October 14, 2013 by Amy B
My last “official” 5K on record was the Ann Arbor Turkey Trot back in 2003.
The only reason I signed up for the 5K was because it was part of the “Iron Turkey” where you run the 5K and the 10K. I ran the 5K with my dad, then ran the second race immediately following. It was the farthest I’d ever run in my life at one time. This was before the crazy idea of a marathon had even been crossed my mind.
32:27. Yeah, not the greatest time, but my father, who was a stellar high school/college athlete/runner, was right on the verge of some debilitating back/spine problems that still torment him today. It was, unfortunately, the last time I ran with my dad, an opportunity I did not take advantage of nearly enough.
It’s not that I hate the 5K distance. My go-to route near home is a 5K loop. But when it comes to plunking down cash for an event, along with transporting myself there and going through all the rigamarole associated with running races, most of the time, nothing less than a 10K seems worth the effort.
There was no question, however, that I’d be running the Runningchunk.com 5K (or RC5K, as it is now affectionally abbreviated), since it was being sponsored by Team /var/run and, well, my teammates would never let me hear the end of it if I didn’t do it.
The run down to the race start was mostly uneventful, though I turned my ankles a few times on some ruts on the leave-covered trail. Verdict: Pure Flows are shit on the trial. I would have changed into my trail shoes, but whining children forced me to leave the house hurriedly.
Despite the unsure footfalls for the 3.8ish run, I had some wonderful fall foliage to accompany me, and since this will probably be the last time I run on the trails (hunting season), I tried to enjoy it.
Last year’s 5k drew a much smaller crowd. But this year, the cool kids showed up, and by cool, I mean this little adorable munchkin, Pedro.
I had no intention of trying to run this race fast, especially after I got down to the park. I wasn’t too tired from my run down, but I’d turned my ankles over twice, was pretty sweaty, and didn’t think I had many quality miles in me.
We started out at the beginning – I ran with three other women and we kept the lead for about half a mile before we were overtaken by guy with the running stroller (Dave), who was pushing his 13 mo old son. It didn’t take him long to establish a sizeable lead, which made the idea of hanging on to the pace we were keeping (first mile was 9:11) pretty tough. Nancy had to drop due to injury, and after awhile it was just me and another coworker, Deidre.
I kept waiting for Deidre to drop, but she hung in there. I told myself I’d have to suck it up as long as she was. Unfortunately, she did all the way until the end. Miles 2,3, and .1 were 9:45, 8:34 and 7:47.
8:34? 7:47? What the fuck?
Garmin had us finishing in 28:06, which is a 5K PR for me. I’m pretty happy, considering I was running on legs that were post-marathon less than a week and a “warmup” 3.8 miles that morning.
Maybe I should’ve driven to the race and tried to race it?
Whatever. It was still a blast and I got to try out the new slo-mo function on my iPhone.
Afterward I was able to enjoy a beverage while waiting for my ride. Prizes were handed out, a few laughs were had during the “awards” ceremony,
and G ran a victory lap around the bar with a rucksack.
I’ve run more races this year than usual. In the past, I shied away from events during marathon training because I didn’t want to deviate from the schedule. I let myself be flexible this year and ran some really fun and challenging races. I’ve had more fun running this year than any other that I can recall.
Marathon season is over for me, and I’ll be logging a lot less miles, but shit like this is a blast. I can’t wait for the next runningchunk.com event.
Even if Old Style is the unofficial beer.