Ohhh, how I love the Olympics. WOOOOOHOOO!!! GO ATHLETES!!!
This Olympics, however, I was able to partake in the Virtual Olympic Race for Running Bloggers.
The starting line was eerily quiet as I approached it. (There was more than ample elbow room, too!) I pressed start on my watch as I headed off for the run. “Pace yourself” I said in my head as I looked up and saw the rolling hills in front of me: up, down, up, down, up and down I went breathing slightly harder than normal and soon they were over.
I turned the corner and find myself thinking, “whooaaa there, car, I’m on the bloody shoulder and you are not on the road!” Becoming roadkill was avoided and I trudged on. Phew! I kept glancing behind me every so often to see if anyone had gained on me but only my shadow was in hot pursuit. The legs were in rhythm now and things were going smoothly.
I drifted into thoughts about Michael Phelps shattering the world record for his first Beijing gold, Park the Korean who won gold after being disqualified in Athens because he accidentally fell in the pool. I thought of Canadian Alexandre Despatie and the qualifying round coming up. I thought of the number of athletes who unfortunately had to drop out due to injury or illness. Then my mind turned to running and Ryan Hall, Brain Sell, Bernard Lagat, Deena Kastor, Paula Radcliffe, etc…of their medal pursuits, and tried to channel them. No such luck, oh well.
Around the halfway mark, another turn was made as we loop around a lake. I pass a sole runner…somebody should tell him he’s running the course backwards. I didn’t want to be the one to crush his Olympic dreams, though. 😉 Once around the lake, there’s a flat stretch ahead, excellent! I try to push the pace slightly and hold it steady. Down the hatch goes a Gu and some water which is just in time for a hill to make it’s presence known.
Up, up, up I go…man, this hill is seemingly lasting forever. A cyclist passes me, but not without struggle! Ah, the crest. I power down and zoom to the right, through some trees that provide a nice shade which is appreciated this late in the race. As I glance at my watch I think I should be wrapping up this eight miles soon. I continue for another half hour in the “running zone” before cooling down. A beautiful day for a beautiful race!
For some reason, I can’t find the course listed on the Olympic site so I mapmyrun and figure I had the course right. I downloaded my Nike+ info and came across the finish line at approximately: 1:25:30 which is an 8:33 per mile pace, woot!!! I met my pre-race goal of finishing before 1:27 ::does victory dance:: Thanks, Nancy, for putting on such a lovely race and thank you, RBF’s, for providing some excellent competition!
(The pics are from my friend Mandy who is currently teaching overseas and living in Qingdao)
Because I want to add them, here are some tunes: