Race 5: Q vs the Trail

Apologies, I’m on a phone typing this, but I wanted to post before details got hazy over time.

Yesterday was Race 5 of the Super Awesome Year of the 5K. It was put on by Rerun Sneakers, which collects shoes for young athletes to use.

Now, I knew I was going to be out of town, and not running on streets like usual, but I didn’t realize I was running on trails and mowed grass. This hurt and helped. It hurt because I’m not used to it, including the little holes and bumps that popped up throughout. But it helped because it was a soft impact, and there’s a possibility I’ve been developing shin splints. I didn’t notice that at all throughout the race, which allowed me to focus on the everything else kicking my ass.

The first thing I noticed but then forgot may be my one souvenir from the run. My right shoe felt loose at the beginning. I forgot and never tightened it and got my first experience of shoes rubbing the back of my ankle. No big deal but still a first.

There was also a fair amount of mud because it had been raining in the area in the days prior to race. Most people seemed to keep relatively clean, but I managed to kick up a fair amount on myself. image

You can also see the little red souvenir on my right ankle.

All of this, though, is fairly inconsequential. The big thing were the hills. Big, muddy hills. There were 3 or 4 of these guys lying in wait. I didn’t even try to run those. They ate my lunch, and I wasn’t even gonna fight it. One of the hills was big enough that it caught real runners too.

Now I have to tell you one thing to tell you another. I easily ran harder and exerted myself more on this 5K than the others. It was brutal. And I ran a 33:40, easily my slowest 5K ever. That said, I know it was more a product of the course than me. I pushed pretty hard, and my legs are going to be feeling it for a few days.

Now after saying how tough the course was, I have to offer a mea culpa. I badgered a few friends into joining me on the run.

image

I don’t think they hated the course quite as much as me, so maybe they’ll still return my phone calls and not punch me in the face the next time they see me.

Now for all that jazz, there were some other good things going on. First, they had pizza available at 9 a.m. You other race organizers should take note. It was fantastic. Second, they had beer. A post-race beer even that early is fantastic.

And while my time was bad, I still got 2nd in my age group. When I hit 30 and bounce to the next age bracket, that stuff will come to and end, but I’ll take my moments to brag where I can.

In terms of the actual run, I probably took off too fast at the start, but it felt comfortable, so I ran with it (get it?). It was good and I kept that pace for a bit over a mile. That was when I started running into hills. There was no way I was maintaining, so that’s when I started alternating running and walking.

There was one dude running the course with a stroller and based on him passing one of my friends, he was more than 5 minutes ahead of me when he finished. I have no idea how he got up those hills with a stroller.

None of the other racers stuck out really. The pack spread out fairly quickly. Hills have that effect.

It was a good race. Glad I did it. But I can’t wait to return to a regular course so I can gauge my progress better. Stupid hills.

-Q

#ihaterunning

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