Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cookie Dash 5k

I didn't have a ton of confidence going into this morning's race. I had been out of town all week on business. That means that my diet, my schedule, my sleep, and my hydration are all out of whack. Plus, I was determined to get in the miles, so I woke up early every day and ran while on the road. A week of late nights with customers, early morning runs, all day on my feet presenting, and 3 meals a day of restaurant food is not a good way to lead up to a race. I just felt tired and yuck.

I planned to take my family with me and sign the girls up for the 1 mile fun run today. Everyone was on board last night. Then, the alarm went off and I was on my own!!! Nobody else would get out of the bed.

The morning started off schedule and rushed. I didn't get there until about 7:40! That meant that my warm up would be cut short! I scrambled to get my number on and out of the car and as soon as my feet hit the ground, I was jogging at my warm-up pace. I didn't even get 2 miles of warm up in. I ran about 1.7, with a couple of strides at the end. I wasn't ready, but it was time. I was thinking 21:00-ish just because of how hard the week had been, how tired I was, and how out of sorts I was. This just didn't feel like a PR day.

After waiting for a few minutes "reluctantly crouched at the starting line" (those who were there and happen to listen to Cake will understand)... GO! The adrenaline kicked in. The thought of 21 was long gone. I had set a goal of 19:30 for a 5k back in January. I really made my mind up to go for it about when I heard the word "GO!" I know that I'm tired and I know that this is not a fast course, but I'm going for it today.

I had never seen this course before. I had been warned about the first mile, but I didn't know exactly what to expect. It is uphill. It's not Waterline, Lake Trail, Madelyn's "dragon", or even Mountainwood, but the rise is definitely noticeable. Then, there's a cone turnaround at about 0.6 miles. Talk about a slow first mile! I started near the front. I want to give deference to the lead runners. I'm no rabbit. But I don't like having to zig-zag excessively in the first mile. So I look for the known fast kids and get just behind them. The packs had mostly formed by the time that we got to the cone turn around. I only got passed one more time after that (details later), and maybe passed 3 more before the one mile split.

Joe Francica passed me at around the .75 mile mark. I didn't know him, but I introduced myself after the race. I kept him in my sight. I wanted to keep him in range just in case I had something in me at the end. On the way back from the first cone, several friends were greeting and encouraging me, and I was happy to cheer them back.

Just past the 1 mile marker there was an aid station. No aid in a 5k for me, but I thanked the volunteers. Then, there's another turnaround at the 1.5 mile marker. I saw several of the same faces. Then, we passed by the aid station again. My mouth was dry, but I knew I would choke running this hard, so again, no aid for me. Thanks volunteers. Then we passed the 1 mile marker again and very shortly after that the 2 mile marker.

After that, Joe had another runner in his sight, John Geiger, and he picked up his pace to pass him. I didn't want to let him get away, so I picked it up, too. John certainly didn't yield and was encouraged by the passing and they stayed close. Then we go to another turn at a culdesac. This is NOT a fast course!!! I kept the two in sight and closed the gap a little on the turn. Near the turn, more greetings and cheering. Thanks and good job Greg, Joey, Bud, Glen, Whitney, Philip, and Angie, and I probably forgot someone.

I could see the 3 mile mark ahead, and I wanted to kick it in. I just had nothing left. I wanted to reel in Joe and John, but they were racing, too! I was hurting and wondering if I had enough to just hold the pace. I did the math to know that I couldn't slow much and still break 19:30, so I was fighting it. I just didn't have the guts or desire or heart or whatever "it" is that enables you to pass someone late in a race. I have to work on that. But right now, I just don't see racing as a competition against other runners. It's a competition against myself. I'll probably never make a move on other runners until I change that mindset.

I did finish strong, I thought, and crossed the line in 19:26 for a 5k PR on a course that doesn't yield many PR's. That was good enough for 12th overall of over 400 runners and 2nd in the 35-39 age group. Splits were
  1. 6:18
  2. 6:08
  3. 6:08
  4. 0:51
I know that adds up to 19:25, and I don't know where the extra second is.

After the race, I quickly regrouped and went toward the finish line to encourage and cheer on other runners. I was walking toward the 3 mile marker cheering folks on. Just past the 3 mile marker I saw Angie running very strong. She asked me to run to the finish with her, so I did. She REALLY kicked it in here. She was passing folks left and right. It was great to see her finish strong like that! You're ready for the CMM half next weekend, Angie. Good luck!

Big congrats to Whitney Hollingsworth. It's just a given that she's going to win the women's masters if she shows up. She's so strong! Several other friends had nice times today also. Overall results and age group results are now available . Big thanks as always to the race directors and volunteers.


rundanrun said...

Great race and great recap.

I hope to break 20 minutes this year on a 5K.
I have an 8K and Jesse Owens coming up.

I took your que and started added my pace miles to my blog.
No race today just 14 miles this morning.

Again great race and enjoyed the recap.

reachdown said...

Reading your blog, there is no doubt in my mind that you'll crush 20 minutes this year. Good luck.