End Of Watch 5K … 35:57 … (5.12K)

20 09 2008

Potts is this amazing elf of a woman who has been an angel to me since I first joined the Rocky Mountain Road Runners. She and I probably have the same volume of voice but she’s a real dear. She’s created a club called Potts Trotters for everyonewho wants to run, jog, jog-walk or racewalk. Potts also puts on a series of 5K’s out by the Aurora police department for a variety of causes. I believe they’re all judged by Bob Carlson. The first 5k I did was her DARE 5K and Bob was out there. I met some spectacular older racewalkers and it was incredibly friendly. Of course, I started with the runners and ‘shy and retiring’ Potts was yelling“LIZZY GET BACK HERE!!!!” … I didn’t know that when they said walkers started 2 minutes later – racewalkers did too … I guess I’d been in one too many BKB race by that point!

When I went to Runner’s Roost to sign up for the das Hustlehoff/Oktoberfest 10K, I noticed I could do Potts’ race. As I say, I love the woman. This go around it was for fallen Police Officers killed in the line of duty. She’s trying to raise funds for memorial benches. Ok – good cause … especially since this seems to be my year of either hugging police/fire or getting stopped! I did realize that I needed to let Dave know that I was adding another competitive event before the Get-Lizzy-Off-Her-Ass-das-Hustlehoff-Oktoberfest 10K. My assignment was to hammer the 5k. Ok.

As I’ve written before, I’m doing the Goofy which is two huge events back to back. I know these two little events aren’t really in the same league, however a 5K is half a 10K … just like a 1/2 Marathon is half a full. What the heck?!

I got out to the race a little early and it was nice to see folks. Sheri from the Road Runners was teasing that she was going to be at the finish line so I could fall over on her … and she was going to run the 5k on Sunday. Cool. She’s great. Potts said there weren’t many folks who were truly signed up for the racewalk. She tossed a couple of names past me – one I recognized and said he was going to racewalk and the other I didn’t know. Ron – from the music company – was there and it was fun to pal around. Never know – might do some mobile DJ stuff for him or at least with him … more income?

Bill O’Dell, from the RMRR, was also there and I so dearly love this positive tall guy! He was aiming for a good time as he’s had problems ever since he hurt himself in the Boston Marathon. He saw me warming up a little and said my form looked pretty good … Gotta love your speedy runners.

Warming up was … interesting. I’ve been so slammed with just about everything that I’ve let laundry go by the way-side recently. I was down to my last skirt … and it was one of the XL’s from last year. I did little sprints and felt that slipping, sliding feeling of my skirt setting a bit lower than I was comfortable with! For 5k’s, I don’t wear a water belt … so I had no help keeping the skirt up! AEII! Of course, I started laughing and left messages for Q and Scott – who were doing a long run together in preparation for Chicago.

The timing company is run by friends from the RMRR and there was a potential that they couldn’t get up to the start to get things going. I was handed the box – so when Ron said “Timer’s ready” and I said “Uh-hu!” He laughed. Off went the runners and 2 minutes later we were to go.

Ron’s a doll and he gave instructions saying “Ok – there are some competitive racewalkers here … (looking at Gus and me) and if you’re racewalking, remember if you don’t follow the rules the Racewalk Gods will know!” giggle! 3-2-1 … off!

I took off like a bat out of hell for some reason. I flew to the first corner and felt that rather uncomfortable slip. “Lizzy – what are you doing?” said Gus from behind. “Um … trying to remain decent! My skirt is slipping.” Good laugh. Losing your skirt in the parking lot of the Aurora Justice Center … um … well  … and there was Bob Carlson – not more than a smidge from the start … “You’re doing find Lizzy.” That was nice … then he started correcting Gus.

It was a little bit of snaking then we go into the neighborhood. Bill and I talked later and when I was a bit frustraited about my performance, he reminded me that the middle section is mainly a pair of hills. Ok.

I caught up to the back end of the runners pretty quickly and kept moving. Bob was just before the water stop (or after depending on the direction) which was at mile 1 or 2 (again depending on the direction). No correction, time yelled out. Ok – I’m liking this. Bill O’Dell was coming down the hill in to the water stop as I was coming out of the water stop going up into the hill. It wasn’t just a nod check in – but he came across to slap hands and said “You’re doing great Lizzy. I’ll be right there at the end. Promise!”

Out of the water stop it was 1/2 a mile up hill. Oy. Ok. Coming down at me was a group of Police Academy cadets all in 2 row formation. I teased them earlier that they all had to smile … and they said “Hey it’s SMILEY!!!” The whole group started laughing – so did I and then it was back to remembering what I was doing.

Unlike the Park to Park and a lot of my training, I was feeling pretty good. Everything was rolling how I wanted it to … but there was this twinge that was starting to bug me. Just keep going and figure it out later. Gus and I hit the turn around 1-2 and then started back down the course. We passed the rest of the walkers – including the parents of one of the fallen officers – the one represented on my end of race medal. I got the thumbs up from both of them and it was really sweet. It must be really hard to be their advanced age and lose their only son.

Water stop was a bit of a mess and I was careful … whether or not Bob could see me, it’s something I’m working on. Right after he called out my time, I started to feel this pinch in my neck – DAMN IT! He was yelling corrections out to Gus and I kept my pace but knew Gus was going to pass. We’d talked before and he likes the short distances and hates the long ones. We met at Idaho Springs where I trucked the miles. I wasn’t sure if I was going to catch up, but I wanted to keep rolling.

It actually felt better to have someone in front of me. I was feeling pretty good and not paying much attention to my watch as it beeped off the kilometers. It was hot and I was closing in on more people. We snaked back through the police department parking lot and I saw this speedy sneaker guy (kinda cute too) whom I’d met at the beginning. He saw me and was really encouraging … “Hey – Where’s the finish???” He laughed and pointed out where the entrance to the bike path was.

Dropping down onto the bike path right before mile 3. Ok – it was going to be a skosh long. Roll, roll, roll your feet. I finally figured it out – my feet have not been as active as they should be … and then I heard Bob calling out corrections to Gus again. At least I knew where he was! I came by and he gave me my time and a ‘you’re looking good’. Ok … one more corner and then hammer to the finish.

It’s been raining here lately. I spotted Bill cheering on a corner which was a direct shot to the finish. Between him and me was a huge, slippery mud patch! The only open sidewalk was about the width of my shoe and it really was going to be a “walk the line” exercise to get through without clogging up the slicks with mud. Walk the line … I’m pretty good at that!

Skinny, Tall, Tree Bill was cheering me on and I gave everything I had for the last little bit. He’s cheered me through RMRR races and here he was again! Sheri was there and my timing buddies … it was like finishing at a funky family reunion. I’m not really used to it because, as we all know, I go to things alone and cheer others on … but it felt cool.

The first thing I wanted to do, however, was rip my shirt off as I was a mess! Bill and I were talking. I got up and got my gallon of Clif Refresh. We talked about a lot of things. I did get a chance to talk with Bob and said “Seriously – did you see anything I need to work on?” I expressed my feeling my feet weren’t rolling well and he had me demo etc … saying “You’re looking fine. Really!” He also was the one to show me where they posted the results … and said “Here, Lizzy … you’re first.” He’s kind of a fuzzy, grizzled guy … but he’s got a great smile and twinkle in his eye.

While the results were being tallied, there was a white dove release. Three doves were held out – one for each of the fallen officers represented by this race and a third for the owner of the company Ron works for who died of cancer … it was beautiful and really emotional.

Ron was calling out the awards and when he read through the female racewalk — he started at the bottom. “And first female racewalk … oh there she is! My Girl In A Skirt! Miss Lizzy Shepard!” Ok – so these aren’t huge serious awards, but it’s fun … isn’t that what it’s all about????

I helped Potts out after for her prizes and then a non-runner buddy of mine got in contact. We were going to the IMAX and he knew I was to be kept relaxed because of tomorrow’s race. It was nice to hang out at the Wildlife Center – sitting outside where it was reasonably quiet. Nice recharge before tomorrow’s race …

Next Race: Das Hustlehoffen/Oktoberfest 10K … tomorrow at 9 a.m.!

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