Legging It Out

I was pleased with my race this morning, even though it didn’t go quite as planned. I finished in 20:12 (just off my goal time of twenty minutes, but 1:56 faster than last year), good for fourteenth place in the 140-man field and first in my 14-man age group. Still, I could have run a smarter, better, and faster race if I had handled a couple errors better.

The first big error was the race organizers’ – they didn’t tell those of us at the 5k starting line (a couple blocks away from the starting line for the 15k race) when to expect the gun, so we were just milling around when there was a bang and a puff of smoke down the block. Here was the second error, mine: I went off way too fast, leading the race for the first 500 meters. The only good that came of this was being in front of all the tweens and teenagers who run like oxen, clogging up the road over the first mile. Anyhow, I led through the first corner, and then started giving up places as the real racers caught up to me and the front of the 5k field hit the back of the 15k field.

From there, I was pretty much in survival mode, with my heart rate averaging about 179 (something like 95% of my maximum – which I nearly reached in the last sprint) and my legs feeling increasingly cooked. One by one, other men passed me, with the last one – an old guy! with gray hair! and colossal thighs! – going by just before the two-mile mark. I tried to latch on to each one, but each time, my legs said, “WTF, dude! No way.” I just couldn’t overcome the lactate built up during my stupid all-out start.

Thankfully, the course rescued me. The last third is flat and then gradually downhill to the finish line, helping me hold my position to the finishing chute and even look sorta fast there at the end. (Shannon took this shot just about when I heard Julia cheering for me.)

Finishing the Defeat of Jesse James Days 5k
Finishing the Defeat of Jesse James Days 5k

4 thoughts on “Legging It Out”

  1. Whoo hoo!!
    For a second, it looked like you were wearing high top converse and I was going to suggest that THAT had something to do with the slow race.

    Me? I couldn’t run around the block so I applaud you.

  2. I consider it a major victory that you ran past Hogan Bros. without stopping in for a hoagie. 😉

    Well done, sir!

  3. Heckuva good race, despite the pacing problems. You would have been 103rd in the boys’ varsity race at the high school meet in Faribault on Friday. Nice that you can still run like a high school kid.

  4. Not even the top 100?!?! That’s pathetic. So much for my no-Hogans training regime.

    At least I don’t have to go to prom, or harry my parents for keys to the car. They’re, like, totally, you know.

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