Wednesday, May 6, 2009

2nd 5K of the season...nearly a PR

Time to blog about the Rockies 5K Home Run for the Homeless.

When girlfriend and I were in the offseason, we both realized that while running races is fun and we like getting race t-shirts, we don't want to pay 30 bucks to run 3.1 miles. So we determined which 5K's we really enjoyed last year and wanted to do again, and the Rockies race made the cut. I'll explain why I like this race later.

Woke up super early on Sunday and made up breakfast. Of course, stupid Denver had to be cold that morning. So I wore my standard get up of shorts, long underwear up top, and my Nike race shirt. We got to Coors Field in plenty of time to have a pre-race poop. Then we warmed up and stretched. Also took in some of the sites and sounds of the race. Last year I remember there being a lot more dirty hookers wearing Tulo shirts. This year, I think the temperature and clouds kept them away. Whatever, fine by me.

When the gun went off (ok, airhorn) I ran with girlfriend for maybe .01 miles and then lost her. We decided at the beginning I was going to do this one on my own. And in the back of my mind, I was going for a PR, but I knew it would be a stretch.

Nonetheless, I settled into a great pace. The first mile was 9:30 and I felt like I wasn't even pushing myself that hard. In the 2nd mile, I amazingly held about the same pace, and when I hit the mile sign and the dude called out 18:45, I knew a record was in reach. However, I also realized I was pushing myself, and that to reach my PR, it would take a lot of strength, grit, and determination.

As Coors Field came in sight, I remembered that we had to make a right turn, then double back to the stadium. At this point, I was maybe at 23:00 in. Knowing I still had a lap around the warning track, I decided that a PR wasn't in the cards. I wasn't upset however, and kept pushing. As I hit the warning track, I dug deep and pushed myself. Coming out of the stadium, I got to see girlfriendpants running in. She said go baby dinosaur, but I wasn't able to formulate a sentence back. :-( The finish line in sight, I picked it up, crossing officially at 28:56. Being that I didn't cross the start line right at the beginning, my Nike+ timer said 28:39, but whatever, no big deal. Either way, a huge improvement on last year and also the knowledge that I am improving.

So why is this race one of my favorites? In addition to an relatively easy course and a cool lap around the warning track, I love the post-race food. Bagels, bananas, squishies, and ballpark hot dogs! Seriously. That is so badass.

So...obviously something to build on, and something to be proud of as well. And if you're wondering what my PR is, it's 27:17.

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