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I Have Room to Improve!

August 25, 2009
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Smiles were easy before the Heart, Mind & Soul 4-Mile Challenge got under way.

Smiles were easy before the Heart, Mind & Soul 4-Mile Challenge got under way.

Alliance Bible Fellowship, my sister’s church in Boone, put on a little road race Saturday to kick off the school year. It was four miles — the first two downhill, the third…I kid you not… straight up. The final mile was mostly downhill, but ended with a gut bustin’ 100-yard climb to the finish.

Brutal uphill finish

Brutal uphill finish

I  finished, huffing and puffing, in 38 minutes, 15 seconds. Way slower than my personal record for the distance, but good enough for third in the women’s 45-49 age division. The elevation gain was more than 1,200 feet. I’m under trained. I’ll take it.

What pleases me most, aside from completing the race, is the realization that I have capacity to improve. My heart monitor registered 197 beats per minute in the final stretch, just eight beats slower than when I trained with a two-time Olympian.

Before my PR career, my husband Dean and our son George, I aspired to qualify for the Olympic Marathon Trials. I knew I wasn’t made of the stuff required for the Big Event. Asthma, allergies, thyroid problems and bunions notwithstanding, I had time, talent and commitment to work toward the intermediary round. Alas, injury and illness sidelined me and I never got there.

But the hilly Boone race shows I still have a racing gear. I can be competitive for my age. All I have to do is work what I’ve got.

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