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Outdoors is Harder
2006-05-13, 11:01 p.m.

Day 629 Outdoors is Harder

Yes, outdoors running is much harder, and whole wheat pasta isn’t a magic pre-race energy source.

Not really knowing what to expect, I showed up at the race site about an hour early. Nice weather for a race too. Temps were in the low 60’s, humid, no breeze, low clouds hovering overhead. Parking was a breeze – plenty of room at the church hosting the event. That left an entire hour to stretch warm up and drink lots of water. I think I managed to get plenty loose, and even had to break down and use the facilities before the race started. Plenty of hydration going down.

Finally, about 5 minutes before the scheduled start, they called everyone out to the road/starting area. I kinda milled around in the rear half of the pack, listening to conversations, hoping to find some folks talking about paces and what they were going to try and run. I thought I was capable of 8 minutes/mile for the entire 5k – so I was particularly attuned to that. Lo and behold, I find a guy, practically right next to me, that says he’s shooting for the magic 8 minute mile pace. Best of all – he’s wearing an orange shirt – very easy to see.

Since this race is hosted by a church, we get the pre-race prayer, then BANG! off and running. I managed to re-locate Mr. Orange shirt and hang discretely behind him – maybe 20 – 30 feet back for the most part. Hit the first mile in 7:45. I was feeling pretty good, and was pretty impressed with Mr. Orange’s pacing ability. We’re cruising through a residential neighborhood, no serious hills at all, watching people mow their lawns. As we swing out of the really residential area, back on to the main road, we near the 2 mile time call outs. I’m still hanging near Mr. Orange, but now more like 100 feet back. Still holding up pretty well, 16:15 at 2 miles.

Hit a small uphill grade just after the 2 mile mark. Got a stitch in my side, and my legs started to feel real heavy. This was the wall I figured to hit, right on time. Tried to shorten my stride, get some deeper breaths, pinch the stitch, hold it in, everything I could think of. Ended up having to drop down to a walk. Walked at a good clip for 400 feet or so, got my breath back some and resumed jogging. Mr. Orange was long gone. Managed to trot along for another quarter mile or so, then another uphill grade got me again. Walked a bit, sorta of gathered my breath back in again, then ran the last half mile or so. Made it through the finish arch at a run, looking at a time of 27:45 to complete the course.

Not my target time. Close though. Probably started out a little too aggressive. 8 minute miles might be a tad fast at this point of my new racing career. Really should have spent some time on the treadmills at the Y learning to run at a better pace too. I’m not 16 anymore and can’t survive on youthful exuberance.

Two other runners really impressed me today. The first was a young boy, maybe 7 years old. First ever 5k race. Finished strong in 28:10!! The other really notable performance was from a 71 year old gentleman. Ran the 5K in just over 21 minutes. Beat all the men in the 45 – 49 age group.

Best reaction of the day belonged to my dentist. Only person there I actually knew, and we didn’t cross paths till after the race, at the party in the school gym. He had finished several minutes ahead of me and actually saw me enter the finish gate. Joe used to kindly nag me about my smoking and has been very supportive about first quitting smoking, then getting serious about working out and losing weight. When we met up in the gym after, he about squealed with glee. Now he’s trying to talk me into training for a 10k, then a half marathon later this year. Not too sure about that. For now, I could be happy running 5K’s and just slowly improving my times in those. Might have to save the half marathons for another year.

In new from the “What about Bob” front – he actually put down a deposit on an apartment at this senior living facility on the east side of the city. Anticipated move in date is mid-July. For now, boob is staying down at Wayne’s – sort of their unofficial dog sitter. He hates it. The dogs are driving him bat shit. The big, dumb chocolate lab chased a mouse under a couch, then proceeded to shred the couch in an attempt to get the poor mouse. The mouse and the couch lost. Weird part – there’s no less than 3 cats in the house. That mouse had to be strung out on crack to even dare to enter that house. Then to get caught be a lab? Pretty sad.

That particular performance really had Bob upset. But outside of messing with the critters, he has nothing to do but unpack and repack the same 20 or so boxes he’s repacked 3 separate times now. Every time he re-opens a box, it’s like he’s seeing stuff for the first time again. He needs to be in his own place, where he can get his things put away and not have to worry about whose house he’s staying at and for how long. We’re hoping another week down at Wayne’s will force him to raise the white flag and finally tell Wayne how he REALLY feels about staying down there. It’s gong to hurt some, but it still needs to be done. At least we got him to commit to an apartment there. We can work on Wayne over the next week. Maybe get him to stop operating out of complete ignorance and actually get some facts. Hah. All that running must have made me delirious.

That’s enough for now. Hope all you Mom’s out there have an enjoyable Mothers Day.

Updated stats:
Weight start: 206.5 on 1/1/06 (265.0 on 1/15/05)
Current weight 193.00 on 5/12/06 (officially 0.75 pounds for the weighdown)
Target: 180 by 7/1/06 (Start of swim suit season??)
Next “official” weigh in: 5/20/06

The Keep on Truckin goal: (idea stolen shamelessly from Marn’s Big Adventure)
Miles at speed 5/13/06: 360.02
Miles with cooldown: 396.21
Target for 2006: 1000 miles

Might have to add a little something for the 5K training too. (yeah, right!)

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old habits - new tricks