Sunday, November 8, 2009

Like a Virgin and Chasing Tail....

This Saturday during the Chasing Tail 5K run I was like a “virgin” (as my friend Jeffy said) heading into unchartered territory. This is the first time I had actually done a real registered run. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I got there early thinking about the long lines that can occur before a registered bike ride. Boy was that every an overkill on my part. The lines at the registration table never did get very long and they had plenty of wonderful volunteers to help out. In the Activity Barn at Wheeler Farm they even had an area set up with coffee, bagels, and fruit. It was nice.
(Photo: Lucy and Me before the run.)

Dogs! Dogs! There were dogs everywhere; all varieties from a little chow-wow puppy to a huge lovable St. Bernard. But there seemed to be quite a few golden retrievers and golden labs. Which the logo for the Squatter’s Pub Chasing Tail Beer has a golden dog in it. A coincidence? Or maybe, these are just the most popular breed of dogs in the area? All these dogs and not a cat in sight; I could just imagine the chaos that would ensue if a cat did show!
(Above Photo: Who's walking whom? Zeus and Mike.)
I managed to get my lucky number for my runner’s number. Lucky number 13!! The gal at the table asked me if I might want another number which I thought was rather humorous. No, I told her this IS my lucky number. With the registration packet I got a white tech Short sleeve t-shirt. Cool!

It was cold when I arrived at Wheeler Farm. I ended up grabbing a hoodie and a pair of my biking winter gloves. Just before the run, it started to warm up a little. The high of the day was predicted to be in the mid-60’s; just a glorious sunny day! I put my gloves in the car but kept the hoodie on, as all the runners headed over to the starting line. The route would be two laps around the farm with an ending that went towards the center of the farm near the Activity Barn. It was a crowd of about 500 plus people; some with dogs. (Photos: Vena putting Mike's number on. Lucy, Diane, and Annie before the run.)

Bang! The gun went off and everyone started. A mass start can get a little hairy, I discovered. Some of the runners that were up front took off very quickly and as you headed back into the mass there were slower runners and walkers. People were running past me as I was running past others but as we headed into the first turn it kind of started to separate out and thin. I started slow and started to build in speed as much as I could. It was a nice cushy dirt path that we were running on. It was a pretty route running through fall colored trees and among rustic barns. About a half mile along, I had to take off the hoodie and tie it around my waist.

At the one mile mark, they had a water station and another guy that was calling out times with his watch. As I passed, I heard him call 12:15. I grabbed a paper cup of water. I quickly discovered that it’s near impossible for me to drink water out of a paper cup and run at the same time. Quite a bit of the water ended up down the front of me. A lesson learned! I walked until I finished what was left of the water and then started running again.

At this point I started to notice a pair of girls that were running in front of me and were really setting a nice pace. So catching up quickly to them I set in behind and matched their pace. I asked if they minded, watching my P’s and Q’s. (Maybe I should get a running etiquette book?) They said they didn’t mind, and that their only goal was to finish before the pregnant ladies. They continued to chatter on at a good pace while they ran, and I just hung back and listened. I couldn’t run and talk to them at the same time. I was concentrating too much on keeping the same pace.
(Photos: Leah, Mike, and myself after the run, and below-- Diane after the run with the finish line in background.)
The second lap and before I knew it I was at the water stop again. The gals continued and didn’t take any water but being thirsty I stopped running and I took a paper cup from a volunteer. No water down the front of me this time! There was no guy this time announcing the time. I’m guessing that those that were out here now didn’t really care about their time? Just prior to the last turn before the water stop there was a group of faster runners that went whizzing by me.
Just before the last turn into the finish, Vena (all ready finished) was off to the side and cheering on runners. She yelled my name out as I ran by. Into the last turn I ran, and Vena’s friend Leah sprinted past me. I tried to step it up but as I got closer to the finish line she got further in front. Then another girl sprinted past me and I tried for all I can to speed it up. My finish time as I crossed the line—38:39! Basically a 12 minute mile average speed; not too shabby. Shortly afterwards, I spotted Diane crossing the finish line. As we grabbed water bottles and ice cream bars near the Activity Barn, I thought to myself. I would like to do this next year and see if I can beat my time. A beautiful day and a beautiful run!


  1. Congratulations!! Great job, and this looks like a beautiful place to run. Good times.

  2. Well done (much better than "not too shabby"). Wear that race shirt with pride - you earned it!

  3. Thanks for your comments! Yes, it was a beautiful place to run. I proudly wore the tshirt to my first Boot Camp day. I was rather pleasantly surprised at my time. Thanks again!