Saturday, October 07, 2006

Race Report: Mel Henry Memorial 5 Mile Race

ORN: 8 miles total for the day, including 5.0, 42:36, 8:31/mile

What a week!! Running the Portland Marathon on Sunday, then a small local race here on Saturday. I wondered what it would be like..and now I know! Here are the similarities and differences for a different style of race report!

Portland Marathon: Nationally known and publicized.
Mel Henry Run: Very local run, with just a few fliers handed out, plus word of mouth

P: 7,000 runners, 3,000 walkers
M: 45 runners, 1 walker

P: Carbo-loaded the night before with new friends from Seattle and middle son Nathan in Italian restaurant.
M: Meat-loaded the night before at a family gathering at my house celebrating youngest son Matt’s 18th birthday. Matt likes pot roast and he got to pick the menu…

P: Paid $85 entry fee
M: Paid $12 entry fee

P: A spectacular fall morning to run.
M: A spectacular fall morning to run.

P: Traveled across the country at much expense.
M: Backed out of the garage at 7:15am for the 8:00am start and still had 15 minutes to kill.

P: Had no space or time to warm up.
M: Left the house at 6am and ran three miles early just to get loose before changing and heading to the race.

P: Had busy and full expo and registration set up in hotel ballrooms.
M: Had one person at a card table set up outdoors to handle registration.

P: Took public transport downtown and walked seven blocks to the start.
M: Parked own car 30 yards from the start.

P: Ran through a major city, seeing business, industrial and residential areas.
M: Ran on rural roads, seeing a village and lots of soybean fields.

P: Knew nobody in the crowd.
M: Knew or recognized nearly a third of the runners.

P: Had thousands of volunteers to help.
M: Pretty much run by one guy, with a couple others pitching in on race day.

P: Had a cool, large bib number with advertising and my name.
M: Got a Popsicle stick at the finish line to figure the awards.

P: Had mile markers labeled with large balloons and someone calling out the times.
M: Had mile markers spray painted on the asphalt and I looked at my own watch for the time.

P: Ran without pain for 26 miles.
M: Ran with a good bit of pain in the right knee, which subsided as I continued.

P: Ran consistent splits for 15 miles, then gradually slowed.
M: Ran negative split. Mile times were 9 13, 8 58, 8 52, 8 18 and 7 12. I’ve never run a race before where each mile was faster than the previous mile. This was assisted somewhat by the course layout that was uphill to the turnaround point.

P: Got a space blanket for warmth after crossing the finish line.
M: Walked to car to get my nylon shell for warmth after crossing finish line.

P: Got a cool long-sleeve t shirt.
M: Got a cool long-sleeve t shirt.

P: Didn’t bother to go to awards ceremony.
M: Awards happened just after the last finisher crossed the line, as we all stood in a semi circle around the registration card table.

P: Preregistered and got emails from the organizers.
M: Preregistered and all 22 of us who did so won a door prize. I now have new cool, heavy-duty maglite flashlight.

P: Did not allow dogs or jogging strollers.
M: Did allow dogs and strollers. And the dog beat me. The collie Maggie paced my early-morning running pal Lu all the way and beat me by about 3 minutes. Alas, I did come in ahead of the couple with a five and a two year old in a jog stroller.

P: Wore a fluorescent green shirt to allow son Nathan to spot me in the midst of the crowd.
M: Wore official US Army PT gear to honor oldest son David who deployed this morning for his second 12 month tour in Iraq. As my knee bugged me in mile one and I thought about bagging it and walking back, I looked down at the Army shirt and realized neither David nor any of his colleagues would quit due to just a bit of discomfort. I could do no less if I wanted to honor him. The knee pain eased up and I carried on.

P: Enjoyed the race immensely.
M: Enjoyed the race immensely.

In flipping back through my race log, one other interesting thing pops out. I ran this race two years ago at the start of this era of my running life. I trained for it, focused for it and ran it in 45:50, a 9:10 pace. And my knees and legs hurt terribly afterwards. Today, I ran it 6 days after a marathon in 42:36, with no lasting discomfort. Looking at the numbers like this is encouraging…I guess all the miles and work has paid off.

Hope you enjoyed this, I sure did.

Persevere. In Oregon and Indiana.


Anonymous said...

Hi Joe:

Thanks for the smiles and some thought-provoking comments.

Also, a happy birthday to YOU on Monday!


Backofpack said...

Great report - I liked the comparison. Both have their pluses don't they. I tend to like small, local races better. You know everyone, there is lots of comraderie and joking, and you actually have room to run. I spent a lot of time at Portland dodging other runners/walkers.

We'll keep David in our hearts and in out thoughts, along with our friends Elaine and Mike.

Sarah said...

I like the comparisons! Glad both races were enjoyable. And congrats on doing so well a week after your marathon!

Unknown said...

Sounds like a great race Joe. It looks like you have made some real gains over the past couple of years.

Darrell said...

What a great report. Next year gun for Maggie! Try pacing her and then leaving her in the dust just feet before the finish line. Everybody loves runners that do that. ;-)

Happy Birthday, too!
(thanks for the heads up Karen)

Anonymous said...

Great race report. Sounds like a priceless experience.

Anne K. said...

And Joe, here's a brief postscript from your sister:

P: Cried while reading Joe's blog.
M: Cried while reading Joe's blog.

Love you!!!!!


Dori said...

Congratulations on running the Portland Marathon and on besting your 5 mile time. And on not quiting. God bless your son, David.