Monday, June 4, 2012
Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?
So, today I've been hobbling around. I'm a little embarrassed by that fact, as my wife seems to feel sorry for me. But it's my fault. I was determined to do a 5K yesterday despite struggling this past week with some plantar fasciitis. I was doing a lot better, and didn't really have any pain in the foot yesterday morning. Last night and today are a different story. Ahh, but back to the race. It's a local 5K/10K in Westlake Village supporting an organization called Senior Concerns, which provides service for seniors in the area. I chose to do the 5K, because I only wanted to suffer for about 21-22 minutes. In fact, I really wanted to see how hard and how fast I could go. It was about 65 degrees, but it was humid out. I ran the course for my warm up, going pretty easy, with four forty-five second efforts fast towards the end. I sweated a ton and decided that I wasn't going to wear a hat, as all it seemed to be doing was keeping the heat in. I seeded myself at the front, which was good, as it turned out that over 650 people were doing the 5K (about 250 men, and over 400 women). I was actually a little hemmed in at the beginning, but quickly made my way out, letting all the young people do their 100-200 yard sprints. I really focused in on keeping a fast pace and breathing every 3rd step. One thing was odd today, it almost felt easier to run fast than it did to do my slower warmup! I didn't wear any electronics, so was just going by feel. Through the first mile, only a few people passed me, and I found myself passing the folks who went out too fast. The effort started to get harder, but unlike some of my past 5K's, I didn't feel like I was slowing down as I started the second mile. In fact, when I got to the turnaround, I was still feeling fairly solid, though it was definitely getting harder! I passed a few more people and by the time I got to the 2nd mile marker, I realized that my breathing had started to pick up and was just now getting closer to every 2nd step. I passed a couple of more people and then noticed that I was keeping pace with the woman in front of me. There was a guy behind me, I pushed a little, he stayed with me, I was starting to hurt, but I knew that I was getting to a slight downhill just before turning to the uphill finish. The guy behind me passed me, and I didn't feel like I had another gear. As I turned the corner to the uphill finish, I felt like I was giving it all I had, but didn't really have a "kick". I did see the clock as I approached the finish line, and knew that I was going to be right around 21 minutes. I glanced back and there wasn't anyone close. My finish time was 21:06. This was my fastest 5K in the past few years. It was probably the best I could have done. I always over analyze races, and my over analysis of this one would suggest that maybe, just maybe, I had 20-30 seconds in me. However, I can't really be sure. I feel like I slowed a bit over the last mile, but I think I really nailed the pace/effort over the first two miles. Afterwards, I ate and drank and then went to look at the results. Lo and behold, I was first in my age group! Of note, there were two 55+ guys who beat me:). That said, I was still about 24th amongst the men, and only 4 women beat me. It was a very solid result. I waited for the awards ceremony, this may have been the first time I'd ever received a 1st place AG award in a running race. Standing around was probably not good for my plantar fasciitis, which reared its head later in the day. This morning, I hobbled around and have been hobbling a lot. But, I do have that medal! I guess the Juice is Worth the Squeeze after all.