Thomas was truly one of the most inspirational people I have ever met. I originally met through my ex a few years ago but we didn’t really become close until second semester of last year. Both us were kind of lost and we would often bump heads in the gym and chat for a while.
Thomas had MS (disease that affects the spinal cord and brain). Within 3 years, he literally lost all of his muscle mass. He went from being roughly 225 pounds to about 150. Im not really sure I can find anyone else that worked as hard as he did in the gym to gain it back. I’d always see him in the gym lifting while I was running on the treadmill. He was one of the few that stayed in there the entire time I did my long runs.
Though out this semester, we stayed in constant contact. We would get lunch often or bump heads in the gym as always. He would always tell me that I ran really funny but it worked for me and then tell me an inspirational story of his own bank of tales. He would watch football and cheer for the Patriots (and by cheer-I mean he yells as much as I do when watching football) while I would run or lift and watch the Panthers. Good thing we never actually were within yelling distance when they played each other.
Anyways-keep your friends close. You never know what can happen in a second. So here is to one of the most inspirational people of my life.
I know everyday you wake up thinking “Gosh when is Hollie going to post another race recap?” That’s okay-I wanted to wait for one of the very few times that I can include race photos. (I know you also wake up thinking, “where is my favorite ostrich runner”) Most cross country races (which have been the majority of my races for a while) don’t have a lot of photos being taken.
But this time I was able too snag some.
My final cross country race and I actually wore a singlet when not forced. My brother Matt said it was unacceptable if I wore a cotton shirt at such a prestigious race. I saw a few people doing it but then again I scoped it out.
Anyways-the race started at a nice 8am. I haven’t done early morning races like this in a while. I’m not complaining, I’m just saying my body just wasn’t used to running at that time. If I was that worried about it, I would have done these last few runs at 8am, but I didn’t.
The gun went off right at 8:00am. It was quite chilly and race attire consisted of arm warmers, gloves, head warmer, singlet and I really did layer two pairs of spandex. I didn’t mean too but I didn’t feel like rolling with ass out spanks. I immediately took off at “my take off speed”, but as typical Hollie style I got out extremely slow. Every.Single.Time. Lolz. I was probably 275/300 at this point.
As the race progressed I began my move and started to mark and drop bitches. You can tell in any sort of 5k that I am not a speedster. This race was really well marked by every .2k. So there was a sign at .2k, .4….1k….3.8k…5k. So you literally knew how far you had left the entire time. I would tell myself pass this girl at .4k, look up and move to the next in my line of view. In cross country races, I’m more concerned with reeling girls in versus time. Road races are more for time, in my opinion at least.
There was a rather big hill at exactly the halfway point. I wasn’t worried about this hill, just the extremely steep downhill. I didn’t wear spikes either, (I wore flats) so I was so afraid my bumbling ass would topple down the side of the hill.
I literally was like I’m not about to injure myself to shave five seconds off my time and so I took the hill pretty conservatively.
Then I continued passing people. The first half of the race was in woods and so I didn’t have many spectators. If you know me well-I don’t care either way. Screaming at me never motivates me (for both swimming or running). I have been known to flick my swim coaches off while, I swim at get some yard punishments for that…but that is a story for another day. The second half of the course was all in the open though. There was no escaping the literally thousands of spectators.
There were a lot of people that knew me (because of Matt) cheering for me which was pretty cool. I felt like I had real life friends. I kept pushing though and the last .25 was around a lake so I felt like I was running around in a hamster wheel. When I came around the bend I saw the clock clicking and it was at 19:54. I knew there was no way I’d break 20:00 minutes but I just sprinted to the end.
My final time was 20:05. My goal was originally breaking 20 on a cross country course (I’ve done it on road quite a few times) but that was not in the cards today. It was still an awesome race and I have no complaints.
My coach told me that it was equal to going about 19:40 on the roads. Who knows though. This wasn’t the hardest cross country course I have ever run, but it wasn’t a cake walk either.
My next 5k is New Years Eve back on the roads. Actually-that is my next race, but I would prefer to find something before that. Either way-I should be under 20 minutes on my next road 5k and should actually be closer to 19 minutes. We shall see where my running takes me though, always an adventure in my life.
Question for you:
1. What is your optimal racing time?
I think mine is 11. I do a nice shakeout run around 7:30, eat and then wait around. I’ve always done well at that time. Noon is too late because I’m wicked hungry. 🙂
2. Do people screaming/cheering at you motivate you?
No. Never. Especially in swimming though, people would tell me to make my move at the 1000 mark in the 1650, and I’d get so pissed at them because they had no idea how to swim the mile.
Have you ever noticed that by in large most Holidays come complete with a road race? The only one I know of that doesn’t is Christmas but I’ll be on the prawl for one. How cool is that?
The Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot in my area was a 10k.
10k (although it was a long and 6.3M)
Before I begin, I will say that it is a PR for me but I’m not really that happy about it. (I am happy yes, but OMGEEZ best race ever? No not really) I had to stop twice take off my gloves and retie my shoes. Like why do freak things happen in my life.
Anyways-I think this race had over 1000 people. There were certainly a lot. Actually I just looked and there were over 2500. Good heavens, that is a lot of best friends for me to make.
I was somewhat nervous at the start because so many people were running by me before mile 1. I’m really claustrophobic and cannot handle people running next to me, breathing down my neck all that jazz. (one of the few reasons I do enjoy swimming) I thought maybe I was taking it too slow when the whirlwind of people flew by…but I just ignored it and said trust your body and realized I was at a 6:30 pace when I hit mile 1. Which was super comfortable (so that is wicked exciting).
Between mile 1 and 2, my first shoe came untied. I stopped-tied it and continued. God knows my clumsy ass is not about to trip and fall on pavement. Cross country dirt is another story, but pavement Hell no.
Then between mile 2-3 my other shoe became untied. Once again (and maybe more skillfully) I stopped tied it real quick and by this point had muttered every four letter word under the sun. Probably created some new ones as well.
The rest of the race is somewhat of a blur. It was pretty windy in spots but completely flat. Minus a serious elevation gain of 2 feet and some man was so upset by it. I chuckled and thanked my hill training, which has been doing me wonders.
I do remember getting to mile 5 at 34:51 and I was super excited because it meant I had dropped down back down under a 7 minute pace even with the stopping.
The final home stretch was like .3 of a mile so I had to look at the finish line for a third of a mile. I don’t know how that makes me feel. I hauled butt to the end but my kick is probably all of a 5 second pace faster than my normal speed.
I did, however, end up getting second my age category despite the circumstances. I seem to always win awards that give out bird trophies. The duck from the open water swim, two of these guys. I would like a Penguin award, since they are the only birds I love.
Another race down. Like I said-not overly happy that my shoes came untied and made me stop but nothing to get too upset about. Plus I came home and ate about 5 servings of this nomtastic food.
Question for you:
1. Runners: Have your shoes ever come untied?
Oh and yes I double knot them. I have a very high turnover and so it’s impossible to keep them tied, I swear.
I wish I was more of a foodie so I could write about all the wonderful things I prepared for my day of eating but that would be a dirty lie, so I’ll write about what I’m Thankful for.
Which is my family.
I honestly could never ask for a better family. We stick together when things are good, bad and somewhere in the middle. If you know me in real life (even though it’s pretty obvious on the interwebs) I am super close with my family. I am so very lucky for each and every one of them.
Saturday came and my race was near. I slept through my first alarm at 7:30. Well not slept through-woke up turned it off and went back to sleep.
Do I regret it? No not really? I’m not even sure why it was set that early the race didn’t start until 11.
Anyways after making myself some breakfast around 8:15, I casually ran around town for 20 minutes or so and warmed up. Since the race was only 2 miles or so from my house, I could just warm up around town. Lovely eh?
Our neighboring frat was just finishing up a party around 9:00am as I ran by. Real life?
So anyways-Jenna picked me up and after getting lost to get to the race (how you do that in my small town…I don’t know). We made it.
When we got there (think we had to park in a grass field with hay) we noticed how hilly and windy it was. No matter-we grabbed our stuff. I didn’t realize my small country town could get any more country until I went to the west side.
The race was a 5k or 10k predication run. So you guess how fast you are going to go and cannot wear a watch, phone, ipod or anything that will tell your time. I predicted 44:30 for the 10k because it was a really hilly course and also quite windy and I really don’t even have a good call on my 10k pace yet so 7:10 or so seemed good to me.
The race started so that the 5k and 10k were together for the first mile and a half. It was somewhat annoying because I didn’t quite know how to pace myself since there were so many people flying by me doing the 5k and I had no idea what sort of pace I was on.
Then the 5k people turned and we went straight. That is when I realized I was actually in 4th or so for females, since you could see about a mile up and the next mile was uphill. I was feeling pretty good so I kept at the same pace.
Around mile 2, I told myself I’d start to make my move around mile 4. (Yes my move…who am I?). Mile 3 and 4 were by far the worst of the race because it was so windy. I thought I might blow away…
But then I got to mile 4 and literally said okay lets go. (In my mind I said…time to drop bitches). I went for one girl and charged up a hill. I will always be strong at uphill running. Not downhill, but uphill I am good at. The second girl took me a lot longer to catch (how about the rest of the race). She was pretty far in front but I kept my eyes on lockdown and just ran.
I ended up outkicking her and got second female overall! (Can you believe that…I never EVER outkick anyone). I finished in a time of 44:00 which meant 30 seconds off my prediction time. The people who won the predictions were within 3 seconds!
It was certainly a fun run and it made me realize how much I do love running. It doesn’t have to be fast or slow, timed or not, it’s all enjoyable.
My next race is on Thanksgiving and it also a 10k.