Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium 5k

I had a strange request for my 34th birthday.  I wanted my family to run/walk a 5k.  Everyone was game, even my sister-in-law who was 4 months pregnant and who would be pushing my 18 month old niece.  Whoo Hoo!! 

It seemed after lots of trash talking amongst certain family members, only my little brother and I would be running.  My little brother is by far the best runner in the family (he ran a marathon when he was 15, because he is nuts), but after dislocating his knee cap a few times over the past 10+ years his leg just doesn't handle the repetitive pounding that running provides.

My legs were trashed from the 17+ miles I had run after work on Thursday.  It had been such a nice evening when I had gotten home from work the scheduled 8 miles, somehow transformed into 17.  I thought maybe a 3 mile warm-up would help workout some of the stiffness, but all throughout the warm-up, I felt fatigued and tight.  I stretched and did a few dynamic exercises along with some striders -- nothing seemed to help. 

My brother and I started somewhere in the middle, which was still too far back.  We had to run around people and it took us a few seconds to just cross the starting line.  My brother's plan was to try and run with me (and then probably move in for the kill at the end) for as long as possible.  My plan was to run steady effort throughout and not fade, like last time. 

The course was not flat.  It was rolling, but shaded.  There were a lot more women in front of me than I had hoped.  I hoped some of them would start coming back to me as the miles wore on and to my delight a few did by the first mile.  I felt good and on cruise control.  Mile 1 was 7:20 and although I felt good, it was slower than the last race and knowing there were more rollers coming I had low expectations. 

Mile 2 seemed to take forever and I was able to get a few more girls, so I think I passed about 6 at this point.  I had lost my brother almost immediately and hoped he was just a few steps behind me.  I was breathing well, but my legs were dead.  I split 7:27.

At the start of the last mile, I had been focused on this brunette in a long sleeve white tee and black capris.  I had worked my way up to her over the last two miles.  She had faded pretty hard, but I had the feeling that if I passed her she would be one of those that will fight you to the end, even if she has to sprint, back-off, sprint and back-off -- you know the kind I'm talking about.  I don't usually strategize in a foot race.  I am too slow.  I just run my best to the finish, but for some reason with her, I felt if I passed her I would have to pick-it up and give her the impression that I had started off slow and was now just getting up to a pace that she shouldn't even bother trying to hang on to.

Apparently, I am a bad actress.  I opened my stride up and took off as I passed her.  I know I gapped her, I could feel it as I ran hard for about 200 meters.  I had also managed to close the gap on two women up ahead of me.  I tried to focus on catching them, but I had the feeling that the girl behind me was more of a threat than the two in front of me.  I surged again as I caught and passed each girl.  I was definitely beat at this point and with 500 meters to go I hit the last hill before the finish and then it happened.  The girl I had passed and suspected would be a threat at the finish passed me!   Crap!!  I picked up the pace and stayed with her to the 3rd mile marker and split 7:29. 

As always, when you hit that 3 mile marker in a race the last .1 feels infinitely longer than when you run it in a warm-up.  I was gassed.  She picked it up and started pulling away.  I half-ass tried, but my body and my heart had nothing.  I couldn't get my legs moving faster than a 6:55/mile pace.  I hit the line in 23:13 (garmin).  I  don't know the official results, the website is "under construction." 

My garmin said 3.14 and avg pace was 7:25/mile, which was about the same as the last 5k.  Uuugghhh!!  I am so not progressing as fast as I would like to. 

My little brother finished in 24:37 (7:55/mile).  He said could see me up until the last mile and then I "took off."  We laughed about that, because he admittedly faded pretty hard that last mile and ran 8:45. 

My parents finished holding hands (my dad was listed first in the results, so of course he razzed my mom, who will probably never finish a race with him again, haha!).  My preggo sister finished by running into the finish and my niece started screaming bloody murder at the 2 mile marker so my brother had to pick her up (she gets a DNF!!). 

Here is the video to the finish.  I think I am somewhere afte 7 mins and my brother is about 8:30 - 9:00 minutes in. 


Janet Edwards said...

That sounds like a super fabulous way to celebrate your birthday! Perhaps you are progressing faster than you think and that 17 miler just had some lingering effects! Way to go! Can't wait to hang this weekend!

E-Speed said...

LMAO at your nieces DNF :)

Hey I would say holding steady with your crazy work schedule is something to be proud of!

Juls said...

That's great. I especially like the part about your mom and dad. Thumbs down to the results recorder for not following the ladies-first rule.
Happy Birthday!