This morning was the Tortoise & Hare Ann Arbor Turkey Trot. It was my kind of running weather: cold and dismal. I've always done better in bad weather, reaching all the way back to my freshman year and first season of high school cross country. That year (1988, practically prehistoric times) at our District meet I ran a 24:13 (my PR for the season) in abysmal weather conditions, even worse than today's. My preferences were set for life.
We were issued timing chips, but there was no timing mat at the start of the race, just the finish. I don't know how this could be considered completely accurate. Especially since I was so close to breaking 25:00. I was timed in 25:01. If there had been a timing mat at the start, would my time have been different? Especially since according to my Garmin I finished in 24:52? I guess I will have to look forward to breaking 25:00 in my next 5K , whenever that may be.
I had a good race; my mile splits were 7:48, 8:02, and 8:06. I finished 11/31 in my age group. I averaged 8:03 over the full distance. There was no one at the mile splits announcing times but I glanced at the Garmin. I shouldn't have done so as my immediate reaction to the first-mile 7:48 was to think, "That's much too fast! I can't sustain that pace!" And sure enough, I didn't. I should have just left well enough alone and not peeked at the Garmin. Maybe I could have maintained the faster pace for just a little longer and busted past that 25:00 barrier.
Nevertheless, what a difference a year makes. One year ago I ran this race in 32:58 and my goal was just to manage to get/stagger across the finish line. I had been on Weight Watchers for a little over 2 months and had been running for about a month. This was me then:
And here is me, one year, 35 pounds, and 7:57 less later:
Stand up and stop SLOUCHING!:
Why do I always look like a TOTAL GOOBER? (oh, and get a load of the nice spit trail up and over my right shoulder):
One year ago today is also a Big Deal date for me because it was on this day, after coming home from the race, that I noticed my period had started unexpectedly. I had no way of knowing at the time that it would be my last one ever, and that it would last 83 days, until I had surgery on February 2, 2007, putting a permanent end to that nightmare.