Saturday, June 23, 2007

Races Report: Relay for Life, Alana 5k

ORN: Relay for Life: 7 miles, 1:10:19, R/W 4/1
Alana 5K Run: 5km, 24:12, 7:48/mile

Quick Summary: A crazy morning was huge fun. After a 7+ mile “warm up,” I ran a PR for 5km and felt great throughout.

More Details

As I reported in the last post, I decided to help our company’s team in a local cancer fundraiser. After umpiring a singularly forgettable baseball game Friday night (final score 18-3), I got up at 4:45am and headed to the High School track to run. The fund raiser started out with
great enthusiasm at 7pm Friday night. However, rain moved in overnight and by the time I got there at 5:30am in a steady drizzle, there were about 30 people still walking. I checked in with two of our folks who were still trudging on and then just started running.

It’s been a long time since I’ve run on a real track; come to think of it, I can’t remember doing so since I graduated from High School myself in (gasp) 1971. This track is only two years old and has a marvelous surface and my legs fell in love with it immediately. It shed water, had good traction in the rain and was wonderfully cushioned. I did a 4/1 run/walk and ran comfortably. It was a joy to run on this beautiful track in the rain as the sky slowly brightened for a good cause. Most of my running laps were in the 2:25 range, which felt quick. I was pleased, though, that my last lap turned at 2:08. That lap came around 6:50, as the organizers decided to call it quits. It was cool to hear them proudly announce the collective effort had raised over $220,000 for cancer research.

As I left the track, I saw the 5k race organizers setting up the start line literally 150 feet from the exit, preparing for their 8:15am start. Feeling hungry, I zipped over to a nearby Burger King and picked up the classic runner’s breakfast of 4 cini-minis and a sausage biscuit, all chased by Gatorade I had prepared earlier. I enjoyed this delectable culinary experience in the front seat of my well-traveled Saturn and then tilted the seat back to sleep for a half hour.

The race assembled with about 60 runners and walkers. I had dialed my Garmin to pace me to a 25:15 finish time with its virtual trainer and off we went. The rain opened up right around gun time and so we ran the whole race in a moderate rain shower. This kept it cool and very, very enjoyable. In fact, after my last two half-marathons in solid heat and humidity, it was a real joy.

I settled into steady pace that felt good and I kept the pace to be around 60-90 feet ahead of my virtual partner. Mile one went through at 7:53 and I settled in with a group of local cross country runners. Probably on the JV team, but, hey, youth is wonderful. The mile two marker was not clear…I hit my watch to show an 8:17 mile, but the Garmin later told me it was a 1.04 mile. Anyway, the pace was steady and, as the senior member of the cross-country team, I was keeping up.

At about the 2.6 mile mark, I found myself hitting a good stretch and passed the two girls who had paced me so wonderfully. Around a quarter mile from the finish line and I opened it up. I was pleased the legs were still with me. Alas, youth still ruled though, as the two girls caught and passed me with about 40 yards to go. Across the finish line we went, finishing in 24:12. The Garmin said I ran the last 1.07 miles in 8:01 or a 7:32 pace. The kick at the end helped.

As I drove home, I got to wondering if this might be a PR. Indeed it was, by 25 seconds. Interestingly, my previous 5k PR was in this same race, two years ago. It was fun to do a PR, it has been a while since I set one. The key lesson, to me, is the impact of weather. Today was almost a perfect running day. A light rain, full clouds, temps in the low 60s, a flat course and perfect pacing partners.

So, a very, very fun morning of running. Now, I’ll be following the exploits of two guys I know who are running
the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run today, tonight and tomorrow. Brian from our local running club is competing. Blogging pal Eric is also running, crewed by his blister-prone but strong-running wife Michelle and worthy pal Rob. As I write this at 11:10am EDT, both Brian and Eric should be nearing Red Star Ridge checkpoint. Many prayers for their experience, endurance and safety, particularly when they trudge on though the night.

Peresevere, and have some fun running.


Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Thanks for the recap of your events today. Sounds fun! Congrats on the 5k PR. Very cool. I am glad running is going well. I am still recovering and pondering a new post on my blog. So hard to write at the moment.

Darrell said...

The cirmustances were somewhat unorthodox but you pulled through like a champ. Congrats on the PR.

I've checked up on Eric as well today. WS has a great website.

susie said...

What a fun report to read! The "classic" breakfast!! Great job, Joe. A great 5K to support.

Wes said...

That's a cool way to PR :-) Are we fully recovered now? Seems like it. You are kicking some tail fanny now!!

David said...

As I read you put the seat back to take a nap before the 5K I was worrying that you might sleep through the start. But no, you made it on time and smoked it. Maybe the BK breakfast of champions spoke back to wake you up.
Good recap and PR. I love running with the young 'uns too. Keeps us young.

Sarah said...

Congrats on the pr! How sweet that it came after you'd already completed a run. Maybe it was that BK breakfast.
; ) : )

robtherunner said...

Congrats on the PR! I thought I was the only one that would eat such a breakfast before a race.