Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Just a Little Fun Vacation Race

From April...

The wife and I scheduled a little trip to Kentucky to see her family, so of course one of my first steps was to check the local race calendar to see what kind of race I can find on that weekend. It was still two weeks before Flying Pig unfortunately, but there were a couple of little races. One was a color run - no thank you! The other looked perfect. Small 5K fundraiser, very close by, 9AM Saturday start, $25. Sold!
I figured it would be small and I had a good shot at a medal. But when I checked the results from last year, I found there were only 68 finishers, and 21:00 would have placed 6th overall. So, REALLY small! AG categories were ten years, and they had medals, but only for first place in each AG. Just hoped no fast geezers showed up.
I of course alerted the local Loopvillian, Alisha, who has left the Loop but hangs out in Loopville sometimes. And she was excited to come by for a Loopmeet, and to do a little speed work before her Flying Pig race.
So DW and I got to the local high school on a cool morning, and found a good crowd of charitable folk who had come out to raise money for a local hospital hospice or something. Looked like lots of walkers and joggers. The course ran through a suburban neighborhood of nice homes and big lawns. Out and back, with some little rolling hills. Inclines really. No traffic control needed.
DW set up in front of a house down the street, and the homeowner came out and asked her if she needed a chair or a drink or anything. Real nice folks around here.
I warmed up about a mile and felt OK. The low-key atmosphere didn't have me feeling very competitive. I figured to just run hard and see what happened; A far cry from the commitment needed to push the pain meter to eleven and go for a PR. Whatever. This was more just a fun race.
As we neared race time, nobody was daring to go to the starting line. And I didn't want to be the first one. Finally some young guy moseyed in, and I followed. Then a couple others. Maybe ten people wanted to be near the line. The rest were just hanging back. I had only seen 2 or 3 people doing warmup runs of any kind.
So the starter said "Go!" and we started running. For the first 100 yards I was in front, running side by side with the young guy (he was 22), and a few others with us in a little pack going the same speed of maybe 6:45. It felt like a group run workout. Then a young girl (age 20), burst through and ran out ahead by ten yards, and another girl (16) followed her. The 22-year old guy followed too and they started to pull away from me and the others. This was the first 200 meters.
Here I am leading the 2nd pack after 1/4 mile or so. You can see Alisha a little behind me there.
So by 1/2 a mile I was alone in 4th. The other three were pulling away in a group, and I couldn't hear anyone behind me anymore. I was running at a good solid pace, but it felt hard enough. Didn't figure I could catch the younguns, so I settled in and just ran for a spell.
Mile1 6:50. It felt pretty hard, so I gave up on sub-20 and hoped to beat this year's PR of 20:45. But mile 2 was 7:07 and felt harder, so by the turn-around I didn't really care about time and was just running. The familiar pain was back. How do I forget this? Running 5Ks hurt. It takes strong will to keep going once that pain is on board. I needed motivation.
Luckily the return trip provided some. As I came around the U I realized there was a guy pretty close behind me, and several more not too far back. By the time I reached mile two I could hear the guy behind catching up to me. And that really helps the adrenaline kick up. I pushed a little harder and held him off. At the same time I noticed girl #2 had dropped off and was coming back to me. I reeled her in, and focused on the lead two. They were still close together, but they were coming back to me now too. Racing!
With 1/2 mile to go, they were maybe 100 yards ahead. I was red-lining, but, hey, it was the end of a 5K. So I dug down and found a little more speed. I was definitely moving up on them, but didn't think I had enough time. But maybe...
The last 1/4 was slightly downhill so I gave it my all. The girl was ahead, but I figured the guy would have a better kick and not get beat by a girl. And if I caught them, they would probably both have the youthful kicks to hold me off. Didn't really matter, as I ran out of road. The guy surged by the girl and won by two seconds, and I came in three seconds behind the girl.
Mile 3 was 6:53 and the last .13 was 5:43 pace. 21:32
You can see the winner on the left with his hands on his knees, and the girl on the right in blue. The guy was on his knees for five minutes. I think he was dry-heaving. I didn't even realize the guy behind me was so close.
I felt fine...
So now I wonder if I had pushed harder to stay with them at the beginning, would I have been able to win? Or would I have blown up from going out too fast? You never know. But my gut tells me I could have run faster. Oh well. Fuel for the next one (May 21st).
Alisha came in strong.
We hung around for our medals because we both won our AG.
Plus I got a $20 gift card for being 2nd male.
Fun times. The only way to travel.

No comments:

Post a Comment