Thursday, November 10, 2011

Roane County "Run for your Health" 5k report

I really didn't hype this race or anything on Facebook or Twitter like I did when I went to run in the Coalfield 5k or when I ran the Man Run with the kiddo. Maybe it was because I wanted to make sure I met my goal so I didn't want to jinx it by talking it up. More than likely it's just been the fact that we've been so busy with doctors appointments twice a week, baby shower, nesting, etc. etc. With all that's been going on, we really haven't had a whole lot of time to do much in the way of the blog and because of that, the social network aspects of the blog and our lives in general have "suffered?".

Well I don't know that that is totally a bad thing, you know not spending the majority of our time on Facebook, Twitter, Google +.... you get the drift. After all, we are outdoor bloggers and Robin's been on to me for quite sometime about this social networking addiction I have. Something along the lines of, "people will see right through you if all you do is spend time on Twitter and Facebook. How can you enjoy the outdoors like you blog about if you are consumed?" Yes, the lesson is definitely being learned. Because I've not put so much time in front of the computer, I can tell a difference in myself and in the relationship with the family. I'm more present and I can tell they like it.

I supposed I've gotten off on a tangent and should reel this thing back in before it completely takes off in a totally different direction. What was this post about again? Oh yeah, so I hadn't really talked much about the race I ran last weekend. Another 5k, the Roane County "Run for your Health" 5k. I'm really enjoying running the 5k distance at the moment as I work myself back up to where I was with running over 5 years ago. This weekend showed me that I am slowly making positive progress. My PR back in 2005 was a 26:02 when I ran the Race for the Cure. This weekend my goal initially was to run sub 28 with an additional goal of running a 27:30 or less. I had been training all month since the Coalfield 5K, running 3 times a week most weeks. The training runs were never more than the 5k distance, I know I eventually need to get to a point where I can run 4-5 miles at a time in order to really bring those times down.

During my taper week, (that's the week leading up to the race) I was looking at my times from my training and realized that 27:30 was a bit ambitious. You know me, always the ambitious one (Robin has many complaints about me always trying to do more than humanly possible in a given day's time). So I decided I would just stick to a goal of running a sub 28:00 race.

The course for the most part was flat. It was a typical out and back course, starting at Fort Southwest Point Park's entrance and going downhill right from the start and running alongside the scenic Clinch River. Unfortunately, no one really got to see how scenic it was because the fog was a thick soup even at the 9:00am start time. Of course, having the downhill in the beginning meant that it would be an uphill for the finish and let me tell you what, that uphill took all the wind out of my sails. The race, until half way up the hill, was going wonderfully. I felt great, the pace I set for myself was good, I was passing a few runners here and there. I hit the turn around point in just over 13 minutes so I knew I was on a 27 minute + pace and I felt very good about that. I was cruising right along when the uphill came. I started feeling it. Prior to the uphill, I was on the heels of a youngster (according to the results he is a 17yo). Just before the uphill started an older gent ran passed me and caught up with the youngster and kept pace with him to the finish line. As I was cresting the uphill, I was gassed but I couldn't quit. 200 yards or more from the finish, I had what sounded like a freight train pass me sucking and blowing wind as hard as I was but in a hard core sprint for the finish. There was nothing I could do but try to hang on his coat tails.

I crossed the finish line just seconds behind the guy who'd just passed me and in a shade that Robin said was almost as green as my running shirt. As I approached her snapping my picture, I could only mutter out the following: "I think I'm going to throw up" and just kept walking past her looking for a good spot to hurl. Luckily, as I kept walking, the urge subsided and we walked to the car to get my Gatorade. The effort was grand on my part and my official finishing time was 27:43, just over a minute faster than my last 5k and not too far of my original goal of 27:30. I was definitely pleased with the result even after finding out that the bloke  who passed me at the end pushed me out of a 3rd place finish in our age group. Actually even if I did manage to beat him across the finish line, I think he still would have had me beat according to the chip time because he started off behind when the race started.

What are the plans now? Well, with Dinah less than 5 weeks away from gracing us with her presence, the plan is to maintain what I've built up to. I've been taking it easy this week to let my leg rest and heal up as I was having some minor soreness in my shins. After this I'll likely run once or twice a week if I can find a good time to do it with the time change and all. I might just have to pull the old "dread" mill up to the garage and give it a go again. As for races? Well I don't have anything planned and likely won't until a couple of months after Dinah is here. We will need to time to get used to all the new routine changes and I want to be there for Robin. To assist and help where I can with feedings and being a dad in general. I would say by March, we will have everything all figured out and some good routines established to a point to where I can set my sights on another race, until then it's all about enjoying the new experiences we are soon to have.

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

The Race Course for those interested: