Monday, June 22, 2015

Med City 5k: Race Report

First the good news: I finished third overall, and first in my age group. When I returned to running back in 2009, I would have been happy with my time of 17:34, and thrilled to have finished in the top three.

This year, however, I was less than thrilled. After running a personal best in the road mile, I still had my sights set on a fast time at the Med City 5k.

Unfortunately, I did not run a smart race. My secret goal of breaking the course record and running under 16:15 had me pretty hyped up. Before the start of the race, I talked to several runners, and none of them was planning on running faster than 17 minutes.

The tallest of these supposedly seventeen minute 5k runners, a tall, college-aged looking runner with a white singlet, looked suitable for drafting behind, so I decided I'd run behind him.

When the air horn blew to start the race, I quickly moved behind the tall, white-singlet guy. In a matter of seconds, I misjudged his speed, and clipped his back foot. "Sorry," I said, though I wasn't really sorry. If you're going to run in the front, you'd better be running fast right away.

That clip made me think there was no reason to run behind him, so I took off. The first mile was down hill, and as I ran by the mile marker I looked down at my watch... 4:55, 4:56, 4:57. Uh oh. The white singlet dude soon came up behind me. "Run with me for a while," I said. "You can draft, but not too long."

At mile 1.5, the taste of copper came into the back of my throat--a possible sign of acidosis (read the article about metallic tastes from Outside Online). With half the race left, a chance at 16:15 was over for me.

By the time I reached the final straightaway to the finish, two runners had already passed me; my legs where heavy and my lungs on fire. I walked the last five feet to the finish line, secure in third and angry at myself for running such an unintelligent race. My father-in-law and mother-in-law had come out to watch me. "Nice job," said Jeff. "Third place overall."

2012 Med City 5k with Jeff and Sherry
 I was thankful that Jeff and Sherry had come out to watch me, despite the fact that Sherry wasn't feeling well. I thanked them, and then walked over to my buddy, Nate. I let him know the idiocy of my first mile and asked him to tell me how stupid I'd run.

"Well," he said, laughing. "You know you ran a dumb race. You don't need me to tell you."

I lied down on the grass several times, leaned over the bridge above the Zumbro River, hoping my food wouldn't make an appearance (it did not), and finally managed to feel well enough to stagger to the awards. 

Trying to be gracious
 Later, Nate and I went to a bar and grill in downtown Rochester to share some flatbread pizzas, watch the Royals play the Cardinals, and talk running, careers, and life.

2012 Securian Half Marathon with Nate
Upon arriving back at the in-laws, I coughed up phlegm and my nose began gushing blood. The humidity and poor air quality in downtown Rochester made for some sore lungs. The next Monday I would visit urgent care. The doctor said the infection was mostly high in my lungs, and that I should be able to clear it after a couple days (I did).

They'll be other races, other runs, and better days. I can be happy with a 17:34 and a third place finish.

Happy Running!

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