I ran the Amana Freezefest 5K this morning in Amana, Iowa. It was a cool 15 degrees, but no wind. The race course is a simple out and back. Start in Amana, run down the highway to East Amana, circle the town (like 10 houses total), and go back. Tucker ran with me and we started in the back, literally. Starting behind makes for a fun race and provides lots of motivation when passing others. Way better than starting off too fast and being passed at the finish.
We ended up crossing the finish line just over 20 minutes. Not bad, considering Tucker is like 62 in human years. My nephew also ran, or was pushed during the race. Pretty sure he won his age group for under 12 months.
Tucker and I ran in the inaugural We Run 5K in North Liberty this morning. He finally had a chance to race with slightly cooler temperatures. I can tell he’s getting older, but he still flew by some runners in a finishing time of 21:35 (7:00/miles). Post race, he was exhausted and only sat up to eat a Panera bagel. I think he cared more about the food than the 2nd place medal.
Broke 18 minutes for the first time last weekend. The race conditions were favorable: flat course, out and back, and cool morning. I arrived late to the start and didn’t have much more than 5 minutes to warm-up. Maybe that’s the key, start off with cold but super fresh legs…
10 years ago, I toed the line for my first 10K (6.2 mile) race. I was a newbie runner and had no idea what pace or even the fact that a runner could pace themselves. If I remember right, I lined up towards the back of the pack at the start line, mixed amongst the jogging strollers and walkers. Skinny guys in short shorts were intimidating back then. I was probably wearing basketball shorts and big, clunky tennis shoes. Weighing around 185 lbs in 2002 (still lifting weights to impress girls) it hurt to run farther than 1 mile.
Fast forward 10 years to this morning and what a difference a decade makes. I lined up near the front, my shorts are a little shorter, less muscle (155 lbs), and definitely less hair! With 10 years of road racing experience, I now know a little bit about pacing, how to warm-up, and when to accelerate near the end. Crossing the finish line in 37:32, I achieved my personal best for a 10K. Thinking about the changes I have made over time, I have to credit running a lot more during the week, drinking way less alcohol and skipping most processed food. But I think the biggest change is the knowledge of how to pace and being mentally prepared for the exhaustion during any race. I’m definitely not an expect, but I sure have come along way in 10 years!
The last three years I have participated in the Xterra Triathlon at Sugar Bottom near North Liberty, IA. The tri is an off road course (1,500M Swim, 15 mile mtn bike, and 10k run). Because I lack a mtn bike and pretty much all swimming ability, I sign up for the team option and only do the run portion. It’s fun for me to watch the other participants but also get a challenging trail run at the same time. Last year, I ran a 49:27 for the 10K. This year, I ran 47:46. Both days were pretty hot. I think the difference was better training for trails, minimilist shoes, and better weather acclimatization (hot for the last 2 months!).
The best part, I felt sluggish during the run, I can’t wait to see what racing times are going to be like this fall.