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Supersonic woman     

Posted by Katherine Putnam on September 25th, 2012

“I’m trav’ling at the speed of light. I wanna make a supersonic woman of you.”

Two weekends ago (September 15), Chris and I participated in our first 5K!

The race was the 2nd Annual Sasquatch Run to benefit the Farm & Natural Lands Trust of York County. The day dawned sunny and warm (enough) with a crisp, refreshing breeze. We found our way to the course–in Mt Wolf, PA–with nary a problem. We found the Millers and got our race numbers and spent a little time admiring the beautiful farm, fields, and forest that would serve as our course.

Then the race started.

It was brutal. Mostly hills. Mostly uphill.

I’m not exaggerating.

We had heard rumors that the race would be hilly, but this was slightly ridiculous. The first half mile was, were I to give a conservative estimate, 99% uphill. From there on we hit some plateaus and even (gasp!) a few downhill stretches, only to hit another hill a few strides later.

We had not trained for hills.

I’m not sure it’s even fair to say we trained at all. We spent the six weeks or so prior to the race working out five times a week. Three days were cardio heavy: elliptical machines or indoor track at Messiah, or running near our apartment. Two days were a cardio/strength training combo in the form of a thirty minute workout video. But I can’t say there was a specific strategy or plan to our preparations. Just the general sense of “let’s exercise!” There was no researching or clever calculating, just humble attempts to better our speed each time we ran.


I had three goals for this race:

1) Finish. I was pretty sure that I could do this one, but I wanted to have one bottom line, reachable goal.

2) Finish in under 30 minutes. My practice times (running 2 or 3 miles) had come down until they were consistently at or under 10 minutes per mile, so I thought this goal could be within my reach if I pushed myself and kept a steady pace.

3) Finish in 27 minutes or less. I set this goal to really motivate myself. My last few practice runs (prior to the race) saw my mile time hovering closer and closer to 9 minutes, so I thought I’d throw that final goal out to really challenge myself.

Of course, I set these goals before getting out on the Race Course of Hilly Doom and realizing how hilly it truly was.

When all was said and done (and sweated and huffed and puffed), I had a race time of 31:03. Chris beat me by 11 seconds, that brat.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed to miss my under 30 minute goal. I was. I am. I really thought I could hit that mark. But I have to remind myself that 31:03 isn’t too shabby for a) my first 5K and b) such a hilly course. My time put me smack dab in the middle of the pack, both overall and for my age/gender group. It’s fascinating and humbling to look through the lists and see all the 10-and-unders and 60-and-overs who left me in the dust. Check it out and see for yourself.

Despite the hills and the unmet goals, I’m looking forward to doing more 5Ks in the future. (Maybe even a 10K someday?) I doubt we’ll do any more until the spring–that “crisp, refreshing breeze” wasn’t so refreshing when it was chilling my throat and lungs as I huffed and puffed and sucked down air like I was dying–but that means I can spend the winter looking for races to participate in.

It’s very strange for me to be excited about running. I still can’t quite believe that I’m enjoying it. I’m actually at the point where I’m disappointed that I can’t run more often (shins tend to hurt if I don’t leave several days between runs). As the cold air sets in we’ve cut out our outdoor run day (due to cold weather and a conflict with a small group Chris joined) and instead made one of our Messiah days a permanent run-the-track day. Right now I’m consistently under 27 minutes for a 3 mile track run; by the end of winter I hope to be down to 24 minutes or under. I think I can, I think I can!

Anywho, that’s the belated recap of our race!


Katherine Elyse

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