After whining around about my sickified performance at the Hal Canfield Memorial Mile, one of my teammates pointed me in the direction of the Douglas Dash.   Its a smaller race, and not heavily marketed (in our area at least).  Rather than wait until next year for HC (the only other 1 mile race I know), I went ahead and signed up. Then I promptly forgot about it. 

When discussing goals with my training partner Kelly, I saw the race listed on my excel spreadsheet two days before the race.  Oops!! I thought about DNSing the race.  After all life had been crazy and I still wasn’t even sure my dad would be home from the hospital yet.

Coach Pete encouraged me to go on.  My dad was released after 24 hours of monitoring, the doctors ruled out any potential heart issues.  Thus the stars aligned.

The race website wasn’t all informative when it came to specific start/finish locations.  I gave myself an hour to find where I was going, and I ended up needed every minute.  Wandering down the streets of the Scottish festival, I met up with another runner from my area and together we asked until we found out where the starting line was.

I ended up getting a 2 mile warm up in between parking, running to the start and running back to get my inhaler out of my car.  (I then drove to the starting line, running back to the start for my 1 mile cool down at the end.)

I set my watch on quarter mile splits so I could keep track of my pacing.  The start of the race is short flat stretch followed pretty steep downhill, but is cluster with excited children to weave around.

1st split: 1:43

Getting on the mail road, the course flattened out.  In any other course, I’d have called the incline to come a “bump,” but for such a short race it was definite “hill” material!

2nd split: 1:56

We then turned left and headed toward Douglas Lake.  Once again a bit of an incline followed by a pretty dramatic decline. 

3rd split: 1:58

Then we were to the lake – time to hop a curb and finish out on the grassy dike.  Once again this was a bit congested with excited kids.  Not a complaint, because it was great to see so many young kids out and excited about the race, but definitely worth noting regarding my final kick.

Final split: 1:48

As unorganized as I felt the race start was, the finish was worse.  We were handed note cards as we crossed the finish line.  The cards were numbered with our place (I was 27th over all).  We were then to write our name, age, and sex on the card.

Finishing time: 7:26

Those in charge of the timing had boxes with each category (example: Female 30-39) and the runners were to put their filled-in note cards in the appropriate box.  I noticed when I put mine in, there were no others in my category.  Maybe this was a 1st place a/g win!

As we were waiting for the award ceremony, I met a couple of other runners.  My buddy from earlier in formed me that I was the 3rd overall female.  Hard to describe what I felt at that moment, but giddy was a word that came to mind.  I was in the money!!

They handed me a check with my name on it, a logo-ed lunch box, and even took my picture with the #1 and #2 female runners.  Of course I had to spell my non-local last name for the guy from the paper.   There was over a 2 minute gap between my time and the top female, but I just chalked that up to the size of the race.

After everything was said and done, I overheard someone say my name.  I turned around and introduced myself.  “I’m sorry, I’m going to have to ask for that check back.”

I felt as if I’d been sucker punched.  My picture had already been posted on Facebook – word of my showing had gone viral.  *ahem*

I felt foolish.  I should have known I wasn’t fast enough to finish in the money.  I should have protested when they called my name.  Instead, I looked like a big, fat fake.  Turns out I was “just” 1st in my age group.  Hard to be disappointed in, yet still somehow hard to be proud of.

Just a few months ago, I have never won my a/g.  Earlier in the month, I was 23 seconds slower at the same distance.  I should be proud.  I will be proud.  Just as soon as I get finish pouting about my embarrassment because of someone else’s mistake.