Sunday, September 21, 2008

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall

Today I found the perfect way to spend the last day of summer. A nice local 5K race put on by the Sierra Trailblazers during the Draft Horse Classic Fair that takes place annually at the Nevada County Fairgrounds.

The Draft Horse Classic run offers a 5K or 10K. I had volunteered to take some baked goods to the packet pick up on Saturday and while there I made the decision to sign up for the 5K. Pat was working so I would have to take the girls to a friend's house early Sunday morning.

Sunday dawned beautiful: 50 degrees and sunny. After dropping the girls off in their pajamas to cuddle on the couch with a good friend, I headed over to the fairgrounds to warm up. I'm not sure what to think about what's going on with my legs. I still have the pin-point shin pain occasionally but I also have really tight calves similar to what beginner runners go through but it just keeps going on. It does get better as I warm up.

We all lined up and I saw a lot of familiar faces and I couldn't help but wonder how I would stack up to them with the limited running I've done all summer. The starters horn sounded and we were off. I tried to stay with the women I was racing with last year but I quickly found that I couldn't keep their pace. Bummer.

The course took us through the quiet neighborhoods of Grass Valley and then eventually onto the trails through Condon Park. It was a mildly rolling course but my pace definitely slowed everytime the road went up. I held my own ok until about 1.6 miles into it when some other people starting passing me and I had nothing in return. Finally we hit the final mile which meant mostly downhill and I decided now or never.

One of the things that really motivated me on this run is time. I was short on time. Caitlyn really wanted to do the kids fun run at 9:15. That means I had to finish my run, jump in the truck and drive to Kim's to pick up the girls and get back to the fairgrounds before their race started. I wouldn't have a lot of time to spare. If I could run really fast I would have a few extra minutes on my side.

So knowing this, I tried to kick it into a higher gear for the final push. I was hoping to break 25 minutes but it wasn't to be. 25:27 was the best I could muster. I guess the old saying "what you put into running is what you get out" is so true. What truly amazed me was what I discovered when I downloaded my numbers from my Garmin 305. My average heart rate was 180 with a max of 190. Jeez, I didn't think my heart rate went up that high anymore. I was truly shocked by those numbers. I don't think it's that great of a thing that I had to work that hard to average 8 min/miles.

I managed to get the girls picked up and made it back before their race. Unfortunately, they both freaked out when "Go" was shouted and we all ended up walking the 150 feet to the finish line together. They both got medals which they proudly showed off for "walking" the run.

Caitlyn and Sara (in pink) not looking too sure about the race

Sara, enjoying a post-race snack

We enjoyed some snacks during the awards ceremony and I was pleasantly surprised to find I had finished 3rd in my age group, 23rd over-all. Sorry but I'm out of practice reporting race results so I didn't get a lot of names and times. I know Peter Lubbers won the 10K and is looking great to defend his title up at Lake Tahoe at the end of September for the ultra-run around the lake.

Peter Lubbers collecting his medal

I want to say thank you to all the wonderful volunteers who put on this race. It's not an easy thing to do and this course required quite a few marshalls. But with all the great folks out there on the streets and everything marked so well there was never a problem with finding our way.

The rest of the morning was spent walking around the fairgrounds enjoying the sights and sounds of the Draft Horse fair. We ran into Rocky, a 19.2 hand tall horse that dwarfed the girls. Now I'm not a horse person but I know a big horse when I see one. These guys are beautiful.

Rocky, a huge horse

Caitlyn was thrilled to pet Rocky

After getting a treat at Lazy Dog Confections (the best hand-made ice cream in the area) we headed over to the small engines that pop and smoke and seem to attract men in a way I can't figure out. There was one engine that was powering a small ferris wheel with bears in the chairs that was adorable.

Bob and Debbe's Lazy Dog Confections

There was also a hand pump that actually pumped water and the girls gave it a shot. Brought back memories of my visits to Cumberland City, Tennessee when I was a small girl.

Me in Tennessee, circa 1970's

One final stop at the firehouse to visit Daddy and show off all of our hardware before heading home. The girls immediately fell sound asleep after an eventful morning. It was a great way to say good bye to summer and get ready for fall.


Peter Lubbers said...

Great to see you out there today, Catherine. It looks like the girls had a great time, too.
Take care,

Anonymous said...

It's your Mom again. Your day just sounds super. Maybe next year I can be up in NC and go with you. Love all the pictures. Love you

Anonymous said...

I love you putting your picture with Caitlyn's, both pumping the water pump.!!! xoxox

slowrunner77 said...

Great pictures of the horses! Hannah (my 20-month-old) was with her Grandparents at a Bluegrass Festival, so we left after a steaming cup of Java with Peter & Troy. I may have to bring her to this event in the future, even without the race. It was good to see you out there!!!