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Posts Tagged ‘5k’

Michelle Holland, Hilary Lorenz and JJoseph Martinez, Rio Arriba County Recreation Director

Runners Michelle Holland and Hilary Lorenz with Joseph Martinez, Rio Arriba County Recreation Director photo by Ginger Legato

March 21st and 22nd was the qualifying games for Rio Arriba County, New Mexico Senior Olympics and wow was it fun. Normally I am excited to age into a new  racing category, but I was not so fond of 50 until I joined the games. You can see  my last post on how it  transpired.

The above photo is of Michelle Holland who won the 10K at the local, state, and national games, setting a record in that placed her in the top 10 best times in the nation. Local qualifying is easy because there are few people in the 50-60 AG,  fewer runners overall and most of them are men. We ran, but there was no need to kill ourselves racing it out. Many of our distances were combined. We ran a 400 (1:24) but they also clocked us at 200 meters to get a qualify time, if we want to race it at state. We ran the mile, pretty easy pace, 7:00, and they clocked our 800. Next weekend we will run the 5k. After that we have 11 weeks to get in shape for state. With 11 weeks of training and dropping almost 4,000 feet of elevation, I plan to breeze in on a 6:00 mile or better.

Hilary Lorenz during 400m

Hilary Lorenz during 400m photo by Ginger Legato

The best part of the day was cheering for and timing the other athletes. A total of 82  participated, and most will go to state. I would guess the majority of people I met were between 75 and 87, with the oldest athlete  97, and they are kicked ass. Let’s face it, aging is scary because the majority of people don’t give a shit, are lazy and they let themselves fall apart. Most people around us, and many of our family members, do not exercise, have heart conditions, diabetes, high blood pressure, and are obese. What a terrible role model for aging, of course it looks scary, and it is completely unnecessary! Yes, some of these athletes are over weight and have heart conditions but it does not stop them. I watched an 80-year-old man kick ass, and I do mean kick ass, on the 100 meter run. He  won state previously and is going to nationals. After I congratulated him, while admiring his perfect posture and quick cadence, he puts on a big grin and says, “and I have a pacemaker.” He was not about to let his pacemaker get in the way of being super fit and compete hard. Another athlete running the 800 has a leaky mitral valve and atrial fibrillation, but so what? Is he suppose to sit on the sofa and “take it easy” until he dies? How horrible! No, he ran and then he biked 40K. People do not need to be  agile to compete, there are tons of sports to choose from. There is  an estimated pace 400 and 800. In this race, you estimate how long it will take you to walk the 400 or 800. You then walk it and whoever is closest to their estimated time without going over wins. So the woman who walked the distance a cane,and got teased for having a performance aid, may be a slower than a sure-footed walker but could win the race.

I am so proud to represent Rio Arriba County in the State Games at Roswell in June. I plan to run the 400, 800, 1500 and 5k. I am also very proud to be on the  Dashing Whippets Racing Team and of course I had to wear that shirt for inspiration, I am guessing it was the first of the Whippets runners to go in the Senior Olympics,  and my Front Runners New York sports bra underneath for that support. (no pun intended).  And as I said in my last post, my goal is to represent Rio Arriba in the Senior Olympics for the next 50 years and win several  national level races.  I have come of a new age and I am excited! Fifty is going to be all right.

track

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A month ago a friend was helping fund raise to send senior athletes from Taos country to the State Senior Olympic Games in Roswell. (yes the place of all the UFOs!). I  donated artwork to help raise money for the qualified athletes get to the games. Two days later I came home to an official looking form held down by a rock at my front door. It was an entry into the Senior Olympics. Wooaaaahhhhh, Senior Olympics, you must have gotten the wrong house.

Well my friends Senior Olympics start at age 50. Yes, 50, that scares and freaks the crap out of me. But two encounters about the games in a week from two very different people, hell, why not listen. There was a phone number on the paper, I called and talked to Carol, an extremely exuberant women (a friend of a friend of a friend) who said, “Hilary, you have to sign up immediately, the forms are due now drive it to the city office building today”, a 45 mile round trip. I did. I met he head of recreation for the county and he too was wildly enthusiastic. He said they have 2 workouts a week, the county fully supports the program. They will bus us to Roswell for the State Games and there was a meeting on Sunday about the regional qualifiers.  Okay, I signed up for the 800, 1500, and 5k. I may do the 10k.  I have the opportunity to learn and practice a bunch of other stuff; shotput, javelin, airgun, high jump, long jump. But I would probably hurt myself and not be able to run.

At Sunday’s meeting I met the other runners,  it was all men. But they told me I must contact Michelle. She is one of their stars. She is 6  or 7 years older than me but ran a 44:51 10K in the 50-54 AG at State.  My best 10k is 45:48. and that 44:51 is the state record. I feel a challenge coming on. ( it is still at a higher elevation race which will slow me down) I checked the National Records for the 5k. I have always wanted to run a fast 5k, but I have not done training specific for that. The National record is 18:55, I will never see that. But I can get to the top 10, the slowest is 21:20. National Games are not until 2017, qualify in 2016. I will also represent NM.

After slogging around the last three months trying to make my long runs, it was not happening, and I am not running Boston this year. On  Friday I got in my first track workout in over 8 months, 10 x 200 with 200 rest, Saturday 5 miles EZ, Saturday, Sunday 1.67 mile warm-up followed by 2:00 fast, 1:00 slow to very slow x 9. This was done on rolling, mostly uphill roads at 6200 ft. I woke up today, excited to do another  run. I am excited to run again. I want to run short and fast. I want to race. Friday I am running with Michelle. We will coordinate our training for state. I want to see UFOs.

Senior Olympics? Bring it on! My next chapter in life, compete for 50 freakin’ years! That is my next life goal.

That is me on the left, I took great pride in beating the two lovely ladies with the really nice bellies on the right. They too could be at the senior Olympics! I want to feel that rush of running short and hard again. And I will. And I will be back in NYC for the 5th Avenue Mile 2015, sub 6:00.

Fifth Avenue Mile

Fifth Avenue Mile

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I won! I won! I won! and not just my age group – 1st female, 5th overall – with men.  Today was the Po’Pay 5k race that took place at  Ohkay Owingeh ( formerly San Juan Pueblo). This race has been going on 30 years and draws mostly runners from the Pueblo and a few Anglos like myself. I do not know historical ratios I am just commenting on today. I only know the largest number of runners so far was 400, today was under 100.  The race marks the Pueblo revolt from the Spanish over 300 years ago.

Pre-race: super organized, a lot of young runners, one girl had on her Foot Locker Cross Country Championship race shirt from 2010. I figured she would fly out of there. There  were a few other really thin lanky young women, high school and college. I figured they would dust me. I checked out the older competition, my age group was 46-65 and I saw one women who may give me a run.

The course was circular and  dirt, my favorite. I brought my cross country flats. I had no idea if this was a road race or trail so I brought both types of racing flats.

I felt good despite a 7 hour hike with a straight up 3000′ climb of Mt. Frazier yesterday. My quads were hard as rocks, but the 12,163 ft mountain filled me with energy and excitement.

We lined up on the orange sprayed line. We were told to take off our hats and glasses and a Tribal Council Member said the prayer. It was fantastic. There was this great rhythm to the prayer and it went on for a long time. I had no idea of course what he was saying but I assumed it was “thank you and let these legs work well.”

The gun when off, I started on the line with 2 other women, and the men. Our rabbit was an ATV. I let the women go ahead of me but about 1/2 mile in I passed one, then a mile in I passed the other. At mile one a very strong women passed me, weighing about 100 pounds and easily moving. She stayed about 20-40 meters in front of me most of the way. The first two miles were up but gradual, only about 100 feet each mile. Then after 2 miles  it started to drop and I worked the downhills, hard. I was gaining on her. Running at elevation is weird, it is way slower and breathing is way more labored, but because it is slow, I have no lactic acid build up, my legs never get heavy they just can’t go fast. I thought, “When should I make my move?” I can catch her but we are over 1 mile to the finish. I do not want to puke at the finish line, I always have dry heaves when I work hard, and I did not want to be outkicked in the last 200 meters which is easy for someone to do to me.

But I need to push. It was the two of us plus an older man, older like me, who obviously runs a lot. I took a chance, I passed her, he pushed hard, I let him pull me a bit then passed him. In passing I verbally prodded him on, “come-one” I wanted him with me, until I would push again. I dug in deep. I hoped that my passing her would psychologically let her drop back but it didn’t she kept pushing. I saw two men about 400 meter from the finish. It was her coach. I thought, “oh god don’t let me fall apart now.” I push and pushed. I heard the people at the finish. I tried to make my legs work as fast as they possibly could, it was only 200 meters, get me into the 6:00 pace please, don’t let her pass me. And there it was, I crossed the finished, first women, they were 10 seconds behind me. No dry heaves, an immediately recovery, then it was as if I didn’t run. Time wise it was the slowest 5k I have ever run. Effort wise  it was the hardest I have worked. It was also really fun because I had to think far beyond, “can I beat her” but I had to make bold decisions and big risks to win. I felt like I really earned it.

Immediately a reporter from the newspaper was there. He interviewed me and I said shinning things about the girl I ran with, The Santa Fe Striders for promoting the race, the excellent quality race. I was told the women I beat was one of the best high school runners to ever come out of the Espanola area. She was a college cross country runner at New Mexico Highlands University.

One of the things I was most thankful for is that the Kenyan’s didn’t show up. They dominated the last Pueblo race – in fact the same man and woman that won, also both won the NYC 1/2 marathon this year. So you know never who is going to show up. But today was my day and for that I am very happy.

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