The Fat Lady Was Singing

OK, well maybe not singing, but she was cheering for herself and it wasn’t pretty. More on that later.

IMG_1807My next race was just three weeks later and was my FIRST 10K–also on trails. I signed myself up for the Lake Las Vegas Xterra 10K race. I thought it would be fun to do something more close to home, something shorter, and hopefully with my friends again. Well, two out of three wasn’t bad. I was the only one in our group that signed up. Neat thing is, I have some pretty cool friends. Even though they didn’t sign up to race, they came with me to cheer me on. Nic and Gary again. Little did we know, we were the beginning of the new Mesquite Running Club.

It was a nice morning. A morning you could just wear shorts and a short sleeve shirt. Not overly warm but not cold either. Didn’t even need to carry anything. But, there were LOTS of people at this race. Quite the crowd, so I positioned myself about 3/4 of the way in back. At the last minute, Gary talked Nic into running with me. It’s called being a “bandit” when you race but aren’t signed up for it. Mostly frowned upon, so she was careful about being seen without a bib.

The (LOUD) gun went off and the herd began to move. The group spread out pretty quickly as we left the road and hit dirt. The first couple miles were all uphill, which slowed me considerably. But, Nic kept me company. Don’t know how she could keep talking when I was gasping for every breath.

Towards the top of the hill, a bee flew at me, went down my neck and under my shirt on my back!  I screamed, not knowing what to do and Nic just said, “Take off your shirt!” So I did! Exposed my chest and sports bra to my fellow runners and it’s not one of those cute bras either. But, the bee flew away so it was effective.

Went around the corner and then I saw it. The LONG hill! Are those people or ants??  Crap, they’re people. Really? THAT hill? sigh…. I sucked it up and motored on. There was one section so steep we were on all fours briefly. Then we had to go back down an equally steep section where one girl was so nervous she sat down to slide down.

IMG_1813But, soon we were at the bottom and it was all downhill from there. I picked up speed and felt half way decent again. About a mile left to go and Nic peeled off and took a shortcut back to the finish so she wouldn’t be discovered. I decided I wanted to “finish strong” and ran hard that last half mile. I came into the finish line and my friends were……where?  They did manage to scramble and take this picture after I’d come through the finish area. (click the picture to see the full version)

IMG_1815I felt good, I felt happy, and then I found out I actually placed third in my age group! Cool. 🙂 My age group was called up on stage and I hopped up with the other two ladies. That’s when I looked at #2….aghast…. An overweight woman (prob an extra 30 lbs) wearing a matchy matchy outfit that included tight capri pants and a crop top, and belly spilling over was cheering for herself. She was giddy about her place but I was disgusted I lost out to someone in her condition. No offense to her at all. She must have ran a good race too. I ran in 1 hour 17 minutes (not very fast really) and she beat me by a few minutes. It put me and my accomplishment back into perspective and I vowed to train harder for next time!

Terri Rylander

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