>> Saturday, November 03, 2007
Or, “In Search Of A 19 Minute 5K.”
Or, “Wait...Wait...Did I Really Just Finish First?!”
Steph, her friend Amblyn, and I ran the 2nd Annual Tesfa 5K Run this morning. We all went to my brother-in-laws high school football game last night to get the weekend started. His team hasn’t had a great year, but they were playing last night to get into the state tournament. They won the last 2 in a row to get to where they were: they knocked off number 1 two games ago, and won their next game as well. They couldn’t pull this one off and they lost. Dang.
The 5K today was at lovely Fort Snelling. It was one lap (plus a bit more) around Snelling Lake. Even though there weren’t any leaves left on the trees, it was still GORGEOUS down there! We showed up about an hour early in the cool 33 degree morning:
Steph on the left (Pharmie’s sister),
me in the middle, Amblyn on the right.
The 3 of us warmed up, stretched, and summed up our competition: who could we beat, who was going to be a challenge, etc. Steph’s man-friend, Jon, showed up right before the start. He was the “spectator support.” Literally. It was just him and the race management group. It was going to be a small race. There were maybe around 50 runners. And Jon cheering for us all.
So, the race started, and I was in 2nd for the first quarter-mile. That’s right, I was running in 2nd place. Holy crap. Second flippin’ place! After the first quarter-mile, 2 guys passed me, as well as the man in first. For the entire middle of the race (1/4-mile through about 2 and a quarter) I was safely in 4th place.
I hit mile 1 in 6:12, and I was about 6 seconds off the lead. I ran hard in the middle of the race to try to hold that pace. It was tough. But I stayed in that position. I came up on mile 2 at 12:40 (6:27 second mile), and I was feeling pretty good. I started picking up the pace. I was working hard and “feeling the burn,” but I wanted to really run this one hard and proud. My mile 2 time was a little slower than I wanted it to be if I was going to break 19 minutes.
Around 2.25 miles into the run, I was gaining on the guy in 3rd. I ran up to him, said “good morning,” and ran past a few seconds later. Ahead, I saw the man in 2nd was starting to lose his stride. He was hurting. I knew I could get him. We climbed a little hill, and I was nearing him. We made our turn away from the lake, and we had about 0.4 miles to go. I overtook number 2. I was back in 2nd! I didn’t believe it!
Some good news and some bad news: with about a quarter-mile left, I realized that I wasn’t going to break 19 minutes. But I also realized that the first place guy was fading, and I had a shot at first! CRAZY!! I kicked it in high gear. I was coming up behind him just before the final turn. I figured that he’d hear me, and then kick my ass and burn into the finish line. But I got up to him, passed him, and held it. I HELD IT!! I rounded the final corner, and I heard Jon (the one cheerer) in the distance: “GO STEVE!!” I got closer, and I heard him say “IT MUST BE THE LUCKY UNDERWEAR!!” I smiled as I crossed the line. I had placed first! In 19:11.
I turned around and cheered for everyone else. Just a few minutes later, Steph came around the corner. She finished around 25:29. She’s been training for a marathon, and she was afraid that she didn’t know how to run fast. Fourty-five seconds behind her was Amblyn. She had a sprint to the finish to beat this middle-aged man. She totally smoked him! The girls did great!! We all had a great time!! (as always)
We went back to the main shelter to wait for the awards. This 5K was a fund-raiser for kids in Ethiopia, and Jon bought Steph a bottle of wine. Hey, it’s all for the kids!
There were only awards for the top male and top female (as well as top male and top female dogs), so I was glad I was able to pass the guy in first. Here I am getting my medal and certificate:
Man, what a horrible photo.
We got home, and threw a bunch of meat on the barbie: