point, just dying to run on something hard. The course was a loop, and we had to run it twice, so after the first half, we got to do it all over again. The hills were a killer the second time around. I’m not going to lie, I speed walked up them the second time around, but so did everyone else around me. It was almost impossible not to. I ran the remainder of the down hills and the flat areas but was getting really tired. I stopped very briefly once at the last aid station because it was getting really hot out and I was completely out of water. So I downed some Gatorade and had them fill up my water bottle and off I went to finish the last three miles. The last half a mile was back on the road and downhill and I couldn’t have been happier to run on pavement. I charged the finish line as best I could and made it just under two hours, with an official time of 1:58:20. Vince and the girls were there at the finish line and I gave them all a hug and collapsed on the grass for about half an hour. Vince went to go get my official score card and was so disappointed that I was one place away from getting a medal. I got 4th in my age group and 8th female overall. I, however, am extremely happy with my results. I did the best I could, for how prepared I was and for it being my first real half marathon, I think I did really well.
There were no finisher medals, but we got this virtual finisher’s badge:
My legs are so sore I can barely walk and my feet have so many blisters and I’m pretty sure I’m going to lose at least 4 toenails (hey you’re not a real runner until you lose a toenail, right?). And if I want to continue running on trails, I will definitely be investing in a new pair of trail running shoes because I don’t think I can ever stick my shoes in those New Balances again. As a reward for all my hard work, I’m going to get an hour long massage today. I’m very proud of all that I accomplished and look forward to improving on my accomplishments.