I completed the 5K race on Saturday, as planned. It was 31 degrees when I climbed out of bed, and only a few degrees warmer at race time. One hundred eleven people braved the cold and showed up.
The course was on the cart paths of a golf course. The first two miles were somewhat rolling, but no major climbs. I crossed the two-mile marker at around twenty-seven minutes. Not on track for my sub-40 finish goal, but respectable. Guess where the bastards hid all the monster hills. Yep, the last three quarters of a mile. At one point, my baby steps were so short and my breathing so ragged that I thought I was going to have to slow to a walk. But I didn’t.
I finished. I ran every step. My official time was 43:17, which put me 91st out of the one hundred eleven. So, mission accomplished. I didn’t come in last. Enjoy the video of my finish:
There is an interesting side note to the story. Somewhere early in the third mile, I caught up with this cute, thick for a runner, thirty-something lady who, at that moment was speed walking only slightly slower than I was running. But she was slower, and as much as I enjoyed the view, I passed her. A couple minutes later, she’d transitioned to a run and passed me. Then slowed to a walk shortly after.
We danced that dance several times before she eventually fell behind. As I was catching my breath after finishing, she came up to me and thanked me for being an inspiration to her to keep going. Me. An inspiration. At an athletic event. Go figure. I guess my advanced age and my labored breathing indicated that I’m more comfortable on the sofa.
I’ve already entered my next race. It promises to be a flat, straight course, so I really should be well below forty minutes finishing this one. It’s on Sunday, 23 April. My first day of preparation (today) saw both a success and a failure. My calves started screaming during my warm-up walk, and refused to back off as I ran. So, I stopped after a mile. That was the failure. The success was my time for that mile: 12:46. Slow, but a personal best, by a whole second.