Racing through the Tulips

Posted by on May 1, 2012 at 6:55 pm :: 2 Comments

Tiptoeing through the tulips may be all very fine but running through them is a much better way to have a good time…while getting an excellent cardiovascular workout.

Last Saturday we had our first race of the season. Jason and I ran in the Thanksgiving Point 5k along with various friends and members of our running group. The racecourse mostly followed the road encircling Thanksgiving Point but it also wandered down some of their garden paths, which were adorned with tulips. Although it didn’t meander through the blooms quite as much as I would have liked, it did take less time to complete than I was expecting.

Jacob, Cam, Fran, and Jeremy joined us for this run. Since we were all going different speeds we lost each other quickly in the throngs but it was nice to know our friends were out there somewhere.

My grandiose plan for this race was to cross the finish line in under 30 minutes. Since a 5k is roughly 3.1 miles, meeting this objective would require averaging less than 10 minutes/mile. I was reasonably sure I could do this. However, thanks to the motivation provided by our runners’ group, the R.A.C., and the fancy speed tracking Garmin watch that Jason gave me a few months ago, I didn’t just reach my goal, I left it in the dust. I completed the race after 28 minutes and 43 seconds making my mean speed 9:16/mile. While I realize that this is a completely unimpressive pace, let me assure you that I am completely impressed with myself regardless. I believe that is the fastest my little legs have ever managed to carry me at an event and it was hasty enough to place me 16th out of the 102 women in my age group. I may have passed 86 women my age, which I’m clearly not dwelling on at all, but more importantly I beat myself and that is always the greatest aspiration of any hardcore perfectionist.

Jason got to go up on the big stage to collect his trophy and revel in his victory.

Unlike me, Jason did more than just exceed his own expectations; he exceeded the speed of a whole lot of people and won 3rd place in his age division. He deserved his glorious trophy with a 22 minute and 40 second finish time. That’s 7 minutes and 19 seconds per mile for those of you mathematically challenged and, incidentally, it’s probably faster than I will ever move. Yes, Jason is swift, which explains his firm buttocks.

Jason's aunt and cousin ran the half marathon, which finished at the same spot as the 5k. We happened to see them taking their last steps so, of course, cheering ensued.

The other runners in our group booked it too. Jason’s brother Jeremy finished quicker than he ever has before plus he bested my time, which I’m sure did his ego a favor. This was Jacob’s first race and although he wasn’t amazed by his performance he was surprised by how much he enjoyed the event. Good job R.A.C.ers! I will continue to expect great things from you. And good job self; I will continue to demand great things from you.

May you find strength in your stubbiness, oh legs of mine, and finish your races sooner than standard Rachel time!


  • molly says:

    Hi there–

    I found your blog when I was researching about peroneal brevis surgery. How does your ankle hold up now a few years after surgey during these runs? Do you use a brace when you run? My surgery was about a year ago and it’s getter better,but a long, slow process… Thanks, M

  • Rachel says:

    Hi Molly,

    My ankle does pretty well. I don’t have to use a brace running these days but it still gets a bit stiff and sore now and then. Plus it’s always a little swollen and some activities can make it more so. It handles what I put it through without too many complaints though. The surgery improved its condition considerably.

    With that said, my ankle definitely didn’t heal nearly as quickly as the doctor indicated it would. It was a slow process. If you are a year out you are probably still feeling it. I would guess you will see quite a bit of improvement over the next year or two. Good luck! I hope on your 2 year mark you can run a half marathon like I did. 🙂

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