Monday, March 02, 2009

The Monsoon-ish 5K

A Guns and Hoses 5K Race Report

Dee Dee and I had a busy weekend planned.  On the agenda was a fun 5K, refereeing a tournment Saturday and Sunday, two soccer games in Duluth, then reffing adult soccer on Sunday night.  Phew!  Unfortunately the weather for the weekend was not looking good.  I had started following it on Monday.  At that point, it called for a little rain Saturday, then cold and windy Sunday.  As the week moved along, it got progressively worse.  By Friday, it had changed to rain all night, changing to snow around noon, and then into Sunday as well.

We, quite frankly, didn't know what to expect.  We talked about it and decided to play it by ear.  I set the alarm clock for 6:30 AM.  The race was at Hobgood Park, one of my favorite stomping grounds and only two miles from the house.  I woke up off and on all night, listening to the heavy down pours and the wind.  Certainly, part of it was pre-race nerves and part of it was out of concern for the weather.  I was pretty sure, after waking up for the third time, that we were in for a pretty rough weekend.

The alarm clock went off with a buzz.  I shut it off and listened to the water cascading off the house.  I really wasn't sure how bad it was.  The run off from the house often masks the noise of the rain.  Dee Dee and I decided to go back to sleep until 7 AM.  It's a talent people.  When the alarm went off for the second time, I got out of bed and went downstairs.

Downstairs was cold and dark.  I made my way across the tile floor in the kitchen to the desktop computer and flipped on the power.  While waiting for it to boot up, I went and looked out the back door.  As expected, the run off from the broken gutter was a lot louder than the rain.  It was definitely raining.  It just wasn't as heavy as I suspected. To make sure, I went out on the back deck and checked... in my boxers.  LOL...  It was a bit cold!

Given that I had EXPERIENCE running in cold, wet weather,  I ran back inside, up the stairs and told Dee Dee to GET DRESSED!  We were running!  We went back downstairs together and had a bit of breakfast.  You guessed it!  Krispy Kreme donuts!!  The breakfast of running champions!!!

Just like that {snaps fingers}, we were pulling into the parking lot at Hobgood Park.  I was happy to see that there was quite a turn out, despite the nasty weather.  We arrived about 25 minutes before the start of the race.  I'm not one to sit in the car.  Dee Dee and I headed down to the concession stand to see what was going on.  Not much of anything, evidently.  We hung out underneath the overhang and tried not to freeze.  It wasn't so much the cold as it was the dampness.  A friend, who is a fireman and a former customer, saw us standing there and came over to keep us company.  With about fifteen minutes before race time, I took off on a loop around the softball fields.  I wanted to go at a hard enough pace to stress the lungs, but not hard enough to kill myself.  I decided, upon reaching the back side of the fields, to cut my run short as the side walks were flooded.  There would be time enough soon to get my feet wet.  I got a head start when I crossed the mushy grass back to the concession stand area.

At five minutes till race time, Dee Dee and I moved back to the parking lot.  We weren't sure which way the race was starting.  We decided to move back when we unexpectedly found ourselves at the front of the pack.  While waiting, Dee Dee noticed a friend of ours that we hadn't seen in years.  She is an awesome runner.  Dee Dee ran up to her and gave her a big hug.  This was a nice surprise.  Dee Dee barely had time to get back to me before the RD announced he was going to start the race.  He mumbled something about needing to find the starting pistol.  I laughed when he pulled a toy cap gun out of his pocket, complete with red muzzle.  The RD raised the pistol in the air and pulled the trigger.   The gun cracked and the runners were off.



We started out heading slightly up hill to the north in the parking lot.  I knew this route like the back of my hand, although I had never "officially" ran it.  Once we reached the end of the parking lot, the course was going to be downhill for the first .6 miles, then it would flatten out until the return route brought us back to the park.  My strategy was to take advantage of the downhill to gain time.  I sincerely doubted a negative split was in the cards this day.  I also wanted to do a run 3 minutes walk 1 minute strategy.

Taking advantage of the downhill, I ran through the first walk break.  When I reached the first mile marker, I was pleasantly surprised to see a sub-8 minute first mile.  I had glanced a few times at my Garmin to check my heart rate.  It was registering a bit above 170, which surprised me.  The effort didn't feel like 170s, but none the less, it was.  After another two-tenths of a mile or so, we made a right into the water treatment plant.  This was the area where I had seen that flock of turkeys last year.  I have lived in the neighborhood for over thirteen years, and I had never been down this road before.

Well, there wasn't much to see.  The good news, it was all flat.  Before we curved around to the left towards the buildings, the race peeps had set up a aid station.  I decided to catch it on the way back.  By now, I was taking my walk breaks religiously.  I was pushing myself pretty hard, but my most important goal was to have fun.  When I made the turn around, I felt that familiar twang on the outside of my left knee.  I decided to ignore it for the time being.

I arrived back at the aid station soon after my next scheduled walk break.  That was damn convenient.  I loved it.  I grabbed a cup of water and took my time.  The rain had stopped too.  I took off my Nike rain jacket and wadded it up in my hand.  I was sweating profusely.  To show my support for the "guns", I had worn my cotten, black, long sleeve t-shirt.  I actually started running again before my watch beeped.  Before I made the left out of the treatment plant, I saw Dee Dee coming up the road.  We smiled at each other.  She was doing fine.

The knee was starting to bother me more.  I focused and tried to figure out why it was hurting.  I realized that I was running with my left toe pointing more to the outside, rather than straight ahead.  I made an adjustment and noticed an almost immediate relief.  The knee didn't stop hurting.  It did stop getting worse.  Since the pain was dull, I decided I would just run through it and stop if it sharpened.

Left out of the treatment plant.  Back long the boulevard to the main road.  It was all up hill from here back to the park.  I was leap frogging some of the other runners.  I would pass them on my runs.  They would pass me on my walk breaks.  It became apparent, as we climbed the hill, that my strategy was a wee bit better.  I had more energy and powered up the hill a lot faster then they did.  I glanced down at my watch and saw a heart rate of 184 and laughed.  That was the highest number I had ever seen on my HRM.  I saw 184 once way back when I first started running.  The mileage read 2.62 miles as I neared the park.  I suddenly realized that there was more to this course then met the eye.

Sure enough.  We turned right back into the park then right again onto the running side walk.  We only went a couple of hundred yards before they shunted us off the path and onto a trail.  The trail went down hill then turned left towards the amphitheatre.  Eventually, we went back up the hill and onto the path once again.  The good news was, we by passed most of the flooded sidewalk.  From experience, I knew this side of the park was slightly up hill.  Once we reached the top of the clock, it was all downhill to the finish.  I tried to stay strong.

At high noon on the sun dial, I turned it on.  Surely, I had enough in the tank to sprint this last eighth of a mile or so.  A few of the other runners yelled encouragement as I passed them.

"Looking strong!", they said.

At nine o'clock, I made the left into the park.  I heard foot steps behind me and kicked it up, determined not to be passed.  The foot steps were getting louder.  With 25 feet to go, I heard the foot steps soften and surrender, accepting their place at the finish behind me.   The clock read 28:15 as I crossed the line.

I turned in my time, then went in search of water and food.  At the concession stand, I grabbed a bottle of water and a banana.  I stood by the finish line for 10 minutes or so, waiting for Dee Dee to finish.  She was smiling when she crossed the line, and I had a big smile for her too.  We chatted with our friend, who ran the 5K in 20 minutes, despite "pooping" out in the last mile or so, she said.  We hung around for the awards to make sure we didn't win anything.  You never know at these small races.  We didn't, but it really wasn't a big deal.

When we arrived back home, the boys were still sleeping.  Dee Dee and I made ourselves some breakfast and coffee, our just desserts for such a fine race performance.  The tournament I was to ref was cancelled.  So were Matthew's games and the adult games I was supposed to ref.  We ended up spending a nice quiet weekend at home, a fitting tribute to an otherwise dark, cold, wet, and dreary end of the week...

Wes

ORN:  3.11 miles, 28:15, 9:05 mmp, R3/W1

22 comments:

Marcy said...

Rain is not cold :P ;-)

Awwhhh fantastic job guys! I'm glad you guys had fun and got to see an old friend. All around sounds like a blast :-) Even with the cold :P

Kim said...

WES- AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!! fantastic race - and awesome 1st mile! :) way to get out there despite the elements!

aron said...

awesome job!!!! way to get out there in the sucky weather!

Calyx Meredith said...

Love the race director's gun! Yay for getting out in icky weather and having a great race together (and for getting to hang out with the whole family later.)

Chad in the AZ Desert said...

Krispy Kreme donuts before a race? Are you freaking kidding me? My stomach aches for you. Nice job with the race in the rain - but you need to fuel better than that. Ouch!

Renee said...

Good job on the race! I am impressed that you guys went in the weather! I am not sure I would have been that tough!

Carolina John said...

nice race! i would be overjoyed with a 28 min 5k. sounds like a fun and challenging course

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Nicely done in icky weather for a "fun" run. :-)

LBTEPA said...

That sounds like a perfect weekend - well done!

Missy said...

Way to suck it up and go, don't know if I woulda when I heard all that downpour. Saw your training zones on the right....hell, I can fart and be in zone 1, I swear!

Darrell said...

Sounds like a fun event. So who eventually won - the guns or the hoses?

And just how do these Krispy Kreme things end up in your kitchen anyway?

Michelle said...

Nice job WES!!!

Really beautiful!!!

Keep it going OK???

Gotta Run said...

Very nice!! Don't you love how you can leave the house, race, and then return home and your kids are still asleep. I always find that funny. That makes us HARDCORE parents... but in a nice way.

Smithposts said...

Nice job on the race! As always, your play by play of the effort is fun to read.

triguyjt said...

way to suck it up.....of course with krispy kremes fuelling you...you had to get in a great effort...!!

Joe said...

Dude, you can sure capture a ton of details on a 5K race!! What a hoot!! Glad you made it through the rain and all. Also glad the soccer was cancelled...boy, there are memories of long weekends in the rain, on the diagonal.

Enjoy your week!

Jess said...

Sounds like you had a really fun time with that race! Hope your knee is feeling better today.

Stef said...

Nice job Wes! That rain sounded not fun at first but you guys made it fun! Wonderful way to start an otherwise relaxing weekend eh?

Congrats!

Makita said...

Awesome race! Way to build the suspense, too, in your race report! Soccer games canceled... we know who the strong athletes are... Runners! :D

Jess said...

Great job, Wes!

Juls said...

Regarding the 1st comment on your list: Cold is a relative turn and I suspect that your cold is colder than my cold. That's okay with me.

Great Job Wes! I love to hear people say "Looking strong" and stuff like that. It's so motivating.

akshaye said...

Wow.. nice run in that crappy weather!