2012/11/22 – Turkey Trot 5k

Location:

Houston, Texas, Galleria Area.

What it is:

A 5km (3.1 mile) running race.

Category:

Age 35 – 39 Male

Official Results:

Currently unknown.  But by my Garmin it was 22:48.

Experience:

My first running race in a really long time.  The only thing I was hoping for was to complete this race in under 24 minutes.  I guess I achieved that!

We got there early to find parking and figure out what we were doing.  I was doing the 5k, and most of the people I knew that were there were doing the 10k race.  The 10k people started at 7:30am, whilst us 5k’ers started at 8am.  We watched the 10k start and looked for the various people we knew were in it, and didn’t actually see anyone!  There was a lot of people running!  After they all went through it was time for me to line up and get ready for my little jog.

I found my way to the fenced in area and a gap where I could get onto the road.  But I was quite a ways back from the front, not normally an issue I was thinking.  Until I realized that a lot of the people in front of me were walkers and non-competitive people who weren’t getting timed. This was going to be a bit of an issue, and no way to really start pushing my way up front since there was so many people packed in there like sardines in a tin!

The gun goes off, and we all … Stand around waiting for everyone else in front of us to slowly walk to the start line and continue their walk.  As soon as I hit the start, I started my watch and started looking for a path through the people so I could start running.  A couple of times I thought to myself, I could just go straight, and plow over top of these smaller people, but the nice guy that I am, started to weave back and forth trying to dodge them instead.

With all that weaving and dodging, I was starting to worry I was using up too much energy too soon, but still had quite a few people to get through, so I continued on.  It was only a 3 mile run, I could keep it up.  I had a nice goal of trying to run under 24 minutes, which meant sub 8 minute miles for the three.  I can do that even if I waste a bunch of energy now.

The first mile ticked off and I looked down and the watch told me I had done that first mile in 7:43, GREAT!  I’m on target for my goal even after all that people dodging!  The crowds were starting to thin and so I could finally find my own groove and just go.

At this point, I should mention that two days ago, I just bought some brand new shoes for running as my last pair I had caused my two index toes to turn black.  Not just the nail but the whole nail, front and bottom.  Blood blistered and bruised.  Those shoes no longer fit so I needed something ASAP!  I went to the store and the gentleman there was very patient with me as we went through Brooks, Nike, Adidas, Newton, and a couple other I don’t remember.  Trying different models between each of the different brands.  Finally I found some that worked for me.  Newton Speed Racers.  They are short distance racing shoes, that have very little sole and no drop between heel and forefoot.  I didn’t set out for a minimalist shoe, but something bigger with a bigger toe box and this shoe was the only one that didn’t hurt my feet, which was something since my feet were already hurting!

Back to the race in my shiny new shoes, we hit some wet pavement at which point I found out that my new shoes, are VERY slippery in the wet! I started to slide a bit which was a complete shock!  But, I adjusted my running (I’m quite use to running on ice from back home, so not a huge deal, just wasn’t expecting it!) and didn’t have too much problem with that from there on.

Just before my mile two, I notice a friend who was doing the 10k, we just passed his 5 mile marker and my 2 mile marker was just few yards ahead.  I thought that was kind of neat catching up to him like that, because of how the course was.  I hollered out to him and he hollered back (found out afterwards he had himself a stellar race too! Great Job Sir!)  and continued on.  Mile 2 beeped at me, and I glance down at the Garmin. Wait. What? 7:08? Really? I hadn’t felt like I was running that hard really, but I will go with it!

I was starting to feel the run now.  The speed was catching up to me, and the energy expended at the start dodging the people.  My natural instinct took over from the tiring. Speed Up.  You are getting tired so speed up so you maintain the speed you were running!  Yup, that’s how I think and react to tired in a race.  The last mile felt quite rough.  I was trying to maintain whatever speed I had, and continue along.  I knew I was no more than 8 minutes to the finish. I knew I could maintain whatever it was I was doing for at least that long.  I would occasionally glance down at the watch, and see that my current speed started with a 7, and that was good enough, as long as it stayed there I was fine.

I could see the finish now, and I heard my watch go off for mile 3. I didn’t look at it.  I knew I had one tenth of a mile left to finish this race.  My body started to scream stop, my mind told the body to quiet down that it was almost over and then we could stop and rest for a nice long period.  I hit the finish line and stopped my watch.  I glanced down at the damage.  22:48. Beat my goal by over a minute!  Holy Crap! I was starting to cough up a lung at this point, but I was ecstatic at my run!

That’s two awesome runs in a row for me.  I’ve never had that happen before, at least not this good.  And with the plans I have coming up in the future for my training, it’s only going to get better.  Definitely looking forward to that!

Multimedia:

Steve at the finish

Steve at the finish looking at his stupid Garmin.

Final Thoughts:

Again, a second good run… No, a second awesome run in a row.  I’m just amazed at myself right now and how far I have come in the last year again.  Going from some okay runs, to injuring my hamstring pretty bad, to coming back stronger and now almost faster than I was a couple years ago when I was at my peak before slacking off.

If I can stay healthy and maintain my training consistently, what will happen?  I am very much excited to find out!

 

 

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