Monday, June 4, 2012

Race Review- River Ramble 5K

Here's the system with me showing up to an event:
  • Plan on arriving super early? I might be a little bit early
  • Plan on arriving a little early? I might arrive on time
  • Plan on arriving on time? I'll probably be late
That's the way it has always been and it doesn't seem to be changing any time soon. I'd prefer to cope instead of solving the problem. Since the race started at 9:00. Since it is a 25 minute drive from my house to race venue AKA work. Since my boss and several of my students and colleagues were expecting me to be there (umm, there may have been some smack talking going on). And since the Wife volunteered the dogs to provide free petting services. I had planned on being there early.

What time did I arrive? 9:03. Luckily for me, my school and I are a perfect match. The race was still a couple of minutes away from starting its advertised 9 am commencement. I silently slid in to the front of the pack and waited for the pre-race announcements to conclude. No warm up. No bathroom. Just show up and run.

For a moment there, I was in the lead. I'm the doofus closest to you in the shot. My lead lasted for about another 6 steps.

I had a goal of going sub 20 minutes. Nothing like setting a season goal and trying to bang it out in the first race of the season. That meant I was to hold 6:26 per mile. In the past, I've had pacing problems. Most of the time, I went out too fast. I was determined not to make that mistake today (assuming that it was possible).

Mile 1 chimed in at a 6:21. Perfect. I'm 5 seconds ahead of schedule. Mile 2 sent us down a hill, made a 180º turn and back up the hill. Despite my best effort, I ran slower than predicted at 7:01. OK, now I'm about 30 seconds down. My goal time was slipping but not dead yet. It died on the next hill between mile 2.0 and 2.4. At the 2.5 mile, my watch beeped (I have it set to alert every quarter mile, much to the annoyance to most everyone around me). At this point, there were 2 facts blatantly obvious.
  1. The course was long. There was at least 0.75 miles left in the run. I had scouted the course at an earlier date and the turn around cone between miles 1 and 2 was moved.
  2. I had exactly 3 minutes to make it that last bit of distance. Well outside of my skill set.
I shut it down. No longer was this a goal setting race. It evolved into a 2.5 mile super-hard interval and a 0.75 mile fun run. I crossed the line in 6th place with a time of 22:48.

For some reason, they had this rope blocking the finish line. From what I could tell, I had to break the rope, limbo under, jump over, or turn around and go home. I broke the rope. I conclude that I now have the ability to make spur of the moment, smart decisions.

Post race
Like a moron, I volunteered to be the chump in the dunking booth. My reasoning: It's for a good cause, Junior Class fundraiser. And, I won't have to shower should someone actually hit the incredibly small target when tossing a softball from a distance.

Here's what I didn't count on:
  • The temperature outside was 58º
  • A large number of kids were ready to dish out cash for their least favorite teacher
  • The kids have really good aim
  • The rule that allows you to pay $5 to not even throw a ball, just walk up and push the button
  • The fact that the Wife had access to my wallet, which oddly had $5
  • That she was willing to pay money to have my dog jump up and push the button

Whereas I didn't get my goal time, I'd like to send out a big celebratory high five to Captain PE. In the past, he was not that fast of a runner. Those days are gone. Not only did he smoke me in this race, but he did it with style and a great pace! He passed me just after the 1.25 mile mark and never looked back.

He's been motivated to workout and get in shape. His effort is truly paying dividends. Here he is flexing his awesomeness in his 4th place finish. Well done, Cap'n. Well done!

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