The Duke City was my 2nd 5k run, back in 2005. At the time I did it I had done one 5k and one sprint triathlon. Awwww. Yeah. I know. I was aDORable then. Here's a link to that short, perfunctory report back in 2005. I can't find my time, but I think it was 38 minutes and some change.
I mentioned earlier this week how bitter I was at doing a 5k and passing up a perfectly good half marathon, but it was by direction of my coach, and I don't argue with my coach because so far, everything he's done has worked.
So. Baboo, eh, I mean Coach, headed out on the marathon course, and the rest of us lined up for the 5K. Although most people milled around and didn't seem to know what to do, I set myself with the 9 minute pace crowd, just for fun. My PR up to this point was a 9:28 minute pace, and I hoped to beat that. I fantasized about geting a 9 minute pace.
And we were off! I headed out at a good clip, and refused to look at my Garmin. I just wanted to run as well as I could. I had some good tunes on my ipod that I repeated over and over: Vida la Vida, Freedom 90, Tusk, and some others. The couse is perfectly flat, the roads completely closed. I was enjoying this run.
Dudes. Viva La Vida is like, the best running song ever.
About the end of mile 1, I caught up with a guy with longish grey hair that was running a pretty good pace. I stuck with him for about 50 yards, and then thought, I wonder if I can run faster? I sped up my foot turnover, and cruised ahead of him, looking for another target, and found one, a tall, easy-to-spot chick wearing fake (well, obviously) antennas. I settled in behind her, trying to keep up with her, which wasn't easy. About this time I caught myself in a sigh. Which meant, of course, that I wasn't running hard enough. But that was okay. I felt good.
It was a good cold morning for a run, windless, no real sun yet, it had just come up, and a nice flat course, and and--oh, hey, there's long-grey-haired guy again! I must be slowing down. But then, oddly enough, he pulled a head of me, and settled out, staying just ahead of me. I waited to see what he would do; would he speed up? Nope, he just stayed there.
Huh. So, I sped up a little, and passed him again, just to see if I could. I maintained my speed and enjoyed myself, running along, still enjoying myself. I'd passed the turnaround and was headed back on the course. I felt good. I thought that maybe my sister-in-law and my neice and nephew *might* be out watching, since we were running through their neighborhood, so to put on a good show, I squared my shoulders, lifted my head, and sped up some.
At this point I was headed back down Central, aka Route 66, and could see the 5k walkers who were headed out - some where clearly race-walking, while others were walking at a brisk pace, and my mind wandered--how long will it take to finish this at a good brisk walk? and--jeebus, there he was AGAIN, long-grey-haired guy! He cruised past me, and then settled back, staying just ahead of me.
I was beginning to take this personally. Could it be? Could it be that in a large, city 5K he had determined that for whatever reason, he couldn't stand to be passed by me? Let's find out.
So I sped up, and passed him again, this time I was starting to breathe heavily. I sped up about as much as I could stand, and left him behind, and this time waited a while before settled back in my pace again. Still feeling good. Approaching the last turn.
I could see the finish line ahead of me, less than a quarter mile, and I could feel myself smiling, because I felt good about this run. At the same time, there was a girl in a red shirt just ahead of me that I had given up on passing. She was too fast. The girl with the antenna was long gone. Way ahead of me. I couldn't possibly pass her. I knew I couldn't run any faster at this point.
Except that, well, just then, there he was again! Grey-long-haired guy, breathing hard, passing me again, and he stopped accelerating just ahead of me like he'd done areadly several times.
I was thinking, really? Really? It's 2010 and you have to stay ahead of a woman? Dude, why me? What the #uck is your problem?
And then I thought, well, why not me? At the time time, as we came into the finish, I just thought, to hell with this. The last 100 yards or so I lengthened my stride and ran like hell, passing him and the girl in the red shirt quickly, and kept accelerating until I finished.
(At some point during this lap Garmin says I hit a 5:29 pace)
I finished, got my finisher's pin, and then wandered about for a while before heading out for a nap and a shower - then I came back to find Coach Sweet Baboo, who did his marathon in 3:47.
Things I noticed doing this race:
- Gradually, the people I pass seemed to be getting smaller.
- 5K runs are just plain fun!
- I've never finished in the middle of the pack before. It's crowded there.
- No matter how fast you are, it still feels hard. You just get to finish a little faster.
- People aren't as chatty and friendly in that part of the pack. They're all busy trying to breathe, I guess.
- When so inspired, you can almost always go faster than you think you can.
- No matter how fast you are, there's some idiot man who can't stand to be chicked