“Giving Thanks 5K” Race Report

>> Friday, November 23, 2007

Or, “In Search of a 19 Minute 5K”

Or, “Run-Til-You-Puke Race Strategy”

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! Pharmie, Steph, Jon, and I ran the “Giving Thanks 5K” at Como Park yesterday morning. When we were getting ready to leave the house, it was 24 degrees with a 13 degree wind-chill. And it was snowing. Grossness. My car needed a good window scraping:

The 2 days before the race, I had my normal shitty food cocktail. Tuesday night after teaching my late class, I got home and devoured an ENTIRE large package of turkey jerky while watching “That 70’s Show.” The night before the race, I carbo-loaded with some wussy, girly drinks (my favorite kind):

Oh yeah, I’m ready to race!

We got to the park, and I had to show off my digs:

Yep, my shirt says “I’m thankful for tighty-whities.”

I wore my new lucky tighty-whities. On the outside of my clothes. And I also wore the “possibly lucky” tube socks (those socks haven’t officially been ruled out as “lucky” as well). So, the four of us went to get registered, and then we hopped back in the warm car until the start:

So, once warmed up, we all stripped down and headed off for the start line:

I waved goodbye to those 3 as they walked off to the back of the pack. I walked up near the front of the pack. People were starting to get sight of my “costume,” and I was starting to wave and say “Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!” I was behind just a few guys as the gun went off, and I spent most of the run in 4th place.

This race, I wanted to run HARD in the middle. Most of my races, I run mostly-fast at the start, slower in the middle, and then I have a long kick that slowly progresses to a pretty fast finish. At this race, the plan was to push it a little harder at the start, then MUCH harder in the middle, and just hold on until the finish - I mean, no runner can just kick HARD for the last half-mile and expect to take a minute of his/her time. For this race, I was running in the style of my old cross-country coach, with his “run til you puke” strategy. I was going out hard, and just trying to hold on later in the race.

The run was a 2-loop course around the little lake in Como Park. This proved to be a little tricky, because it got messy as people (and their strollers and pets and screaming kids) were being lapped. I started to lose track of the people in front of me.

To make a long story short, the miles were not marked, but the kilometers were. So I had to do some math on the fly to readjust my strategy. Well, I DID go out fast. My first 3 kilometers were 3:33, 3:34, and 3:40 (that’s around an 18 minute 5K pace). But at this point, I was beat. Totally spent. I needed to try to hold on. My abdomen was tight - I didn’t have side-stitches, but something was getting sore in there as I was gasping for air. And there were some slick spots along the course. I nearly biffed it at kilometer 4. But I was trying to hold on for the ride. Along the way, I passed the guys in 3rd and 2nd, but at this race, there was no hope for me placing first. First place was WAY out there.

As I neared the finish line, I was really losing steam. I got up to the line, and the announcer said “Oh, it looks like our ‘first place runner’ is coming across the line!...” I was shaking my head to tell him “no.” As I crossed the line, I told him there was someone in front of me, and the woman helping him said “yeah, I think someone else finished just ahead of him.” It got messy there with all the people that were just wrapping up their first lap and still had a lap to go. There was no official time and no official finishers list, but I’m pretty sure that I came in 2nd. Maybe 3rd. But I’m 95% sure that I passed 2 of the 3 guys in front of me (both wearing very noticeable yellow shirts), so we’ll go with 2nd place. Don’t think that 2 first place finishes in 2 5Ks didn’t cross my mind!

So here are my kilometer splits:
1K: 3:33
2K: 3:34
3K: 3:40
4K: 3:45
5K: 4:09
Total: 18:43

Yep, 18:43. That means I beat my goal!! Happy Thanksgiving to Steve!! It was my PR since high-school (I don't know how fast my fastest 5K was in high-school, but I think I'm getting close to that time too). Those were interesting splits because I’ve NEVER run a race where I am consistently getting slower like I did yesterday. But I guess it worked. I took nearly 30 seconds off my time from 3 weeks ago.

I turned around after finishing and starting cheering for other finishers. Everyone was laughing at my shirt and outfit. I actually went out to the end of the finishers shoot and directed traffic until I saw the 3 that I came with. First, Steph came in. Then Jon ran by just a few seconds later. Finally, Phamie came in. They all did GREAT, and they were all within 30 seconds of each other. We walked back to the car to “warm up,” but we all knew that we weren’t going to get back out of that toasty-toasty car, so we didn’t stick around for any prizes or drawings (I hope there weren’t any awards for the top finishers!). Anyway, we had to get back home to prepare veggies for the Thanksgiving party we were going to:

See the cute little radish flowers?
Yep, I made those!

We headed off to our feast, and I loaded up. This is where I started:

I had PLENTY more after this!...

After the meal, I played my first full game of Monopoly start-to-finish. I started with Gretchen and Anne, but Mike ended up taking over for Anne when she had to leave (Mike was the “Farmer” from the marathon cheering a month ago). I took an early, commanding lead:

Mike contemplating his next move after I screwed him over

We bumped Gretchen out of the game. It wasn’t pretty. Then, things took a turn for the worse for me. Mike had hotels on EVERYTHING!

Notice the tablecloth in the foreground
where there SHOULD be a pile of my money...

He killed me. I had NOTHING, and then I landed on his Boardwalk. Game over.

Well, I placed 2nd at a 5K and PRed, but Mike beat me at Monopoly. I think I came out ahead in that exchange. Sorry Mike. I just calls-em like I sees-em. I hope everyone had a great day!!


Danielle in Iowa in Ireland 8:01 AM, November 23, 2007  

Congrats on the sub-19!

(And it takes a real man to drink Wild Grape Smirnoff Ice :-))

Allez 8:47 AM, November 23, 2007  

Your time makes me want to puke! That is SO freaking fast! Good job & happy Thanksgiving :-)

Born To Endure 10:00 AM, November 23, 2007  

Thanks for sharing your day with us..tightie whities..not.so.much...:-))

Unknown 10:18 AM, November 23, 2007  

Great race. Nice outfit. Were yo talked into wearing it while drinking the Grape Ice? (that sounds really yummy by the way)

E-Speed 10:34 AM, November 23, 2007  

Great job at the 5k Steve! Glad you had a great race and a good Thanksgiving!

Anonymous,  10:39 AM, November 23, 2007  

happy PR day!!!!! And when you're winning...you can pretty much wear whatever you want!!!

Tri+Umph 11:00 AM, November 23, 2007  

Great job on the PR Steve! Even if you didn't win, you were probably having more fun than the guy that did anyways!

Unknown 11:08 AM, November 23, 2007  

My husband is a girlie drinks kind of guy, too. So I think you're in pretty good company. Congrats on a race well run!

Anonymous,  11:09 AM, November 23, 2007  

Great job meeting your goal!!! That's awesome!

That looks like some COLD weather up there.

I got a few funny looks wearing all my Dallas Cowboy attire yesterday, but your outfit is too funny.

I'm impressed with your 5K time, but I have to say, even more impressed by those little radish flowers you made.

Unknown 11:47 AM, November 23, 2007  

Good job on your 5K. How will you ever determine if its the tighty whities or the tube socks that are so lucky? Guess you better get used to that being your standard race outfit!!

Trisaratops 12:49 PM, November 23, 2007  

Congrats on the PR!!! And your outfit is OUTSTANDING.

Brent Buckner 1:21 PM, November 23, 2007  


Glad your day was a good one.

Spokane Al 3:41 PM, November 23, 2007  

You rocked in your race - congratulations.

Sorry to hear you "biffed it" in Monopoly.

triguyjt 7:06 PM, November 23, 2007  

steve-great outfit. congrats on no snot-rocket reference or visual.
tremendous race. very impressive.
losing like you did at monopoly is not a surprise. you're one of those creative types... NO concept of money!!!!
signed, poor man in cleveland.

RunBubbaRun 6:26 AM, November 24, 2007  

Dang, those are some super tiddy whities, congrats on the PR..

I guess I will be seeing those undies at all the races now.

brendaj 11:23 AM, November 24, 2007  

Nice job, especially making those radish flowers! Very multi-talented.

Michelle 1:52 PM, November 24, 2007  

You are a stud, nuff said.

SingletrackJenny (formerly known as IronJenny) 7:05 PM, November 24, 2007  

Wow! That is smokin' fast. Since you aren't SURE, I'm just telling everybody here in the western 'burbs that you won it.
Prove me wrong.
You definitely had the best outfit.

ShirleyPerly 9:02 PM, November 24, 2007  

A big CONGRATS on that fabulous 5K race time!! That is some race outfit too!

Rainmaker 12:01 AM, November 25, 2007  

Sweet time - congrats! You were hauling!

I'm looking forward to seeing how your going to pull off long course tri in those undies...

Triteacher 8:19 AM, November 25, 2007  

I LOVE that race strategy. Kudos on your fine finish - not to mention form.

Brooke 6:16 PM, November 25, 2007  

That costume is hilarious. Congrats on the amazing time.

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