Well, it's been about 10 years since I've run a 5K, so I thought Sat was a good day to do it again. The LDS student singles ward (for those of you unfamiliar with this terminology, it means a church group of single kids/adults from 18-31) I am working with was doing a fund raiser 5K for a couple of Sub for Santa families, and I couldn't opt out of this one.
I really don't like 5K's. The shorter the race, the faster I feel like I need to run, and I don't like to run "fast" if I don't have to. I ran 1(one) six minute mile on the treadmill earlier in the week to prepare for the big event, held at Sugarhouse Park. I also did a couple sets of jumping jacks.
My race day strategy to take it easy was two fold. 1) I would get up early and run Grandeur Peak before the race, which I did with Peter, and 2) I would don the lamest elf costume I could put together, which I also did. See photo below.
After an official pre-race Stretch with Santa (next to me in the picture, his Santa costume is as bad as my elf one) we toed the line and were off to the sound of a cap gun. Some eager beavers took off on a dead sprint, and I settled into a comfortable pace. After about 10 steps, one of those eager beavers snuck up from behind and caught my ankle sending me sprawling to the pavement. I was already self-conscious enough in my candy cane striped knee-highs, and then I had to tumble head over heels with bloody knees and hands.
I gathered my pride, and my elf hat, and got up to try again. I passed the Jingle Bell Jaunters on their 1 lap walk around the park, then tried to catch the speedsters out front. One by one they fell to Santa's Helper, and at the halfway point there were only two in front of me......... And that's how it stayed for the second half. I got closer and closer to the kid in front of me and with about 500 yards left I caught up. I panted out "good job", he asked how old I was (was it that obvious?), I answered "35" and that was all he needed to hear. I tried to put on a burst to pass him, but he wasn't about to let some old dude 20 years his senior beat him, so he slowly pulled away and crossed 5 feet in front of me. I'd like to say I let him pull away to give his ego a little boost, but the reality of it was that I was shot. My hamstrings were hurting, my quads were jelly and I had that lovely metallic, anaerobic taste in my mouth. My time was 18:39. Nothing to shout about, but it's my fastest 5K time. I don't know if that's something to be proud of or not.
The important part is that we all had a great time and raised a bunch of money for some needy families. Hopefully we can grow it a bit for next year. Put it on your calendars for the middle of November, and start planning your Santa costume. Ho Ho Ho.