Place: 28 out of 871
AG Place: 7 out of 35 (Male 25-29)
Average Heart Rate: 201 bpm (Max was 217!!)
The race this weekend was the third race in a series of summer races that my wife and I signed up for. Normally I’ll jog them with her, but because this one was a strange distance, I wanted to actually race it to have an accurate idea of how well I could do. Honestly, I’ve been so focused on long distance training that I’ve let my speed training relax a bit. I’m probably close to my current 5K pr speed, but I’d have to focus on that distance for a month or so to get back into 100% race form.
Loads of runners milling about in the heat
The race itself provided some really good competition to run against. The summer series brings out a lot of the local college track clubs and normal fasties that want to relive their cross country days gone by and blast by the middle aged guys/gals. As such, combined with the cheap price, you can expect not only shorty shorts galore, but also around 900 runners at nearly every pace.
My goal going in was to run a sub 26:00. I figured that I could hold 6:30s for a few miles during tempo running so doing so during a 4 mile race shouldn’t have been a stretch.
Mile 1: I’ll bet this is what it feels like to be a sardine
Because there were SO many racers and the race was essentially on a bike path, the start of the race was crowded – really crowded. It felt like a combination of salmon trying to swim upstream and that sperm scene in the movie Look Who’s Talking. The race directors did all they could by getting people to line up based on their pace, but inevitably there are the 7 year old kids who insist on lining up at the start, blasting through the first half mile, and then slowing down to a more normal pace. Mile 1 pace: 6:13.
By mile 2, the crowd had thinned out and I had elbowed my way past all of the 7 year olds. I settled into my 5K pace + 10 seconds or so which I estimated was around 6:15. It was around mile 2 that I realized that the humidity was in full force and I was going to be a hot mess by the time the race ended. I don’t carry any water for races less than 10k (water takes around 30-45 min to “soak in”), so all I could do was continue on. Mile 2 pace: 6:13
Mile 3: It puts the lotion on its skin, unless it wants the hose again (and other random incoherent thoughts)
Just after the half of any race is always the tough part for me. Miles 18-23 of a marathon, mile 4 of a 10k, and I guess mile 3 of a 4 mile race. It is at this point where I realize that not only am I not done, but essentially, I have to repeat what misery I just put my body through a second time (sort of like watching the movie Transformers 2). In retrospect, I don’t really remember much of this mile. I do remember that I was getting annoyed by the little rolling hills, the heat, and how lawmakers won’t get off their asses and raise the debt ceiling. Mile 3: 6:20
Mile 4: Oh god, this race is SOOO much longer than a 5K
I made sure to hit my lap button at the 5K mark. I’m not sure how I remembered, but I crossed the mark in 19:26. Not too shabby, good enough for my second fastest “official” 5K and my third fastest unofficial (virtual race) time ever. After I crossed the 5K mark, it seemed like an eternity until I got to the finish. Those extra 1.5K essentially killed me. Mile 4 pace: 6:11
Once I finished, I staggered around incoherently for a while. Literally. I 100% believe that if you can whoop and holler about a successful race immediately after then you didn’t run hard enough during the race. I leave everything out there – including all celebrations. In my head, I was crazy excited for beating my stretch of stretch goals. However, from the outside I looked like a cross between a zombie and a dude that was kicked in the junk.
Once I regained some level of composure, I started to walk (slowly) backwards along the course to meet up with my wife who was pushing the jogging stroller. I saw Demi and Adrienne, each of which looked like they were killing the race. I met up with my wife and took this picture:
Essentially, I look like death
My wife was run/walking through the heat and humidity (85 degrees / 40% by that point) towards her longest run post baby! She was able to cross the line with a smile on her face and a completely soaked, shirtless husband at her side.
Doing what American's do on the 4th of July:
After the race was over and my wife and I fed our son, I staggered back to the car and got all packed up. Since I am a little OCD, I decided that I should strip down to my compression underwear to not get my car all sweaty and gross. Of course, as soon as I got in and got to the corner, I realized I needed gas BAD. So, of course I pulled into the local gas station and got gas. . . . in my underwear. . . .without a shirt on. Why? Because that is how I roll (when I am low on oxygen).