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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Race Report: Fiddlin' Fish 5k

So... yes. I managed to go more than 8 months without racing a 5k. And, it was the best 8 months of my life.

The sad thing is... it was my idea. I was emailing with a friend and he mentioned to me that he'd been running fairly regularly... but that he'd been focusing on speed, rather than distance. And since he's a parent of 2 kids under the age of 3, I figured I'd spare him the soliloquy of how increased mileage=increased speed. Hell, I don't know how someone with two young kids has the time to lace up their sneakers, let alone crank out 3-4 miles on the treadmill. So.. what did I do, instead??? I went straight to the race calendar and picked out a small, hometown (well... his town, that is) race the next week to offer up to him.

Now... the kicker for this race, was that the age group prizes weren't stupid medals or certificates or water bottles or powdered gatorade. Noooo.. they were baked goods. Homemade baked goods. I figured he definitely had a chance with his cross country background to take home an age group prize and me... well, I just wanted to see if I could still survive a 5k. And he took the bait and the next week we were killing 45 minutes at the race location because we got there too damn early.

I spent this time stalking out the competition. I didn't see any of the usual suspects of Nashville races. I knew that this race had a lot of competition that particular day. There were at least 3 or 4 other 5ks in the area that day and so I was looking forward to the diluted competition.

Before the race, I stupidly asked him about the landscape of the area... hilly? not hilly? To which he replied... shouldn't be too hilly. (WHEN AM I EVER GOING TO FREAKING LEARN THAT EVERY RACE THAT IS HELD IN MIDDLE TENNESSEE THAT IS NOT IN SHELBY BOTTOMS PARK IS HILLY AS SHIT).  I was feeling pretty good. Sure, I had ran two marathons the previous two weekends, but this was only 3.1 miles. That's nothing. I mean, I can do anything for 24-25 minutes, right?

I purposely didn't wear my watch. I wanted to see where I truly was, fitness-wise, without knowing that I needed to pick it up or not. My strategy? To run as fast as I possibly could for as long as I could. I didn't need to know my splits. I wanted to race based on effort.

And as I should have known... the race course was hilly. And it was hot (duh. it's May). And I'm not a fast runner. I started off with a pack of runners. And I felt like I was literally crawling. It sucked.

By the time I got to the to the halfway-point turnaround, I started thinking that I should have worn my watch. I was afraid that I was going to end up with a 35:00 5k or something. It felt like I wasn't even picking up my feet.

I tried to push it when I knew I just had a little less than a mile left... but I was running out of gas and fast. When I finally saw the clock coming into view, I realized... hot damn! I'm close to my 5k PR time! Sadly, there was not enough time at that point to actually PR, but I finished only like 12 seconds off. Which I could have done, had I known I needed to. (Sure, I ran hard, but I didn't run to the point of killing myself like I could have if I had known I might PR).

After the race, we stood around anxiously waiting for the results to be read. We talked about what baked good we'd choose, how it looked like they had way more than they needed to award the prizes. And then finally the awards came... They didn't announce times, but announced names for each of the age groups and unfortunately, my friend didn't place... I felt kinda bad. All this time, I had kind of pumped him up... making him think that he'd win a baked good.

Then they announced the women's age groups and I came in 3rd in mine! Which... made me feel like even more of an ass. Not only did my friend NOT win an award that I had practically assure him of, I DID.

So, what did I choose? Cherry Streusel Pie (because I knew I could pawn it off on my family members).

Turns out that my friend did actually place in his age group. When the results were finally published later in the week, we noticed that he would have placed 2nd in his age group (by like a minute!) IF they had recorded his time. He didn't have a finish time recorded!!!! At the end of the race, they had volunteers writing down your number and your time and then they turned them in... I guess nobody did one for him. Which really sucks.

Overall, it was a fun race that I'd recommend. The field is very small-town-ish and the course is really pretty. The price is cheap, there aren't a lot of thrills, but they do have a good looking t-shirt, a bluegrass band as entertainment and baked goods as awards.

Now, at least I don't have to rendezvous with the 5k distance again for awhile...

2 comments:

Beth said...

Good thing about small hometown races: good shot at placing in your age group. Bad thing about small hometown races: usually don't do the best job of professional/accurate times. But hey - that cherry pie thingy looks YUM.

I want carbs :( I miss carbs :(

BTW, one of the peeps who was doing P90X with us has bailed. You and April gotta hang with me!!!!

run with Jill said...

that is awesome. My dad lives in a small town in Minnesota and I always find races there because of the freshly made cookies (made by sweet older ladies) at the finish line. Amazing how a cookie will get me to the finish line faster than a race medal :)