Friday Night Lights is one of my favs. Even though the race is in the middle of summer, it jumpstarts my teacher brain and gets me started on the path towards back to school. The race starts and finishes on the track at MHS, where I spend my non beach months, and both the boys and girls XC come out in full force, including some of my
favorite best students. And since they are all faster than me, I have my very own cheering section for the final 400m.
Sweaty Brian and Erin were also running, along with the entire staff of my favorite running store (who also turned into spectators slash motivators after about 18 minutes due to their freaky speed). A guy from GriffonRawl even showed up, although his lazy bones were there to watch, not run. At least he took our picture.
I don’t remember much about the race (maybe due to the fact that it was THREE WEEKS AGO, slacker?), but I tried to keep my pace at or around a 7:00 mile (a full two MINUTES faster than last year‘s plan!). The start, as always, was insane, with everyone going out too fast on the track and then dying and nearly stopping when they hit the parking lot. I navigated a sea of people, not feeling comfortable and in open space until almost the first mile marker. It was also about that time that a man told me he liked my pace and asked if he could follow me the rest of the way. Sure buddy, whatever works for you. (It ended up working quite well for him, as he surged ahead at the finish and beat me.)
As always, my second mile was the slowest (7:06, 7:18, 7:11), but I blazed around the track at about a 6:00 pace to just miss my coveted 21:xx. When I crossed the finish line I noticed a ridiculous amount of vomit on the ground. (It’s a 5K people, relax. Interestingly enough, there was a vomit guy LAST YEAR too!) I wolfed down some watermelon and a smiley cookie, then wandered around yapping with students, parents, coworkers, cutsie pie running boys, and strangers before taking home my third place prize, missing first by less than thirty seconds!
STATS: 22:14; 3/32 in my age group; 151/598 overall
PROS: PR, familiar faces EVERYWHERE, location, student cheering section, watermelon, glow bracelets, smiley cookies, and a wear-worthy race shirt
I usually don’t wear race shirts – either they’re too big, too “this color was on clearance,” or too terribly designed to make public appearances. Last year’s Friday Night Lights shirt made the top t-shirt drawer, which means it is not assigned to post shower/bedtime duty only. This year’s did not disappoint, with an ET feel and a logo that almost looks like FML. (:
CONS: results seemed to take a little long, too much vomit