Sunday, November 18, 2012

Give a 5K for Diabetes Race Recap

I don't have pics of the race. I'm sorry.  As you will see below, this was the craziest 5K I have ever run. OK, it's the second 5K I have ever run but it is still the craziest by far. If I learned my lesson correctly, it will be the craziest race for a very long time.

On the way home, I managed to take this nice pic of San Juan harbor but that's it.

So the race was set to start at 5pm. I'm not going to get into the details but I was very late. Suffice it to say, it was all my own fault. I drove as fast as I could to San Juan and found myself in a traffic jam near the race. I decided to not wait it out and parked pretty far away from the race. It was 15 minutes before the start. I walked/ran as fast as I could to the park and worked up a pretty good sweat. When I got to the registration table they were putting everything away! I quickly showed my form and the lady begrudgingly looked for my bib. I apologized a bunch of times but she just told me to run to the start line because they were starting.

There I was, already panting, with my phone, headphones, race shirt, race info envelope, race chip and car keys all in my hands. I left the envelope stashed in some corner thinking I would go back for it. (I didn't) I joined the crowd of races and as soon as I found a place to stand the gun went off. As the runners in the front started I got down and put on the racing chip and started walking to the starting line while putting on my bib but it was too late. Turns out I didn't put my racing chip right and was right at the end of my lace about to fall off. There was no time. I "sewed" the lace to the part tied to the shoe and hoped it didn't fall off. I barely started RunKeeper right at the start line, put on my headphones and started my playlist. I had my arm band in my pocket but that was not gonna happen. I put the phone there as well. I tried once again to put on my bib.

Did I mention all this happened while I (and everyone else)was running?

30 seconds after putting the bib on,  It fell off on one side. This was just too crazy. I stopped running and while walking got myself together. Put the bib on right (sort of), put the keys on one pocket, the phone on the other and the race shirt... well there was no other way. I carried that the entire race. I got going once again.

It was a tough race with a particularly challenging hill after the first mile marker. In all the commotion I, of course darted off way too fast but I didn't have time to notice. Run Keeper tells the story: I ran the first mile in 13:30. Impressive, but WAY faster than I'm used to. The fastest mile I have recorded since I started running. After a start like that, you can only go one way. Down. The next two miles I ran in 15:27 and 15:28 with a mad dash to the finish on the last .1 mile. Total time: 47:30. I finished 551 out of 1,400 runners

There was much improvement from my first 5K but it sure could have been much better. If I could just pace myself better at the beginning, I could surely finish stronger. But after starting so strong I was just too tired. With a mile to go, a lady in her 70's passed me. She was power walking. Enough said.

I did run the whole thing as opposed to the previous race so I'm very proud that despite my fast start I was able to not stop. 

So lesson learned. It's one of the most basic of axioms in racing etiquette: Show up on time! Even with that, I had tons of fun. At the same time I have to face the facts: I have to take it easy. I'm slow. It's a fact. People (a lot of them) are gonna pass me. I have to deal with that. But it will get better. I know it will. It's the competitive spirit that drives you to improve and I want to improve. 

Next stop? In 2 weeks I run the Castaway Cay 5K. The race that got me into running. Can't wait!

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