Sunday, September 12, 2010

9/11 Memorial 5K Race Report - I won!

Yes, you read that right - I won. I can only assume that all of the REAL fast runners were too busy memorializing 9/11 and were still hungover on 9/12.  That is what I am assuming at least....

I think that this race could be summed up with one of my favorite statements: Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.  Today, was my day - I was that lucky squirrel.

Distance: 3.10 (Garmin said 3.15)
Time: 18:50 (47 second PR!!)
Pace: 6:04 (Garmin said 5:59 due to long distance)
Place: 1st out of ?? Probs 200ish.  Will update when posted.

Early this morning, while most were in bed and not even an early morning runner had decided to brave the morning air, I was driving to my first "A goal" race.  50 miles.  Each way. Blah.

Instead of sweating my man-bits off running long this summer, I've been sweating my man-bits off running around the track.  I really wanted to focus on speed instead of distance to minimize the time I spent in the 100 degree heat.  So, while I have a marathon in 5 weeks, I have 5Ks scheduled every other week from now through the middle of October.  Great for setting 5K PRs....walk of shame inducing during marathons.

As soon as I found Glendale AZ's Remember 9/11 5K, I was looking forward to it.  While I am not a super patriotic guy, there is definitely something to be said about September 11th.  This race featured a memorial including everyone's names who perished on that day:

As well as a firefighter who ran the entire race in FULL gear.  He was dripping wet with as much sweat as you would expect as he finished:

The race itself was a bit interesting.  It was around the Arizona Cardinal NFL football team's stadium.  By around, I mean like 95% in parking lots. I am trying to think of a less scenic race but I can't really think of one.  Possibly a race where everyone is blindfolded?  Maybe a type of "Run the Sahara" desert race?

Phoenix Cardinals NFL team's stadium at the bottom
Phoenix Coyotes NHL team's rink in the middle


Mile 1: 5:46
As everyone was milling around for the race, I did my usual "book by it's cover" scan of the field.  I've found that before the race, I look for a few thing to gauge where I should be lining up.  Lots of singlets and those shorty slit leg shorts? Move back a bit.  Racing flats? Move back a bit. High school cross country kids? Laugh at them because I can buy beer and they can't and then....move back a bit.

However, for this race - I saw none of those (again, they were all hung over from celebrating life on 9/11).  I saw a few people in racing flats, but I flat out asked them how fast they thought they were going to go out and they all said around 20:00.  I started on the starting line and lead the entire way.
Mile 2: 6:07
"This suuuuuuuuuuuuuckkssssssssss".  For me, mile 2 is always that middle ground of exhaustion: I'm breathing like a porn star (and my legs burn just as bad) and I'm not half way done yet so I can't start counting down the minutes.  It was the same for this race.  I was really starting to feel the dry desert air in my lungs and towards the end of the mile was just starting to feel the faintest hint of lactic acid buildup.

Mile 3: 6:04 & Last 0.15: 0:52 (5:52 pace)
The last 1.1 miles sort of went by in a blur.  It was an out and back race (sort of), so I got to see quite a few of the walkers who gave me a few "looking good"s.  I assumed that by "looking good" they meant, "wow you look like shit, but you're not dead yet so you must be doing good?".  The good thing about the parking lot and super curvy race was that I could see how far the people behind me were at every turn.  The only thing that kept me going here was the fact that the #2 kid really tried to put on a push at about 2.1 miles.  I squeezed every last bit of go-juice I had and probably secured my sub-19:00 as a result.

I had a number of firsts during this race:
  • 1st time I've went #2 before the race (Thank goodness!!!  Whew - what a load off...literally)
  • 1st time that I've finished top 10 in a race
  • 1st time I've driven this far in town for a race (50 miles each way)
  • 1st time I've ran a race that was 95% in a parking lot
  • 1st time I've had to pay attention to the markings to know where to go (This was huge....being in the front is a big responsibility!  Luckily the course was REALLY marked well and I only had to ask once where I needed to go.)

The Race Director and I....and my sweat towel to dry off with.  MMmmmmm


The shirt and 1st place medal.  One of my most favorite shirts to date - medal, not so much

Overall it was really fun race and a truly memorable experience.  My wife wasn't able to attend, so there aren't any actual pictures of me running.  However, there were a few official photographers there so I am hoping on getting some of those pictures soon.

I know I owe Andrew @ Running Man Wannabe some answers to his questions as well as I need to announce the winners of my Chocolate #9 contest.  I have the post written, but wanted to post this first!

56 comments:

Tricia said...

You are amazing. Congrats!

abbi said...

Congratulations on a fantastic race! I enjoyed seeing the fire fighter in full gear! I guess that would be odd to be in first and have to really pay attention. All I ever do in a race is just follow everyone in front of me!

abbi said...

Congratulations on a fantastic race! I enjoyed seeing the fire fighter in full gear! I guess that would be odd to be in first and have to really pay attention. All I ever do in a race is just follow everyone in front of me!

Clarkie said...

# 1st time I've ran a race that was 95% in a parking lot
--I've had a 5k race that ran around my apartment complex. That was kind of monotonous, and slightly strange. Certainly felt my brain start to fade out.

Awesome job though, and kudos to the firefighter in full suit. That is all kinds of awesome and inspiring.

Raegun said...

Congratulations on all your firsts! That is a fast time! My husband and I were on vacation in Scottsdale last year and happened to catch a Coyotes game out in Glendale. Based on my recollection, the scenery must have really left a lot to be desired!

The Sean said...

Adam this is great! So happy for you to have shattered your PR. You must've felt unreal hitting those mile splits and feeling so strong.

Do not diminish your competitive triumph either... showing up IS the most crucial aspect of competition. You won the race. Period.

Kelly said...

You would have beat me by 12+ minutes! Wow! Congrats on the win.

Jaime Runs said...

Congratulations! Go you. That is a nice-looking shirt, too.

I ran a Run for Our Troops 5K yesterday and there were a few army guys who ran in full army garb boots and their packs and stuff (of course they beat me too). It was amazing and inspiring.

Nobel4Lit said...

I did a 9/11 memorial run as well, but in spite of my best efforts, people were NOT out memorializing...

Lisa said...

a race in a parking lot does not sound too fun, but congratulations on the win!! That's totally awesome!

Chad said...

Holy carp!you should retire now. Learn from favre.

GeorgiaSnail said...

Nice work; I've always wondered what it felt like to "clear the spiderwebs" for the other runners! Too bad you didn't get a little better bling....they gave away a M-4 assault rifle to the winnerof the 5k I ran yesterday...

WannabeRunner said...

Congrats speedy gonzales!

Dr. TriRunner said...

Wow wow wow - that definitely WILL be a race you'll "never forget"!! But hold up - FIRST time you've gone to the bathroom before the race? GONE gone? C'mon buddy - where's the coffee? Where are those toe raises?? You gotta get that isht moving!

Haha that aside (although I really am serious...) nice job! That 2nd mile has always been my worst too, but you didn't seem to be too affected by it! Lookin at that map, looks like you need to 5K your way over to Minnesota!

Teamarcia said...

Congrats! It was just a matter of time for you. Can I have your autograph?

Ewa said...

Now this is just great!!! I bet your Garmin was right. You ran further and faster. Congratulations!
So now we await a post about post-win celebrations.

Forward Foot Strides said...

That must have been awesome to place first, congrats!

LOL "Laugh at them because I can buy beer and they can't."

I can't believe that firefighter ran in his gear, wow!

Anne said...

Woohoo! Congrats! Your speed work is definitely paying off.

Chris K said...

Adam, I have done a regression analysis. Check this out.... every time you go #2 before a race you will win it. It's a statistical fact. BTW, congrats on your win. I can't imagine the feeling.

Christine Jensen said...

Congrats on your first place and that AMAZING 5K time! You Rock!(yeah, and that medal is just kinda eh..I hear ya, but the shirt is great)

Pam said...

This is effing awesome, Adam! Congratulations!

destinationathlete said...

HOLY CRAP! That is awesome - I can't even run TWO miles in that time! :)

You are a total rock star, I am super proud of you! And I like that shirt too.

Pam said...

Oh, and BTW, you may be good at reading between the lines, but NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS could you possibly guess the crap that's going on. I've known about it for over a week, and I STILL have trouble believing it's actually happening!

Running Through Phoenix said...

Good for you!!! Love that you cooked the #2 runner. Now for sub 18 right?? Nah, back to distance stuff.

Allie said...

Woohoo!!! Congrats!

Adrienne said...

YAY! How cool are you! Glendale is my neck of the woods. Too bad I was in Goodyear at that time for kids football game. I'm VERY patriotic so I'm going to keep this one in mind for next year. SWEET!

Jamie said...

Awesome! Great job!

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Rad Runner said...

Dope medal! You are a MANIAC fast man! Congrats!

Julie said...

Could it be that you are a real runner? I think so:) Congrats on an awesome and speedy race! What does it feel like having no one in front of you? Nice work!

James said...

Awesome job! It must have felt great finishing first place. Congrats!

C2Iowa said...

SWEEEEEETTTTTT! Congrats.

Glenn Jones said...

Wow! 47 second PR is impressive!

AZ said...

Nice race. I think going #2 was the key. I mean really, think of the weight loss.

Runners Fuel said...

Congrats!! SOunds like a great race!

Ulyana said...

Adam, I just love it how fast you are!!! Congrats on such a great PR. Those are some awesome sub-6 min miles. I'm very impressed! But not surprised. LOVE IT!

Shelly said...

Congrats on a great race and a well deserved win! I wanted to race a 9/11 memorial in Arlington, VA which pitted firefighters against police officers. Unfortunately, someone had to work while the others were chasing each other! Glad you had a good time at your race and for remembering those who lost everything on Sept 11th.

Andrew Opala said...

I was away - racing ht email members of my family to the bottom of many pitchers of beer.

CONGRATULATIONS!

A star is born! - and I like the motivation to concentrate on speed during the heat instead of distance.

That is an excellent way of figuring out where all the parking lots are in a city. Maybe it was don by the city's "visitor's bureau" ... or something like that

you must have done a lot of tangent running!

Whitney said...

This is AWESOME! Congrats on your win!!

Tara said...

Congrats on our win! That is an awesome pace speedy!

Zaneta said...

What an awesome race!! you are so fast! CONGRATS on the win! and the PR!! :D

Jill said...

Congrats, Adam!! You are getting wickedly fast in these shorter races....now it's time for Denver :).

Angie Bishop said...

DUDE!!! That is amazing!!! HA! Good for you :)
I hope I won some #9!

64 CLASSIC said...

A P.R. by 47 seconds.... did I read that correctly.

Geez!! Thats amazing. Great work.

Colin Hayes said...

Congrats, man! Small field or not (and 200 isn't ALL that small), that's a great accomplishment! Good to see all the speedwork paying off. Hopefully you'll survive your marathon, too ;-)

Cynthia O'H said...

Congrats on your run. You've been training hard; it was only a matter of time before the elites starting sleeping in on race day.

5 Miles 2 Empty said...

um yeah, I don't win because the responsibility is just too much. Period.

The way you size people up in a race is SO true!!!

Awesome job with the 1st place!!!!! Your pretty much the bomb-diggity.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Nice job on the parking lot race! Does this mean you get to park closer next year?

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

wooot woot, way to break the other runners legs so you could win..wait I mean, no just way to go :)

Nitmos said...

Monster PR. Great run!

Ace said...

Winner, winner chicken dinner! Rock on!

kilax said...

This is so so cool! I am so excited for you! (And excited for me for knowing someone so fast!)

That course though? Blegh! How did they even keep you on track? They must have had it really well marked!

Laura said...

I congratulated you on Facebook/IM already, but figured I'd leave you some comment love as well. Great job!

Jamoosh said...

Sweet! It was just a matter of time.

Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS said...

Wowwww! Congratulations! That's an awesome race and a hilarious (as always) recap. Way to go, speedy porn star.

Kate said...

Way to go!! All your speedwork is clearly paying off. Congratulations!