Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Then She Ran the Firebirds Mile

The people spoke.

Poll Results:
Firebirds Mile: 57.9%
Regular workout: 38.6
And 5.3 percent of you wanted me on the couch watching "Housewives"?? WTF?!

So I listened. (And I still got home in time for "Housewives." Sweet!)

The Firebirds Mile, held 4/14, is a joint effort of the Gaithersburg Firebirds Youth Track Club and the Montgomery Country Road Runners.

As usual, after battling D.C. traffic all the way to God's little acre, I was in a foul mood. My stomach was doing flipflops, and I was resigned to an 11 min mile. Plus, it was, yet again, raining, cold, and windy. Perfect.

My coach had sent directions about how to prepare: One mile warmup, 800m of strides (something like "run hard on the straights and jog the turns").

My legs felt encased in cement as I warmed up, and I just knew this was gonna suck. Afterwards, I got off the track to watch the 1/4 mile fun run, and my warmed-up muscles evaporated in the cold.

If you are ever in a bad mood, please, go cheer for a bunch of toddlers as they participate in a fun run. Hiiiilarious! They skip, race, walk, stop, turn around, ask to be carried, run, whatever. As one little guy approached the chute, he stopped to fiddle with his shoe.

You know, kind of the way I run a half-mary!

There weren't that many adults there, at least not that many adults my age. That meant there was the wild possibility that I might win my AG.

We were sent out in heats (or COLDS, as I prefer to call them), slowest to fastest. Heat one was for expected finish times greater than 10:00. I considered this, because hello, that's kinda my speed. But when I saw the competition, I just couldn't bear the thought of having my butt kicked by these guys:

(Heat One, 10 minutes and slower)

Heat two was for expected finish times greater than 9:00 up to 10:00

(Heat two. I so wanted to get in front of these kids, it took all my self-restraint. That, plus the derision of others. I'm wearing a white hat, looking down.)

(Those kids had a totally unfair advantage. I'm still in the back, checking my watch.)

I started conservatively. I really wanted to do this in 9:something. I'd been doing 800s in 4:30ish, so I figured this was a possibility.

I passed a few kids, and said "Great job!," cuz I'm nice like that.

At the first lap, I was behind a line of grownups. We were running in formation:

Then, suddenly, I made my move, by swinging wiiiiiide outside:

Slowly but surely, Mr. Run for the Roses was going DOWN:

I passed all of the grown ups, except the Roses guy!

Oh, honey, I know exactly how you feel:
Her coach came out and ran with her, and she recovered nicely. Well done!)

But I passed her too.

And then in a surprise come-from-behind, I passed Mr. Roses. Here I am flying into the chute, after having tossed my hat off during lap three, cuz it was cramping my style:
(For the record? I am at my skinniest EVER, and I totally deny looking like this. White is ever-so-NOT-slimming.)

Final time:

I have to tell you, there is no greater feeling on earth than starting behind and passing a pile of people. I don't care if they are 3 feet tall, or a bunch of old geezers like me, it was AWESOME!

I finally got a mile that starts with an "8"!

I can't wait to do that again.


MJ said...

Woo hoo!! A mile that starts with 8 - as a mid to back of packer, I salute this impressive achievement! (trying to be inspired by all your hard work)

Rainmaker said...

Hilarious and awesome all at once!

So now, you 8-minute-miler, can we make that two miles? How 'bout we split teh difference at 1.5 miles? Build it up slowly (kinda like the 'Build me up buttercup' song, only different).

ShirleyPerly said...

Jeanne, this is FABULOUS!!! Now had I read your other post before today, I would have voted that you do the 1-miler too. I have actually never had little kids in the same race that I was running in but can imagine that bringing out a certain fire in me too. Congrats!!

peter said...

An eight-minute mile. Totally cool. It's fun to win races too. That's why I run so many virtual races, cos I usually win them. But here, you smoked actual competition.

Thomas said...

Congratulations, speedster. I can clearly see a progress here. You'll be doing that pace in a longer race soon.

LBTEPA said...


Runner Susan said...

Jeanne, eight is great. Anything with an eight is fabulous. Of course, I'm all for 9s and 10s too. And maybe even a few 11s, but hey, EIGHT is even better.

Anne said...

This was so perfectly funny because of the commentary that preceded the photos. And see, you could have even gone up one heat, though I'm glad you finished ahead of your pack.

brent said...

fun post! great job your sub-9!! you are a sub-9 miler, woo hoo!!! i love that picture of 3243, tee know we all feel like that in practically every race. good stuff.

Janice said...

Congrats Jeanne! I love reading your has been too busy and not enough fun lately and this made me smile. I especially like your comment on the young lady who looked as though she was going to cry. Love it!

Lesser is More said...

That's awesome! The people spoke and they were right! What would you do without us?

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

Nice job, Jeanne! The 1-miler races look like so much fun. I need to find one around here.

Uh, are there still snacks at the end?

Catharine said...

Just the smile and the laugh I needed today. You are amazing, Jeanne. Keep kicking ass! I, too, love the pic of the crying girl. We've all been there.

Amy said...

Great post! I've heard great things about the Firebird Mile from other runner friends, and your hilarious and thoughtful description has convinced me to give it a try next time. (

Jade Lady said...!!!!! Great time!!! That made your day, I bet!

Nancy Toby said...

Miles are HARD! Well done indeed!

Kelly said...

Yay! I was TOTALLY one of the people who voted for you to run the race! GREAT job!

And the photo of that little girl CRACKS me up. She is WAILING. Wow.

Vickie said...

Wow! You are doing great. I go to my grandson's elementary school track meets and I know just what you mean about those kids. But they can also be amazingly fast! Good job beating someone.

David said...

WOOOT!!!! Awesome, etc.

Karlaj said...

Nice job there track star! Good thing it was raining, otherwise you'd have burst into flamez!!! (and yes, that 'z' is *very* necessary)

eileen said...

FAN. TAS. TIC! And, let's hear it for NOD, who, I assume was your photog! The photos and comments...