Monday, August 19, 2013

Two Days Worth of 5Ks!

Why not write a post that talks about what happened almost eight weeks ago?

My goal this summer was to run as many small-town 5Ks as possible, in the search of a sub-20 minute finish time. As I talked about in a previous post, I somehow managed to achieve this goal in my first race of the summer. I confess, after that happened, my desire to run tons of 5Ks decreased.

I did manage to run two other 5Ks over the summer and this is an abbreviated version of what happened.

The Kick Up the Dirt 5K, Bemidji, MN
A great excuse for a day trip, this 5K was about 2 1/2 hours from the house. On paper, it sounded like a great day out. I had vague childhood memories of Bemidji and figured it would provide for a day of entertainment followed by an exciting early evening trail run. The run was sponsored by the Bemidji Parks and Rec department and I was looking forward to a difficult, muddy run on the cross-country ski trails.

We arrived to Bemidji and it became clear that my childhood memories were worse than vague. I don't think I've ever been there. The highlight of any trip there is a photo in front of the Paul Bunyan statue, so we immediately did that.

Then we realized that this was the only thing to do in Bemidji.

We drove around the small downtown area looking for a cute cafe or restaurant and couldn't find anything. We eventually settled on the deli at the whole-foods co-op and ate at their picnic table. When we asked a recently arrived local for advice about shopping, she recommended Target and Wal-Mart. 

Commence "bad-ittude." Bummed out, we headed to the race and my negative attitude kept going. The race was on a manicured disc golf course and consisted of two laps. I almost cried when the woman explained the route to me. "Go all the way around the landfill, and ...(something)." I managed to convince myself that I wasn't going to do well. Then I didn't. The old adage about running being mostly mental is so true.I did however get a participant ribbon and the landfill was a beautiful, grass-covered hill in a beautiful park setting. So it wasn't that bad.

Good Neighbor Days Memorial 5K, Gordon, WI
One of the good things about running is the personal connections that are formed with running buddies. In 2012, during the Garry Bjorklund 1/2 Marathon, I was reunited with my best friend from High School. Since then, running has been a bond that has rekindled a cherished friendship. We ran the 2013 Bjorklund and met up to celebrate each others' achievements after the race. In that spirit, we coordinated to run this 5K.

It was a beautiful day in Gordon and the organizers assured the racers that last year's problems with the race distance (closer to 7K than 5K) wouldn't happen again.

Seth and I took off from the starting line and ran the first segment out of the parking lot. (See Map featuring "varied terraine(sic)" below).

From the parking lot, the race progressed almost straight uphill. I never run hills. This was tough. The hill plateaued for a second, then went back uphill. And turned to sand. Then we cut from the sand road to crushed gravel. I mean, this route was tough. It didn't help that an 11 or 12 year old passed me. Then another guy, then another and the first woman finisher passed me too. I kept going, but it was grueling. Then I looked at watch. Impossibly, a sub-20 minute was a possibility. I turned on the gas for the last bit, but came across in 20:01. I couldn't believe it. The course was crazy hard, and I almost PR'ed! Seth came in right after me and we celebrated a #1 and #2 spot for our age division. Then we looked at our GPS. Mine said 2.83 miles and his said about 2.9 miles. Oh well. At least it wasn't 7K. And I had fun with an old friend. And I got my first trophy. See what can happen when you don't have a "bad-ittude?"

No comments:

Post a Comment