Today began the first of three races in the Wild Rover Series. They’re run 3 weeks in succession, and the distance increases every week. Week 1= 3 miles. Week 2 = 4 miles. Week 5 = 5 miles.

Week 1 = big f%&*S hill. Week 2 = HUGE F&*##(%# HILL.  Actually, correction, it’s a mini-mountain. One that was so steep last year, I just gave up and started walking because the walkers were passing me while I attempted to run up it.  Week  3= ?? because I was sick last year and didn’t run it. I’m looking forward to hearing the bagpiper play as he marches back and forth through the cemetery. Yes.  More on that in two weeks.

As the title of my post indicates, this was a PR.  A PR that almost didn’t happen. Because of Ruthie. She got out today from the back yard, through a post in our fence that was a bit loose, and with all the rain we got here, we think she just pushed against it and slipped out before she knew what was going on.  Then, it snapped back into place.  I’d just arrived home from the grocery store, and Bill greeted me outside with “I let Ruthie out to pee, and now I can’t find her!” Our backyard is not to large, and is totally fenced in, with really no place for her to hide. Plus, she usually comes running when we call her back in but this time, all he got in response was silence.

Luckily, we have tags on her with Bill’s cell number and because she’s so friendly, she’s a horrible fugitive, and was easily captured by a man wonderful enough to call us, as we were both out canvassing the neighborhoods and trying not to panick. She’d only gone about 1/4-1/2 mile.

 As you can see below, she’s just fine now.  Thank God, because I don’t know what we would do without her. She’s so much a part of our hearts, I was crying when I hugged her when we got her home, and begged her to never do that again.  Bill told me that when he arrived at the good samaritan’s home, she started wagging her tail and trying to get to him. She then jumped into the backseat of his Explorer in a jiffy.  Thank God, she wanted to come home! 

Ruthie, the fugitive, sleeps...

Anyway, Bill has put lots and lots of barriers in Ruthie’s way so that she can’t bolt free again. Phew.

Anyway, here are the stats for today’s race.  My friends Lis and Meg also ran it.

  • 806 total runners
  • 35/162  in F30-39 division
  • 251/806 overall
  • official time: 24:47
  • overall pace: 8:19
  • Mile 1: 8:32
  • Mile 2: 8:11
  • Mile 3: 811

Me, Meg, and Lis at the start (Gumps 3)

Thumbs up:

  • Ran with friends! 
  • Starting mat at beginning AND end (change from last year.)
  •  Disposable timing chips.
  • Technical long-sleeve shirts, male and female cuts, flourescent color!
  • Warm enough to run in only 2 layers, with lighter gloves.

Thumbs down:

  • Only 3 porta-potties outside, 2 stalls inside for women, 1 of which wasn’t working (same as last year, not enough!)
  • Smallish size bar, with not enough bartenders working so crowds got crazy afterward inside (same from last year)

 My goal for today was to break 25 minutes.  So glad I did it, especially because that last mile was hard. Harder than the first because at least then I felt fresh.   The first mile is uphill for at least half of it.  Enough of a hill that I think a fair amount of people walk up it or portions of it. 

But, what goes up, must come down, as we all know. I concentrated on trying to make up speed.  I knew I was in alright shape though, because the Mile 1 clock said 8:29 when I ran by it (gun time, remember) and that’s what it said last year as well.   However, I didn’t remember the mini hills that followed.  (As Lis said, she and I have a good way of blocking out stuff we don’t like to remember. Yep, she ran it also, under 30 minutes. I think that’s an awesome time, especially because she’s not been able to run in at least 2 months due to shin splints, and the fact that she’s a CPA.)

Garmin wonder twin nerds, go!

Mile 2’s clock said 16:30 as I passed it. My brain was somehow able to calculate that I was running faster at this point, which made sense considering Mile 2 included the mini but not mammoth hills, and some downhills. I knew could just try to hang onto the pace I was doing and my goal was within reach.

Mile 3 was when I felt like I was running much slower. I didn’t feel as strong during mile 3 this year as I did last year. But, the good thing was that I knew some landmarks this time around, and that, combined with my Garmin, helped me to know when I could really sprint at the end.  Plus, I said a silent plea to any angels who might be around and listening, to please help if they could, and they answered.  I looked down at my watch close to the end, saw 2.91 on the mileage, and an overall time that started with “24” and just ran as hard as I could. I’m really trying to improve on my times this year.

At the start, think I'm stretching and trying to keep warm (didn't know Bill was taking it)

Some good news – a lady that has run indoor track with me for part of this winter, who I’ve mentioned on the blog, Lynn, ran it also. She’s 56, and afterward told me she’d just be happy to have come in within the top ten of her division. I checked her out on Cool Running, and she WON her age group, with a time of 23:48.  (I said to Lis that inside I can beat her on the track but get us running further than a 1/4 mile and she kicks my ass!)

Anyway, I now have the center of this year’s 3-part medal. (If you run all 3, they fit together like the pic below.)  Yay!

Wild Rover Series medals