As I said last week, I was a bit dubious about the Iron Heart Classic 4 Miler. The last time I'd run a 4 miler was in in September, way before I'd become more serious about my running. I knew I'd have no trouble beating my previous time of 37:20, so my goal was to focus on my pace and try my hardest to average an 8:30 minute mile. Since my last two 'short' races (a 5K and an 8K) were a bit hilly and I averaged around 8:40, I figured this was a good goal. Apparently it was, here are the mile splits:
I'm really pleased with how much effort I put in during the race: I felt like I gave it my all. There was zero gas in the tank after crossing that finish line, and that's how it should be. I'm also pleased that I had a negative split and that I beat my 5K PR pace. (So I'd better PR in next weekend's 5K!)
The race itself was really rather small (only 119 finishers), with an out and back along the Sammamish River Trail from Marymoor Park. I'm a big fan of the small races and the fact that they were giving out awards three deep in each age group was tantalizing. One of the advantages of an out and back is that you can easily size up the competition and I felt pretty confident that I'd get outta there with a wee medal for my age group.
So I stuck around and ate bananas and drank some Muscle Milk Light, a great post race freebie treat, while waiting for the awards. It took awhile because there was also an 8 mile race that started 15 minutes before the 4 mile, and we waited for most of those finishers. As well as a 1 miler that happened after the 4 milers had finished. But the time went by pretty quickly since parking was so close I was able to go to my car to put on a jacket, call the family, etc. and when I came back, the announcer had a rather entertaining commentary going on. He did an awesome job of cheering everyone on to the finish.
Finally we got to the age group awards and when they were handing out ones to women I'd passed in the younger age groups, I thought I had it in the bag - maybe I was even first in mine?! Then, no such luck, not even top three when they announced the 35-40 group. Bummer. Oh well. Imagine my surprise and, well, slight frustration when I got an email with the Webscorer results from the race director that said I was FIRST in the 36-40 category. Wait, what? That wasn't the age range they gave awards for... So, something happened with the categories and they split out the 35 year olds into one group and only handed out awards to the top three to that category, thinking it encompassed us all when it did not. Long story short (too late?), I ended up being 2nd in my age group by just 1.3 seconds. So I emailed the race director back, asking what happened and I think he felt pretty bad, and said he'd mail my medal and some goodies. :)
If I wasn't doing the See Jane Run Half Marathon the next day, I'd definitely take advantage of this current Schwaggle for the Ironheart Classic in Monroe on July 14th. Age group snafu aside, it was a very well organized, very fun race for a great cause. From their website: It is Ironheart’s mission to support cardiac charities worldwide by raising awareness and funds via our active lifestyles. A percentage of the proceeds will go toward selected Ironheart Foundation charities, including: Nick of Time Foundation, Children’s Heart Foundation, Mended Little Hearts, and the Adult Congenital Heart Association. This is a cause that is near and dear to my heart...
As I mentioned awhile back, my father died when I was young: I was seven years old to be exact. He was only 40 when he went for a regular weekend run with my mom and collapsed from a heart attack. They were just running along when he turned to her to say something, like, "honey.." and collapsed.
I'm closing in on that age myself and will have a seven year old of my own when I turn 40. I shudder to think of my kids losing me, or my husband. When I think about it, my heart always breaks all over again for my mom. My eyes are prickling over right now. But, BUT. Things do happen for a reason. It's like those old Choose Your Own Adventure Books (dating myself much?), would I have met a different husband, had children, had a different relationship with my mom or brother if dad had lived? I love my life, the people in it, the experiences I've been fortunate to have. I firmly believe this is the way my life was supposed unfold, that we all have a destiny.
My brother is 40 now and is pretty proactive about his health. We certainly abide by the top 5 ways to prevent heart disease: exercise, don't smoke, go easy on saturated fats, maintain a healthy weight and get regular checkups. Which I encourage EVERYONE to do for themselves, and their families, especially women: heart disease is the number one cause of death for women - not cancer, certainly not breast cancer. Please make sure to take care of your ticker ladies. Would we have been more reckless with our health had he not died? Did his death somehow save our lives?
|Me and Dad circa 1980|
And then there's the fact that he was running when he died. Maybe it has some significance as to why I've become pretty passionate about it; in a way, I run for him. Just as I run for my family, my husband and kids. They are my life. Never do I feel like I'm embracing life more than when I'm running.