I signed up for the JFK 50 mile race in November and need to start upping the mileage to get ready. Long runs for me are always dreadful, mainly because I prefer the midday when the sun is full and sweat comes easy. Going longer in those conditions is pretty taxing. Hence, the motivation for today’s idea.
I decided to run to a local 5K, race, and then run back home. Each way, it’s about 13 miles. At 5am I woke up after hitting snooze for the 3rd time, made a quick cup of coffee and drank a protein shake. I was on the road by 5:45 and made it to the start line to register just before the national anthem. The Pirate Dash is a low key 5k, which is an understatement. About 75 runners lined up to run 1.5 miles out on a county road only to turn around and run back. You could almost see the turn around point from the start line if it wasn’t for a slight incline in the paved road. No fanfare, no bib number, no race clock. When I crossed the finish line someone yelled 20:10 and I was handed a popsicle stick with my place.
I’ve ran over a hundred running races over the last 10 years and this was only my 2nd experience with the popsicle stick timing method. The last couple years we have seen the all kinds of technology hit running races. From microchips to text message updates and posting results to Facebook. This morning, we had no “post race party”, no music, no sponsors or promotional stuff. It was refreshing to race with the focus being on the act of running.
My run home was a lot slower but also very enjoyable. I took my time, walked some and even stopped at a convenience store for a soda and granola bar when I ran out of water. And most importantly, I completed a long run.