Controversy at the Belleview Chiro 5K – Honestly I didn’t Start it … but I DID win the Walker Overall … not judged … but a win anyway!

20 04 2008

A wonderful friend of mine has a newsletter and this was originally written for it … but expounded on here.  I flip between third and first person on purpose … don’t think I’m channeling Richard Nixon or anything … that would take too much effort and I’ve only had a grand total of about 8 hours of sleep over the past three nights!  All times are off my Garmin.  Official time will be posted when received.

A View From … not so far in … The Back – Dizzy Ms. Lizzy  … Belleview Chiro 5K …

 

Woke up, got outta bed, spiked my knee and fell across my bed.  One of those race mornings … I’ve not gotten a great deal of sleep lately mainly due to some stress dealing with a paper I’m trying to do … and realizing that I had a 5k race followed by a 5 mile race followed by a 1/2 marathon … gotta love my life!

 

 

This beautiful Sunday found the intrepid Dizzy Ms. Lizzy, Team Shep’s resident Racewalker and purveyor of giggles and smiles to all around … the one with the annoying habit of smiling across finish lines whenever possible …  tripping through Casa de Bailey zipping out for the Belleview Chiropractic 5K … probably the best kept secret in Denver.  For me, it’s a neat thing to have really close friends and supporters: fleet footed runner Val, cyclist extraordinaire Jonathan, and Sheila’s guys: Stan and Orion … wonderful friends … among others!

 

This bright sunny day found the purple skirted, black shirted, white capped ever smiling Dizzy Ms. Lizzy wandering around in a daze.  Both knees have been a bit problematic and when I got up in the morning, I nearly fell over the dog when a spot behind my right knee caused shooting pain.  So – how does an athlete handle this?  I don’t know abut runners but this racewalker Nukes a cup of coffee, eats some oatmeal and  puts on her Big Girl Skirt and get to the race!

 

The 5K is a mass start run/walk event … non judged, but that’s cool – in Cherry Creek State Park.  Last year, Val blew away the competition and I teased her saying “Someday, Val, I’ll be challenging you for the Overall Award…” Good giggles had by all.  One of the ladies let me know “Um … there are walker awards …” wherein I promptly grabbed another bottle of water knowing her slightly competitive self would probably try to do something silly.  It’s not that I’m competitive or anything … it’s just that … well … pin a number to my clothes and I just go!  The hardest races, actually, are those that are right before more “serious” ones where I have to *not* blow out my legs … I’ve got a lot to learn about patience, training, patience, tapering, patience, pacing, patience, and setting goals.

 

Race started and I was swept up in the wild pack of runners.  Deciding I wasn’t going to be outstripped by butterflies and tree pollen crystals, I got through the first mile at, according to my Garmin, averaging 11:33.  Pretty quick for a little waddling duck.    

 

The interesting thing was that this was truly the first race where it was speedy runners à a couple of run/walkers à Dizzy Ms. Lizzy àanother beginning racewalker à more people.  You get the point.  I’m NOT used to kind of leading the pack.  The slight hills of the roadway made things … interesting but so be it.  Mile Two: 12:05.

 

Lungs were having issues but who breathes out of their nose anyway?? I really can’t complain either – my buddy Mike is getting himself ready for Oklahoma City next weekend – toting oxygen and the original intrepid racewalker Steve is still in “jail” (UCSF Medical Center).  Legs felt really good, but I was overheating and starting to cough small science experiments.  My minor dehydrated feeling was getting more evident.  Keep pushing along, don’t look at the watch.  After a year of following others to the finish line, I found myself in a new and slightly uncomfortable place … I was all alone trying to figure out where to go.   Wondering if I could finish in a decent time (aiming at 00:39:00 to beat last year), the intrepid Miss Lizzy kept plugging forward … after all … there was water (and better yet pals) at the end.  The trees approached where just a year before Ms. Val had said “Oh my gosh – you’re walking and I’m JOGGING” … and I knew I was almost home.  Mile Three: 11:43

 

Up a little hill around a corner and still unable to see the finish line.  What I did see was more welcome: Sheila and Val.  “Where’s Finish???” They pointed.  I knew I looked like I was in real trouble (I don’t hide things well in a race) — tired, overheated, moving probably faster than I had in a long time, growing dehydration — and like real friends, the Girls were ready to run me in … the moment I saw the VERY low hanging finish line, I waved off my buds. The train known as the Dizzy Ms. Lizzy Express locked on target: The FINISH LINE.  I didn’t die … I kept going … I might actually place:

 

“HERE COMES OUR FIRST WALKER! OUR FIRST WALKER IS COMING IN!! OUR FIRST WALKER … ELISABETH …” 

 

No time (or decently firing brain matter) to think … jam it … prove what a 43 year old newbie racewalker can do … and please don’t trip over your flopping feet!  I picked up the pace and flew in … nearly taking out the finishing chute.  Last 0.20: 2:06

 

Buds Val and Sheila were there with water … and got the completely spent Lizzy to a shady wall … Wonder Cyclist Jonathan had a HUGE smile on his face proudly saying he knew *exactly* who that walker was … the nutty gal whom he will be repairing the bikes of and teaching how to deal with clipless pedals again for the Tri-For-The-Cure … all I knew was that my watch had frozen at 00:37:28 … and not only had I beaten the time I’d wanted by about 2 minutes … but I was adding to my medal collection … a very hard fought First place … and as this is being written the very tired me has just realized that I was First Walker OVERALL.  OOH!!

 

There was trouble in paradise, however. While Val and I were shaking our tail feathers to some dance exercise thing which was the time placeholder for score tabulation … it was appearing that by the how people registered that I was not first, but second.  Blissfully unaware, we just kept dancing.  When the Women’s Walker scores were announced, I was sitting between Women’s Runners  40-45 #1 Val and #2 Sheila and insanely proud of both.  Someone else’s name came up first … Elisabeth Shepard second … someone else third.  Val and Sheila were incensed.  I am used to things happening in walker scores … The gal who was third was furious and came up demanding to have the scores changed because the person who was ‘dubbed’ first … actually ran across.  Val saw it. Everyone at the finish saw it.  I was a smidge busy at the time to see anything.

 

As of this writing, a plea had been put in to the Powers That Be. It was Sheila who said I should remember to *always* sign up as a walker unless there is no choice. I’m not really interested in being stuck with a bunch of tourists in the back, but she said it was so I’d at least have a fighting chance to have a decent finishing placement.  Makes sense.  The hardest thing for walkers … real walkers … tourists/power/racewalkers/Lizzy is that people who jog/walk sign up for the walk category … and it kind of buggars things up for those who really do waddle like a duck and don’t pick up their paws and run. This is the second race in a row where I’ve been reminded that as of right now, I’m a part of a sport that is considered a second class citizen … and I’m bound and determined to change that … in my shy and retiring way.  

 

The cool thing was when I was bidding Sheila and her family good bye, the Dr. Lyle (?) from Belleview Chiropractic came up and commented that he was really impressed by what he say.  He’d never seen someone just move it like I did at the end. He also remembered me from last year. I blushed under my reddening cheeks. I know folks that seriously blow me away, but it’s all one step at a time … and with friends like mine … I’ll be getting faster … even if it takes teaching runners how to watch my feet in training!   That’s what it’s all about … trying hard … bushing boundaries … blowing apart what people expect from just walkers … and having the most amazing friends who  accept me anyway … all of whom have said “You WON it Lizzy … remember that!” 

 

Winners never Cheat … Cheaters never Win … they might in the short term … but they can kiss my skirt hem if they can catch up as I pass them on the side!

 

 See ya at the Cherry Creek Sneak!

 

As my necklace from Endorphin Warrior says: Peace/Love/Endorphins

 

à Dizzy Miss Lizzy … Leading the Back Of The Pack.

 

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2 responses

20 04 2008
Maryann

Liz,
great race report, and you certainly have a sense of humor! I don’t think I would be laughing at this point, and I hope the same doesn’t happen to me at my next 5k with a non-judged walking division on May 3. I was not laughing AT ALL when the walking awards were cancelled at the half marathon I did in Feb… travelled to Pensacola FL from the Houston area for that one.
Let us know if the finish line mess is straightened out.
Maryann

20 04 2008
teamshep

Hey There –

You know – I am realizing how amazing my friends are here … I love my walker friends, but my runner ones are really starting to *get* a bit of what we ‘back of pack-ers’ go through. It was my speedy sneakers that sent me on my way with wishes of good luck and race reports from their events yesterday … Last year there wasn’t a non-judged walk award and I was 2nd overall for walkers … but my friend noticed that the other walker was so far in front of me and that she’d not seen anyone truly walking between herself and myself.

Oh POOP on the cancelling awards on the 1/2 Merrython! I haven’t done one where I’m listed as a walker because for the ones I’ve done I don’t exist … and as anyone whom has ever been in a race with me … I *do* exist 🙂

The ultra cool thing is that the timing company is run by really amazing people who are runners themselves and the gal in charge of the tabulations … has done a great deal of racewalking. She knows our pain …

I’m going to go curl up on my funky little wanna be couch … and … grin!

🙂 Can’t sit on the ‘laurels’ … Cherry Creek Sneak next weekend … boatload of people and some really fantastic racewalkers … I’ll be properly put in my place!

Thanks for leaving the note! Lizzy

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