Sunday, July 26, 2009

Secret No. 10: How to Win An Age Group Medal

What? You didn't know there were strategies for this? Well, let me let you in on a little surefire secret way to win an age group medal in your next race. Are you ready for this? I mean brace yourself. This is going to take some very calculated planning on your part. But I promise you, it can be done. In fact both my mom and I proved this to be true today. Ready for this ingenious strategy:

Only enter races with 3 or less people in your age group.

Shocking right. I mean who ever would have thought of that?

Seriously though, my mom and I have joked about this for awhile. Most races offer age groups awards 3 deep. If only we could enter a race with only 3 people in our age group we would actually win something. We even considered (as in the way you consider maybe one day taking a trip to the moon) starting our own race, where we only allow 3 people in each age group and charging the big bucks because that meant everybody who entered would either win 1st, 2nd or 3rd.

Well today, ladies and gents, our wildest dreams came true (fire up the shuttle baby). Because today both my mom and I went home from the Level Pebble 10K with age group medals. She came in first in her age group (out of 1) and I came in third (out of 3) in mine. And while yes, there is a part of me who wishes I would have beat at least ONE person in my age group, I'll still take that medal.

And before any of you reach out in the comments to slam me by saying something to the effect of "come on now Kelly, you know all you really won is a medal for participating," you should know this. I earned that medal gosh darn it. I huffed and puffed my way across that finish line and gave it all I had. If you've been around this blog for any length of time, then you probably know I am about a 10:30ish per mile type of runner. Well my friends, today I ran my 10K at the Level Pebble in 58:56 which puts me at a 9:30 min per mile pace and includes a 1st mile at 8:30.
I ran with the sun blazing down frying my face off and my eyes nearly squinted shut. I ran with tight calves almost the entire way which would turn to sore calves before I finished. I ran with sweat stinging my eyes when I mistakenly poured a cup of water down the front of me instead of the back (duh!). I ran on rocky, potholey, uneven, gravel roads carefully trying to avoid a misstep. I ran with little sleep because of a trip to Chicago the previous two days. I even ran right smack in the middle of a visit from my good ole reliable Aunt Flo.

And while I may not have beat even a single person in my age group at the race, I did beat millions of other American women my age that won't get up off the couch or out of bed because they're too tired, or they've got kids, or they don't have the time, or they just don't like it, or it's too hard to go run (be sure to read those excuses in your whiny voice) or whatever.

I don't run to win medals or to be the fastest in my age group. I run for me: for patience, discipline, health, and my own sanity. It's maybe the ONE thing that I do just for me (although I'd also argue I'm a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend because I do). And while I've had my own excuses from time to time, more often than not I still run and the only one I'm really running against is myself. Can I do a little better? Can I work a little harder? Can I run a little faster? (and ok maybe I do want to see if I can catch that one guy in front of me with the funny wobbling stride that makes him look like he is running far slower than I am, yet still he persists in remaining ahead of me). And today, I smoked myself, smashed my goal time by over a minute and ran far faster than ever before. So I'll take that bling and celebrate that today I won this:

'Til next time...

PS. Click here if you're interested in reading my Level Pebble review on Racevine.

PPS. I HAVE to pass this along. This is hilarious running song writing right here from our good friend B.o.B.: Baby's Got Track. It's about speedwork. Just go read it. It's funny and unlike me, it's short.


Beth said...

Congratulations to you & runanna!!!

B.o.B. said...

CONGRATS! An age group award is awesome. It doesn't matter how many in your age were there. You rock!

Thanks for the shout out. Glad you enjoyed my musical stylings. LOL!

PropellerHeadMom said...

Congratulations! That is a pretty cool looking medal!

I have been following you blog for a while. Love your posts!

I have been running for 20 years. Less so now with having little kids. But I try to do at least 3 miles a day. I have not entered a race in a long time.

I recently received a blog award and I have been asked to pass it on. So I would like to pass it on to you! If you get a chance, please stop by and claim it.

Have a great day!

Kelly's runner said...


Congratulations. That is awesome, not that you won a medal, but for smashing through your goal times by a minute a mile. That is huge!!!

Soon you will need a trophy case for all of your hardware :)

Have fun, and keep on running.

Christy said...

Congrats....and I love hardware!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Congrats and what a great stratgey!! LOL.. Awesome pace increase you should be proud. Careful with that water... :)

runnanna said...

It was fun! What a fast paced bunch of runners though!