At 8:30am this morning, I began a 5K road race. At 9am this morning, I was cursing my stupid legs for failing me. Yup, the 5K took me 27:42 to complete. That is an 8:56 per mile pace. What is incredibly scary is that I had an 8 min pace at the 2 mile mark. That means I ran the last mile in 11+ mins. A note to keep in mind is that I ran an 18 min 5K in high school and could run pretty even splits. Wow, time changes lots of things.
I'm going to fault my training for this, which involved running 2, 3, or 4 miles at a time and at 9-10 min pace 3 days a week. I wasn't pushing myself, and it showed, not in my cardiovasular system, but in my leg strength. My heart was fine, and I did not get any cramps. My legs were just dead tired at the 2 1/4 mile mark. It was like lifting bags of cement. This pissed me off to no end. As I finished, I got my picture taken and the staffer said "you didnt even sweat and your hair still looks great". I thought "don't remind me, I know I could have run faster, my legs just didn't cooperate, a-hole". I was upset, but I can't get down on myself as I looked at this as my 30 mins of cardio for the day. I did call my running guru, Eyeball. He gave me pointers on training for my next 5K, this fall, and it was a great talk. Much thanks to him for this race and for future races.
1. The half-marathon start was a spectacle to witness. There were 35,000 runners, and it took 45 mins or so for all to cross the starting line.
2. Lots of middle aged women that run 5Ks/half marathons are in good shape. They want to show how good of shape they are in as well. Lots of under armour tops and spandex.
3. Wow, moving 22 more lbs of muscle & 3 of fat (serious my body fat % is roughly the same as in HS) takes a lot more energy. That move up from 145 to 170 really makes a difference. Mayeb my legs were just surprised at the weight.
4. It is amazing what some people do with their kids. There was one guy who ran the 5K and practically dragged his kid along with him. At the point where I was dying, this guy grabbed his kid and hoisted him on his back and ran. He stayed ahead of me the entire way so it didn't slow him down. Amazing yet incredibly stupid. Get a sitter.
5. For all of the talk of people getting fatter in America, which I fully believe, there is also a segment that is doing more to stay in shape better than previous generations. I wonder fi this will show itself more in the next 25 years as boomers entire that stage of heart attacks, cancer, diabetes related deaths. Could we end up with early deaths for obese boomers, leaving behind an extremely fit elderly population? How will this affect when people retire, what activities they do, how they choose to live? More retirement communities better equip their grounds with things for these fit elderly folks to do besides golf and tennis. I work in life insurance, so I wonder how this will affect actuarial tables.
6. A crowd makes all the difference. There were many long, lonely stretches of road. Few people supporting runners for the 5K. Most were the volunteer staff. I feed off of that, and remember the great crowds from my HS races. They were inspiring. My school's cross country team truly was a special collection of people. In those years, the boys/girls squads were 30 a person, so we dwarfed other schools' squads.
7. Why do track and running shorts have to be so short? I used to wear spandex under my track shorts in HS. Why do people wear them as adults? I wore normal shorts today. Normal gym shorts that cover all of my junk. Why don't more people do this?
8. There's something beautiful about running. When you train by yourself, it's moments of great concentration or a cocoon to slip into from your normal life. I used to love to think of my toughest problems when I ran to keep my mind off of the actual running. It's therapeutic for me. Training partners can become great friends, and some of my best conversations have been on 5-8 mile runs with people I still call "friend" today 10-12 years later.
There will be another race, another time, another t-shirt to collect. This summer/fall, I will run better than the 27:42 of today.