In case you haven’t been keeping track of my life, I recently began working at National Instruments* in Austin. It’s been a crazy whirlwind of information being thrown my way, but it’s starting to piece itself together in my head. Just one of the adjustments necessary when moving to a company 70x larger than my last. One of the benefits of a larger company is organized extracurricular activities! Yesterday, we had a 3 Mile Fun Run.
As far as my (running) career has gone, the only “races” I’ve done have been longer distance (i.e. half and full marathons only). No 5K or 10K races here. So this 3 Mile Fun Run (note: not a 5K (3.1 miles)) is uncharted territory for these here legs. I got some quick pointers from Colin (like “deeeeeeeeeefinitely warm up” and “don’t go out too fast”) and showed up to the sign-in table.
After a few important messages, like course directions, we lined up and were let loose. The course itself was three 1-mile loops, each loop in the shape of a T. We started at the bottom of the T, headed “north”, made a right, then a U-turn at the right end, ran til we made a U-turn at the left end, and then a right to head back “south” on the long part of the T. I should mention here that all registrants had to write down their expected finish time. My estimated time was 20:59. I diligently scanned the list and figured that if it all played out as expected, I’d come in 6th (out of 57 runners).
I warmed up a little by bouncing up and down. At the start, I found myself in 3rd place and going much faster than my 7 minute/mile pace. Sorry, Colin.. 0 for 2 on your tips. Anyway, after the first lap, I found myself in first place! All I could think was “when are these other guys gonna fly by me?” After lap 2 I felt a sense of relief as I told myself “less than a mile to go!” I kept looking over my shoulder, checking for someone to come up behind me. During each of the U-turns I was able to gauge how much of a lead I had. As the finish got closer, step by step, I started to realize that no one was going to pass me.
I crossed the line with a time of 18:54, over two minutes faster than my prediction! In 1st place! That’s a lot better than 3649th place that I got at the Chicago Marathon. No word yet if I actually win a prize, but it was cool just to come in first! Not gonna lie, when we were getting the instructions before the race about the course, I was thinking that only the person in first needs to know where to go.
P.S. – It’s worth noting, this doesn’t mean I’m the fastest person at NI. It just means I was the fastest person to sign up and participate in this
race fun run.
*No, we don’t make calculators. That’s Texas Instruments.