Friday, April 30, 2010

Azalea Trail 5K - My triumphant return to Mobile!

I moved back to Texas in October of 2009.  I love being back home, and I love my new job.  Plus - I get to use my title of Chief Scientist - I think it's impressive.  But I miss my friends.  Laura came here for the Mardi Gras run, and I in turn promised to go back for the Azalea Trail run.. 

This run happens to be one of the largest in the South - Kenyans run this 10K and use their times for the huge marathons.  It is supposed to be beautiful, running down the scenic downtown streets underneath the canopy of oak trees.  I was looking forward to it.

All of my old derby friends from Mobile are now no longer derby-ing - we have all chosen to run.  I think Laura and I started the trend, but all those damn fit people joined and are now showing me up.  Stupid fit friends - you know who you are!

So I went back - and had a fabulous time.  Laura and I roamed through New Orleans where my plane touched down, hit the Whole Foods, and drove to Mobile.  We had a nice healthy, carb filled dinner, went to bed early and arose to participate in the Azalea Trail Run's first year of having a 5K.

Kimmy and Becki were signed up to run the 10K, because they are already mad crazy fast.  Losers.  The rest of us: Tara, Sabrina, Savannah, me, Laura, and Keith would all muddle through the 5K - and for me - that was enough! 

It was a fabulous event, and one I look forward to doing next year.  There were a ton of people all milling around, and the energy was amazing.  I actually felt like a "runner" for the first time!  And it was so awesome to be doing this with all of my friends from derby. 

The 10K started first.  Kimmy and Becki took off, and the rest of us yelled from the sidelines for them.  Then it was our turn.  I put on my headphones, got in the middle of the pack, and prepared myself to do my best. 

The gun went off, and the mob walked across the start line until people could begin to get a nice stride.  And while I started in front of the rest of my friends - Laura and Keith passed me quite quickly - punks!  But I was maintaining a good rhythm and was happy with the pace.

The race was well supported.  There were bellydancers on Broad St in full outfit cheering people on and waving bells.  Even the cops guarding the streets had bells and were clapping.   It was so much fun. 

I think this was the one race where my leg hurt, but I could push past it without really thinking about it.  I was so happy, I just jogged and sang along to my ipod and enjoyed downtown Mobile. 

I did make one HUGE mistake and that was I put the afterburners on too early.  I thought I was close to the finish line and hit supercharge - which is still slowish - and it turns out I wasn't close enough yet.  Getting across the finish line took some effort - I think I was even crying a little when I made it over the timer bars.  In fact I am sure of it - I grunted and cried my way the last couple tenths of a mile to victory!

My best time yet - 12:55/mile!  I was so happy!  Then I found our group and we waited for everyone else to show up.  Keith and Laura were both done, Becki and Kimmy showed up soon after, followed by the walkers - Tara, Sabrina, and Savannah.  It was the most fun that I have had in a while - particularly when you factor in the whole running bit.

After the run and before the beers - Edith Headlock, Nitty Gritty Kitty, Violet Vengeance, Faust N Furious, Young Vengeance, Tru Shenanigans, Hellbilly Lily, and Chuck N' Hoes

I freakin miss you bunch of retards - and next year we all do the 10K!

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