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Feet Meet 2006 - Run5k

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Crystal Lake, Illinois
United States
54F / 12C
Total Time = 8h 30m
Overall Rank = 6/104
Age Group = M30-39
Age Group Rank = 1/15
Pre-race routine:

Got up around 3:30am and took allergy medicine so it would be in full effect for the race. Got up again at 6am. I saw that it was pouring rain outside and I was bummed. I didn't really care for my own race, but we talked about it last night and my 6 y.o. son Jack didn't want to do his 1 mi. run if it was raining. I decided to let him sleep in. I ate 2 bananas on the way to Dunkin Donuts to pick up Mama's Sunday morning treat. Drove past the run site on the way home and they were getting set up. I didn't really have any travel to worry about for this race as it was .3 mi. from my house (sponsored by my son's school). Got home, checked in with the wife, and got ready to leave. Put on race number, grabbed water bottle and rain coat and jogged to the school. Still raining hard. 54 degrees.
Event warmup:

Watched the 1 mi. run go off first. There were more kids there than I thought there would be. I had a lot of fun cheering them into the finish. The first kid was 8th grade and he ran a 6:30 mi. which was pretty impressive. It was inspiring to see these little kids struggling to the finish line. It didn't matter if they were fast or slow, they were all trying and hurting. Guess there's a lesson there, eh? About 15 min. before my race I headed to the gym to stretch the old achilles for a bit. While in the gym I overhear a guy who looks like a solid runner talking to friends. His name is Walter and he's telling them about the 30 mi. endurance run he did two weeks ago and the 50 miler he's doing two weeks from now. Well, at least that's not intimidating or anything, to some newbie who's doing his second 5k, second race ever! Cha, right!
  • 21m 38s
  • 3.11 miles
  • 06m 58s  min/mile

So at the start they announce Mr. Endurance Runner, Walter, would be the pace runner and run at 8:00/mi. pace. Great, as long as I keep Walter behind me I'll be on pace to hit my goal. I'm at the back of the pack for the start. It's chilly, rainy and pretty windy. The start is 1 mile pretty much straight into the wind. I don't know how many people are there but it seems like around 60? Some are kids but a lot are in shape-looking dads. We start off and I'm weaving in and out of people. I ditched my earlier plan of going out as hard as possible to see what it would take for me to blow up because I was afraid what the cold wet conditions might do to my achilles which has been sore for a couple of months. Once it warms up during a run it is fine, but at the beginning it always feels tight. So I decided to run somewhat fast but not all out the first mile. Well I passed by Walter almost immediately and after only a half mile I'm in 4th place and I can see the leader. This is unknown territory for me. I figure I still started too fast but I feel okay so far. I know I can't keep this pace up for long but let's see. I get to the first mile mark and they say "good job, 6:35". Huh? I look at my watch and it says 7:15. Either way I'm going fast, for me. So I turn and I'm no longer heading straight into the wind, which is nice. I turn again soon and the wind is at my back. I figure I've got no business being in the postition I'm in but with the wind at my back for almost the whole 2nd mile I can try to keep the pace up a little longer. By the time we get to the 2 mi. mark a guy had just passed me and another was coming up behind me. The volunteer says, "4, 5 and 6 right here guys, keep it going." Huh? I'm still amazed he's talking to me. So the next guy passes me. He says, "every way you turn it's into the wind." I said, "yeah it sucks, I'm trashed, you go get 'em." So he slowly pulls away. I look behind me and there's one kid about 100 yds. behind me. From the half mile to the 2.5 mile mark I was waiting for the "good runners" who paced themselves better to come blowing past me as I wilt. Now I'm starting to think I might hold on for a top ten finish. I started too fast and I know I'm slower now, but I must still be going somewhat fast as people are not blowing past me yet. I just keep thinking, "these are my streets, this is my weather, I love the rain". As we get to the final turn I'm still close enough to the guy in front of me to hear the volunteer tell him, "nobody close, noone's going to run you down, keep going, nice pace." As I get to the same spot I know he's not going to tell me the same thing because I can hear the kid's footsteps right behind me. At least he's alone, I think. The guy says, "last turn guys, couple hundred yards to go." As we turn the kid passes me. Somewhere in that 12-14 y.o. range I'm thinking. So I pick it up enough to stay on his heels and he's not pulling away. I was dying at this point but I figure what the heck, it's a race right? Now, if I was trying to beat him I would have drafted him to the finish and jumped in front of him at the end. I just wanted to have some fun so I got next to him right away to see if he'd respond. He did, and the two of us sprinted about 100 yds. in front of the crowd. Of course the whole crowd is cheering for him. That's fine, I know I've got a huge grin on my face and I look over and he's grinning too. With about 30 yds. to go I look behind and see nobody so I slow down and let him go ahead to finish in case his folks are taking pictures. He gets to tell all his friends he beat down an old guy at the finish, it was worth it. I finish and I thought I was going to hurl. I can't suck wind fast enough at this point. Of course, with the fun of the sprinting at the end I forgot to look at the clock OR stop my watch so I have no idea what my time was. The kid's mom tells me it was 22 something but she doesn't know exactly. Later, I chatted with Walter the pace guy and his gps/watch had the official time being slow. They determined it was about 40 seconds off which explains my confusion at the 1 mi. mark. So my time was somewhere between 22:40 and 23:30, I'm guessing. No matter what, I beat my goal and it's a PR. Woohoo!! I'm thrilled. I can't believe how well I did, even if it was a small race. I begin wondering if I'm getting hardware? There were 6 finishers ahead of me and I know 2 of them were kids. So 4 other dads. Were they all in my AG or 2 of them, maybe? My AG was 30-39 so I'm thinking that covers a lot of people with kids this age, right?
What would you do differently?:

Nothing, I had a blast. Maybe no hat because my head felt pretty hot toward the end but it was raining and I like keeping the rain off my face.
Post race
Warm down:

Stood around the finish drinking water and cheering in the other runners. It was a lot of fun watching people finish. I love the atmosphere. I'm a gym rat anyway so this is right up my alley. Went into the gym after the 40 min. runners came in and waited for the awards ceremony. I was thinking there was a chance I got hardware but I also wanted to see the kids ceremony for the 1 miler. I called my wife and we chit chatted. I told her I did well but not how well. Before I had left she said, "Don't be disappointed if you don't place because there are a lot of good runners in this area." I didn't really think placing was a concern at the time, but now here I am thinking it's possible. So they start calling out the kids. Here's the bummer. Kindergarten boys had 1 competitor. If my son had come out he would have gotten 1st or 2nd place. On the other hand he might have been miserable and hated it so I'm still glad I didn't make him come. I don't want to be that kind of dad. The hardware is probably more important to me than him anyway. So they get to my age group and they call 3rd place and 2nd place. Bummer, I didn't even get third. Then they say "First Place, John Martin." I'm stunned. I can't believe it. I go up there and get my medal. I don't know if I'll ever get to experience that at any other race so I tried to savor every second of it. I was like a kid, I was so excited to tell my wife that I ran home (from school - the irony!). When I opened the garage door my kids ran out to welcome me home. My wife walks up to the door as my daughter says, "Daddy daddy, did you win?" I looked at my wife and said, "Yes". She's stunned. I told here, "Well 7th overall, but first in my age group." She's very proud of me and I'm very happy that all my training is paying off.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I just need more training. I feel like I'm progressing as fast as I can, safely. You just can't go from couch to 6 min. miles in less than a year.

Event comments:

I will probably be doing this race every year for the next 10 years or so, either as a runner or a volunteer. My kids will all go to this school and if they want to I'd love for them to run it with me. I don't know if I'll always get to run "my" race if I'm running with them so this was fun.

Last updated: 2006-04-30 12:00 AM
00:21:38 | 03.11 miles | 06m 58s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/15
Overall: 7/104
Performance: Good
Course: Bike paths and residential streets blocked off for our use.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2006-04-30 4:16 PM

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Crystal Lake, IL
Subject: Feet Meet 2006

2006-04-30 4:31 PM
in reply to: #410443

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DC Metro, slowly working my way to NC
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Feet Meet 2006

I just keep thinking, "these are my streets, this is my weather, I love the rain".

WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!  That's fantastic!  Congrats on the hardware! 

2006-04-30 5:14 PM
in reply to: #410443

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Silver member
Subject: RE: Feet Meet 2006

Nice Nice Nice! Impressive!

A cold, windy, rainy day... Brrrrrrrrrrrrr I'm still chilled!




2006-05-01 8:52 AM
in reply to: #410464

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Cycling Guru
Fulton, MD
Subject: RE: Feet Meet 2006
Hardware! And first in your AG at that!

Fantastic run my friend!

It's fun being at the front, isn't it?
2006-05-01 9:42 AM
in reply to: #410443

Subject: ...
This user's post has been ignored.
2006-05-02 9:13 AM
in reply to: #410998

Philadelphia, south of New York and north of DC
Subject: RE: Feet Meet 2006

The kid beat an old guy at the end?  There was an old guy in that race?

Very nice race, and a richly detailed RR.  I may ask for the RR on tape when you publish your first tri RR.  I could listen to it on long drives.

You got skills, my friend.  

2006-05-02 11:49 AM
in reply to: #412145

Austin, TX
Subject: RE: Feet Meet 2006
Great race! Way to go with the HW. You're doing great for < 1 year. You're going to kick butt for the next 10!

Be careful with that achilles! Mine kept me from running for about 3 months during the peak of the season last year. Don't let it get to that point.
2006-05-02 1:02 PM
in reply to: #412145

Crystal Lake, IL
Subject: RE: Feet Meet 2006
dontracy - 2006-05-02 9:13 AM

The kid beat an old guy at the end?  There was an old guy in that race?

Very nice race, and a richly detailed RR.  I may ask for the RR on tape when you publish your first tri RR.  I could listen to it on long drives.

You got skills, my friend.  

Thanks, but you'd have to get someone else to read it.  If you heard my bass monotone it would put you to sleep almost immediately.  Really bad idea in the car!

Yeah, might be kind of a long RR for a 5k but that's how much I'm enjoying these experiences.  Wait til I do an IM, it might be 30 pages long!


2006-05-03 12:53 PM
in reply to: #410443

Science Nerd
Redwood City, California
Subject: RE: Feet Meet 2006
Great job!!!  1st in your AG!  That's so cool!!
2006-05-03 5:09 PM
in reply to: #410443

Red Sox Nation
Subject: RE: Feet Meet 2006

JM - you sooooo rock. 

Mama's Sunday treats ... let the little one sleep in and not transpose daddy's desires .... run your race .... RUN YOUR RACE ... ease up and let a youngun' reap the glory .... HARDWARE.

Respect.  Just much respect.

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