I ran a 5k yesterday morning in downtown Raleigh, NC. The short version is that I won and finished a little bit disappointed with my time. Feel free to click through if you’re interested in more details, although I’m not sure how much I’ll come up with. For a real entertaining report and even more impressive result, I recommend clicking here.
Uh oh. Someone clicked through. I guess I’d better come up with a good story now!
So. I got talked into this 5k event by an ex-police officer friend of mine because the event is in honor of all fallen police officers. A good cause, for sure, but there was also a 5k run the same morning in Durham. I live in Durham, which makes that race more convenient. Also, from the race website photos, the Durham event had a bouncy house at the race. Bouncy houses are worth their weight in gold in this household and yes I know how expensive gold is these days. The Raleigh race had a bouncy house, but only at the after party, which took place at a bar about 2-3 hours after the run event. Not a toddler friendly set up. Boo.
Nonetheless, to Raleigh I headed. I charted out a course that would take me through the part of town recently ravaged by that tornado that started in Sanford and ground out a 60 mile path of destruction all the way to Shaw University. It seemed like a good plan. However, I failed to account for potentially missing signage that could cause me to miss an important turn. Fortunately, I figured out the problem quickly enough and turned around to find the only partially missing sign from the other direction. Darn tornados.
Combine the detour with leaving the house about 10 minutes later than I really should have and the woefully inadequate number of porta potties at the race and I am left with insufficient time to warm up. For a 5k. Yikes. I got a short jog around the block (and yes, I mean ONE block) and a few striders before the announcer cajoled the bounding runners into position behind the start line. So I joined them feeling less confident than Usain Bolt in an ultramarathon. Or double ironman. A lot less confident.
Now about the run. I had hoped to go under 19 minutes or get close. I wasn’t concerned about overall placement, but I figured I’d do OK. A quick peek around the front of the start pack told me there wasn’t a crap-ton depth of talent there. Not that there weren’t talented runners there. There were. In fact, the men’s winner ran a 14:44. Yes, I’m serious. That’s 4:45 per mile if you’re wondering.
One neat thing about the event was the split callers at 1 mile, 1.5 miles and 2 miles. Or, rather, a little before 1, 1.5 and 2 miles. Which is a good way to make everyone think they are running faster than they are until they see the rude awakening on the timeclock while approaching the finish line. Except for those of us with GPS devices beeping several seconds beyond the race-provided splits.
I wish 6-flat, 5:5x (downhill) were my 1 and 2 mile splits, but Mr. Garmin tells the true tale. On the plus side, knowing I went out slower means my 3rd mile wasn’t as horrendous as it appeared. In fact, it wasn’t all that bad. Miles one and three were net uphill, while mile two was net downhill. My actual splits were 6:12, 6:04, 6:16. See? Not so bad. I’m sure if I’d remembered my Recovery e21, I would have gone faster (busy morning).
I didn’t have the lead for the women’s race until at least a half mile or so in. A young girl went out fast (in hindsight, in the pace I would have rather run myself) and then fell off pace (that part I’m glad to have avoided). She had on track shoes without the spikes clack clack clacking her way along the pavement. She said something about stomach troubles. I said something about her shoes. I was just trying to hold a steady pace.
As things sorted themselves out over the first couple miles, I found myself playing pace bunny for a couple of guys. They, as expected, sprinted away on the final downhill stretch. One even thanked me after. Glad to be of service. Actually, I’m serious and not being snarky. I figure that if I can help someone else achieve their goals, then great. After all, my steady running style is really handy for folks who tend to drop pace in the middle and are motivated by not getting chicked.
The really nice thing about getting a win was the generous gift card that I will use soon to buy some new running shoes. Well. At least most of the cost of a new pair of running shoes. Those running shoes are expensive these days.
OK. That’s it!
(19:19 was the official finish time if you missed the cleverly disguised link to full results above)