On July 4th, I completed one of my goals for 2011. The 3rd 5K was in the bag!
This is a race that I had been fairly familiar with in the past. Years ago, the wife and I ran the 8K race with my Dad. We were living in Wisconsin at the time and had trained and felt pretty good about surviving the run. What we didn’t plan for was the humidity. In Wisconsin, there isn’t the humidity that Iowa can bring. And on July 4th of that year, it brought the PAIN!!! Mid 70s for a start with 97% humidity. Imagine running 5 miles while being water boarded. Not to mention my dad gave my wife and I a senior citizen ass kicking. Not only did he finish before us, he had time to get food for himself and then go back for some recovery food for us once we finished. So yeah, I pretty much swore off the 8K race for the rest of my life unless a pack a rabid dogs were chasing me. And even then, I think I’d take my chances with the dogs.
So, the 8K was out for me. The only reason why I entered this thing was that my wife had entered the 8K before her Dam to Dam race to keep her running. She knew it would be easy to just take it easy for a few months and eventually fall off the wagon completely so adding this to her schedule before hand would keep her running. Since they also have a 5K, I thought what the hell, let’s kill 2 birds with one stone.
Race day was actually quite pleasant for July 4th in CR. Lower humidity and mid 60s for the start. The 8K started at 7 AM while the 5K started at 8:15 though I don’t think we got off until 8:30. The coarse was different this year and I have to say, it sucked. We were on some back road due to construction on 2nd avenue. We got to see the sites of the dump (affectionately known as Mount Trashmore) and some of the stagnant back waters of the Cedar River. Sure it was shady for most of the coarse, but there were very few people down to watch due to the shitty coarse, and the road conditions were less than ideal. If you ran in the middle of the road is was alight, the edges were rough and pot hole filled.
My race got off to a FAST start. Too fast if you ask me. I ran the first mile in 7:00 flat. That is WAAAAY faster than I have gone at any other point this year. A week ago I pulled a 7:35 average for 3 miles and I thought if I could do between 7:30 and 8 I would be super pumped with my time. My main goal was to get in under 25 minutes. Starting at 7 for the first mile while great, was going to prove disasterous if I kept going at that pace. So the second mile I backed off the throttle and ran that in around an 8 – 8:15. Still at a good clip, but not at the break neck speed as before. And it paid off. The last mile had a slight gradual grade to it. Nothing that would make you think its a hill, but on mile 3 and the sun had come out, it was a bit grueling. But once we were over that, it was down hill and flat to the finish.
My official chip time was 24:01 with a 7:45 pace. 24:05 was the non chip time and a 2+ minute improvement over my Dam to Dam time a month earlier. The biggest surprise for me was where I finished. I was 53rd over all which was nice to see, but number 8 in my age group! Holy shit! I’ll take a top 10 AG finish any day. Not bad for a guy that sits on his ass 9 hours of the day in front of a computer screen. The big boss also did pretty good setting a person record for herself and beating a previous 8K mark by 3 minutes!
So, my goal is complete, what next? Well, I did this mainly to keep myself in a certain physical shape. And I think I like the 5K distance. I might try a few 8Ks in the future, but I want to get at least 1 – 2 more races in at the 5K distance still this year.