Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What an awesome birthday!

The day started out sort of ho-hum, I rode my bike into work. I got a wicked awesome card from my friend Gillian that had Homer Simpson screaming about the fire on the cake and then singing a funny song "When the fire starts to burn there's a lesson you must learn, something, something, then you'll see, you'll avoid catastrophe. DOH!" It was hysterical! Then my friend Ann brought me homemade apple coffee cake. It was delicious.

Work kinda sucked. They announced they will be doing about 300 layoffs at the Pfizer site I work at. In the grand scheme of things, Andover is actually expanding and there will be a lot of really great opportunities, but it still sucks that 300 people will lose their jobs. I just hope I'm not one of them. I want one of the really great opportunities that will happen as a result of all the changes they are making. Only time will tell which path I get to travel down.

After work, I rode my bike home and made it in record time. Ate some dinner and more of my yummy apple coffee cake. Then headed over to the Good Times Series 5K race that starts half a mile from my house. I was wearing my DFMC training shirt and a back bib that said "Today is my birthday and all I want is donations to Dana Farber" and it had my website listed. Plus, I passed around a collection can after the race. I'm a little disappointed that I wasn't able to collect a little more from the crowd of ~200 runners, but I did get another $30 for cancer research and every dollar counts!

I have to admit before the race I wasn't feelin that great. My goal was to try and break my PR for my birthday. The only problem was my PR for the Good Times Series was over 2yrs old and I still think it was a fluke timing error because it was about a minute and a half faster than my typical 5K pace. BUT lately I've been on a role and creeping closer and closer to that mythical PR time. So, I thought, "Why not? I can totally do this." It was cold and rainy, my ideal running conditions; as if Mother Nature was giving me her own little gift for the night. I started off a little fast, but I figured it's all or nothing. I had to go all out and go for that PR with everything I had in me. If I could just hold onto that pace long enough to make it across the finish line before the clock said 25:30 I would have my birthday wish.

I made it to the second mile marker and I was still on target to hit my PR or come very close. The night's theme was Xmas in May and I had already passed a few friends dressed as elves and was able to sing a few lines of jingle bells as I ran past them so I knew I wasn't pushing as hard as I could. With about 3/4 of a mile left to go I passed the water stop, my usual spot to pick up the pace and start picking people off and take off with a little finishing kick. I didn't know if I had it in me. I started to doubt myself and I was struggling, breathing really hard, muscles burning, stomach saying "why did you have to have TWO pieces of cake?", and then I saw a girl I KNOW typically runs much faster than my PR pace and she was right in front of me and I was about to pass her. So, I looked down at my watch and sure enough I was still well under my PR time and closing in on the finish line. Two tenths of a mile left and I got passed by Buddy the Elf, so I kicked a little harder and tried to catch him (I was unsuccessful). I could see the finish clock and it had just ticked past 24:59 to 25:00 and it was still going and I sprinted as hard as I possibly could. I DID IT!!!!! I crossed the finish line at 25:15! And got myself a new PR for my birthday. The best present I've ever gotten.
Here's the medal to prove it:

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