Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Someone Call Osama bin Laden to See If Hell Froze Over, I Won a 5k!

Chalk one up for the mid-pack runner.  Chalk another one up for the (almost) middle age runner for that matter, because Saturday morning, I won the Valley Center 5k, an annual 5k road race on a certified course that was open to the general public.  By the way, when I say "won", I don't mean 1st place in my aging age group.  Nope.  I took first place overall, and I set a PR by 46 seconds in the process.

The morning started off on the opposite end of the 'joy' spectrum.  Rain.  Kansas has been in a drought, so wouldn't you know Mother Nature decided to cry me a river in the 1+ hours before start time.  Combined with the 55º temps and wind, it was proving to be a cold, wet morning.  There was also lightning out, so the race was in danger of being postponed.  Against the forecast, the rain actually all but stopped by the time the race got underway.

I jumped out to the quick lead.  It was a little surreal to be THE runner who was following the pace bicyclist.  Since it had just got through down pouring, the streets were wet, and at times I noticed that my shoes weren't gripping the asphalt like you would expect.  Thanks to the aforementioned rain, there were also small streams flowing through most of the intersections that I had to try and jump over; kinda like the steeplechase.  Not an easy task in the later part of the race, and my shoes became introduced to some water. 

By mile 2, my heart rate was up to 200 BPM (95% of max).  The rest of the race, my breathing felt OK, but my legs were real heavy; I was yearning to take a walk break with one mile to go.  No one kept with me after the beginning, so I was curious how big my lead was.  I looked over my left shoulder and spotted one runner one to two hundred yards back.  Turns out, it takes a lot of energy/concentration to look back over your shoulder when running 5k race pace with a red lined heart rate.  Perhaps a better description is my brain was starting to become oxygen deprived.  Either way, I couldn't focus on what was going on with my pursuer.  I didn't know if he was gaining or fading, but I knew I was slowing down.

At the 3rd mile, I had nothing left in the tank.  The second place runner didn't seem to be any closer to me however, and the finish line came into view.  I had to attempt another leap over a body of water, then fight fatigue as there was still a PR on the line.  As anti-climatic as it might seem (thank goodness), I finished the race unchallenged.  The second place runner finished about 22 seconds back, who by the way turned out to be the first place woman.

I could stop there, and perhaps leave those of you who don't know me very well thinking that I'm a pretty fast runner.  However, I have a couple disclaimers to paint a better picture of reality.  First, it was a small race.  Thanks in part to the weather and other local races, there were only 22 runners.  Second, my finish time was 20:08.  That's a pretty good time for me, but a pretty poor time for a 5k champion IMHO.  My main objective of the race was to set a PR, and I did that big time.  My previous best was 20:54 from 2010.

Even though this is the smallest race I know of, they have the coolest glass trophies for the top 3 finishers.

Finally, I'll share my Garmin data.  I had hoped to break 20 minutes, but my first mile was too fast and I got noticeably slower each mile as a result.  A few other things like wind and wet conditions didn't help much either.

As with all short races, my heart rate goes up pretty fast.

Meanwhile, I did taper a couple days for this race, but really I'm deep into marathon training mode; running 70+ miles per week since the Pikes Peak Ascent last month.  The Wichita Prairie Fire Marathon is 2.5 weeks away, and this was a pretty good speed workout to help prepare as I get ready for another taper.


A Prelude To... said...

Great work on your PR!!! Way to shave some time off!

Hannah said...

Nice run all around! Champion - whoohooo! Very cool, Mr. Holmes! Congrats!

Jill said...

That is freaking AWESOME, Jon - congratulations!!! That marathon is going to be one BIG BQ...then you're going to have to change your blog name!! Can't wait!

Paul said...

How wonderful!!?! what a great day!

Congrats on an honest-to-god 1st place! Don't sell yourself short: a big part of success is showing up, trained and ready. The others that didn't get out of bed or come to the race, couldn't win!

You really pushed hard on the HR graph.pegged it fade, slight drift, zero left at the end for a kick. Must have been tough..i can feel it right now, oye!

Congrats again!

Nelly said...

Congrats on the OUTRIGHT win! Regardless of how big or small the race is, you won it! Honestly I would be weirded out leading a race, I would be afraid of making a wrong turn! lol

Congrats on the PR! Those race conditions sound tough, with better conditions I bet you could have gotten sub 20 for sure.

And I love the heartrate graph, you redlined it for sure from the start!

Being Robinson said...

NICE buddy! that's awesome, small race or not. YOU WON!!

can i just ride piggy back for the last half of prairie fire?! ha. i promise i'll be at the next j&l, may not run, but i'll be there :) make sure you find us before PF and say hello. hopefully i'll at least run the half!

Jim ... 50after40 said...

That's freakin' awesome Jon!!! Way to go!!! I loved your report. I've always wondered what it felt like to win a race ... you gave a perfect description. That's funny that used "surreal" to be in the lead - as a mid-packer too, I would have been thinking the exact same thing ... like "what the heck, am I running the right course!" Don't ever discredit it by how many people were there ... YOU WERE THE BEST RUNNER THAT DAY! Awesome, that had to be a freakin' cool feeling. Congrats man!

Michael said...

Congrats!! That's awesome! I would love to win a race some day, but I would literally have to be the only one who entered to make that happen! Way to go! Hope that heart rate is back in check.

Coy Martinez said...

That's pretty great!! You could have won quite a few 5K's around here with that nice time!! I won a medal once in a 5K earlier this year and shocked myself. I haven't run that fast since :)

ajh said...

Great title and a huge congratulations! Those are words I will never type or say!

Jose said...

Great time on the 5k! I won 3rd place in my age group in a local 5k and I was speechless! I couldn't imagine 1st over all!


Lauren said...

awesome! and hey, small race or not, a win is a win! congrats!

Char said...

That's great! It would have freaked me out to be the one behind the bicycle. I would have known something was seriously wrong.

Teamarcia said...

Hey a win is a win! What a cool experience. Congrats on the big PR too!

helga said...

Oh, a small local race is ALWAYS the coolest to win! This way, you are going to be the defending champion next year and the local runner will all go like "there was this guy last year, he won in 20:08... wonder if he shows up this year?" :) How cool is that?!

Congrats on the great time, btw :) Where will you display your trophy?

Nelly said...

haha on the 3 shoutouts to you, I didn't realize that I was doing that until the post was complete, haha

Can't believe the 49ers are now 4-1, I am shocked! They literally ran over the Bucs yesterday, those guys didn't even try it seemed like.

The Cowboys are all over the map, with the comeback against the 49ers, then the blown leads against the Lions and Jets.

You are right that it is risky that I'm back playing soccer, I guess I missed the interaction with my friends by not playing. I do play at a reduced intensity though, and I'm trying to limit my side to side movement out there if possible. I guess I try to think of it as a fun way to get some cardio instead of actually like a legit soccer game. We'll see how it goes over time.

Paulie B said...

That is a fast heart rate compared to my own. I find myself needing to look more into heart rates now. Thanks for sharing.