Race Report: 2018 Short Run on a Long Day 5K

When:  Wednesday, 06/20/2018 – 7 PM

Where:  Frankfort, IL

Distance:  5K

Results:  21:31 – 30th Overall, 1st M50-54 A/G – Link:  Race Results

To sum up this race in one word:  strange.  Of all the 5K’s I have done, this one always has a weird vibe to it.  The anxiety is different for me here.  I’m always a little more amped up for this race for some reason.  Today was no different.  There’s usually some good competition here, especially for a Wednesday night race.

First of all, this was my first hard effort in a race since running the Boston Marathon, a race I did not do very well at.  Oh sure, Boston had some extreme conditions, but I never really felt prepared for it and it seems that I had struggled with effort since.  My expectation was that I was not going to be able to run my typical sub-21 minute 5K.

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I joined in!  I’m next to Forrest Gump.

Then there’s the club vibe at this race.  The competitive aspect seems high for these clubs.  I follow the Frankfort/New Lenox Running Club online and have interacted with a few of the members, and tonight I decided to sport the club singlet and represent.  Although I tried to interact with them pre-race, I just kind of felt like an outsider.  That’s mostly on me, as I don’t really run with them much, mainly because they schedule their runs in the evenings when I’m doing dinner with the family, or early on Saturday morning when I would rather take my time getting up and around.  But I do value associating with them online.  The Tinley Track & Trail club is always competitive at this race, and I noticed a few other clubs this year as well.

I did my typical slow warm-up, a few quick up-tempo strides and then got in line at the start.  Ben and Emily joined in on the fun this year, and I positioned myself behind them.  The guy with the bullhorn started the race, not from the middle of the road this year for a change, and off we sped.  We weren’t a 1/4 mile into it when an 8 year old kid went in front of me from right to left.  He had his arms raised, flexing his muscles for some reason and we clipped feet and down he went.  Immediate dread filled me and I stopped to see if he was okay.  I hadn’t even got turned around and he was already up and running.  Must not have affected him much, because he finished in 32nd place.  Yes, the 8 year old kid that I accidently tripped when he cut me off almost beat me.

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The evidence clearly shows that number 9611 shoved this kid to the ground, your Honor! (photo by Jill Yott – Facebook)

Back to running again I found that I was pegging the heart rate into the red, in my typical fashion.  Not sure why I can’t hold back at the beginning of this race, but I go out too hard every time.  At one point I glanced at my watch and it said I was running sub-6 minute pace per mile.  Oops.  I dialed it back and hoped I could salvage a couple of miles around 7 min pace.

I saw Todd Street spectating somewhere near the 2.25 mile mark and said hello.  After that I was all about trying not to get passed, but it was happening with regularity.  I saw a couple grey haired guys pass me and I had the feeling that I wasn’t going to finish in the money.  With about a half mile to go we crested a hill and I used the downhill to make a final push.  The last 100 yards or so is uphill slightly, and I pushed as hard as I could while still checking my shoulder for the guy I passed.  I was able to hold him off.  I could see the clock and saw that I wasn’t going to break 21 minutes, which deflated me a little, but I was more worried about place than time at that point.

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My cardiovascular system really wanted this to be over at this point.  (photo by Todd Street)

I found Ben at the end and he said he had won the race.  Very proud of him.  He’s finished this race in 2nd way too many times.  Nice that he got the trophy this year, even if it is the most annoyingly big 5K 1st place trophy ever.  Emily did well too, grabbing 1st in her age group and 3rd overall for the females.

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Ben, myself and Emily looking happy post-race.
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Ben with another huge 1st Place trophy!
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The guy kept saying “look at Dad.” Is that prophecy?!?! At least he didn’t call me Grandpa.
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For the longest day of the year, the light was fading fast as they finally got to the old guy awards.

 

So I finished in 30th place, 14 places later than last year’s 16th place.  There were less faster old guys this year and a lot more kids.  There were 7 men in their 50’s in the top 30 last year, and this year there was just two.  Last year I finished in 20:45; this year more than a half minute slower.  It is a little bit of a head scratcher for me, as it seems that I am still feeling the effects of being over-trained the past year, or old age is just catching up with me.  I’m not really training to race 5K’s, but I do like to push myself and race them.  I just don’t like getting slower as the years pass.

Here’s last year’s recap for comparison:

Short Run on a Long Day 2017 Race Recap

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Of course Ben didn’t want to take the trophy home, so I was forced to do so.  Add it to the collection, I guess.

I was reviewing the race on Strava and saw this really cool Flyby feature that shows other Strava using runners in the race and how we ran.  Fun to watch.  I hope the link works.  Click on the orange start button to make it work.   Strava Flyby of the 5K

See you next year!

Dad To The Rescue

I spent this Father’s Day in my typical fashion, goofing around doing my typical stuff. I enjoyed a nice bike ride with Kari and spent some time swimming on a very hot day. The extended family appeared and more swimming and good food and talk was enjoyed.

At one point in the conversation we talked about the need to purge some of the junk in our house, and I admitted that I was the hoarder in the family. “But I’m a neat hoarder!” I exclaimed, and the wife agreed.

After dinner everyone was getting ready to leave for home. I noticed that Ben’s car had a brake light out. I thought I had a spare, so I attempted to fix it. It turned out I had a different bulb than what he needed, but I remembered that my mom had this old cabinet thing with a bunch little odds and ends in it. Sure enough, the bulb we needed was in there. My mom had saved the bulb, and I had saved the cabinet full of junk. We swapped out the bulb and off Ben drove.

I had barely got my tools put away when Ben pulled back into the driveway. I could see that his front tire was flat.

We pulled the tire and I couldn’t see any nails or punctures anywhere. I filled it with air and pushed it around the back to the pool to check for leaks. The problem became apparent immediately, the vavle stem was leaking.

That could have been a problem, but thankfully I had a tool – a tool that was my Dad’s that I had kept. It’s probably been in my possession at least 40 years or so. A simple little device to remove and install a valve stem core. Hoarder? – pffft. Please.

I tightened the valve stem and tested it again and it was still leaking. The valve stem core must be bad, no longer holding air. That’s a problem, because I knew that I didn’t have any extra valve stem cores laying around. I may be a hoarder, but I’m not crazy.

But wait! The tool itself was just a cap on an old valve stem, and the valve stem itself probably had a core in it. Sure enough, I pulled it out and was kind of shocked to see that valve stem cores had not been reengineered in 40 years. I put the old one in and surprisingly it no longer leaked. Fixed!

So on Father’s Day, I was able to save my son’s day, thanks to my dad leaving behind a simple tool for us to use nearly four decades later. Dad to the rescue for sure.

Happy Father’s Day!

DNS – My First “Did Not Start”

“Well I tried to make it Sunday, but I got so damn depressed, that I set my sights on Monday and I got myself undressed…”    –  America – Sister Golden Hair

I should be typing a glowing race report for the race I had signed up for today, but I’m not.  I find myself typing words of regret, because for the first time in my history of doing races, I failed to start a race I had signed up for.  A big fat DNS – Did Not Start.

I had every intention of doing the race.  I was genuinely looking forward to doing it.  ET Batavia is a sprint distance triathlon held in Batavia, IL.  It’s an easy swim in a park district swimming hole, a gently rolling ride through town and outlying farms, and a tree lined run on the Fox River Valley Trail.  I really enjoy the course and after racing it four or five times now, I was pretty familiar with it.

I set the alarm for 3:50 am and when it went off I got up with the full intention of getting ready and heading to Batavia.  I could hear that it was raining outside, so I pulled up my weather app and saw this:

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Lovely.  Just like the Boston Marathon in April.

 

I dressed, ate and asked a now awake Kari if she still wanted to join me for a morning standing in the rain.  Surprisingly she said “yes,” and we hopped in the car to head to the race.

I switched on the local AM radio for the weather and they were saying it was bad, and I new it wasn’t an exaggeration because it was raining hard on us.  I got about 5 miles from home when I said “What am I doing?”  I turned around and told Kari I’m pulling the plug on this one.

All things considered, as a triathlete I shouldn’t really worry about rain.  You get wet in the swim for Pete’s sake.  And I have raced two times now in heavy rain.  I joked at Leon’s Triathlon the year we did it that it was interesting how the swim portion of the race was the driest part.  It poured on us.  And the 2018 Boston Marathon was not only rainy, but throw in cold and windy as well – the whole 26.2 miles.  I wasn’t afraid of pulling out of the race because of the weather really, it just seemed ridiculous that I was about to drive 45-50 minutes to stand in the rain only to be told what my gut instinct was telling me – the race would be cancelled.

I got home and unpacked and checked Facebook for updates and there it was:  “Race start at 7:40!!”  REALLY?!?!  Now I had regret.  Knowing that I decided to pull out when others stayed with it just kills me.

Kari went back to bed.  I ate another breakfast and read the newspaper until I fell asleep.  Then I moped around the house until the skies stopped raining and I went for an 8 mile run.  I ran hard, punishing myself for skipping a race I shouldn’t have.  Oh well, I will be back next year – weather permitting.