Yesterday, I was able to run the Big House Big Heart five kilometer race. As I rode my bike to the race, I thought that it was a great day for the race as the sun was listing lazily on the horizon. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I was still a little sick. My throat was mostly clear, but my nose was still runny in the crisp air.
I got signed in at the Hope Clinic stand that was just inside the stadium gates. By the way, my thanks to all those who donated to Hope Clinic on my behalf! I met up with Adam and Sarah for a minute since Sarah had also participated in Team Hope. Then, I lost them in the crowd.
I was able to meet up with Andrew and Brittany a little after that. This was going to be Brittany’s first ever 5k, and she was a little nervous. I knew that she was going to do great, though!
I said goodbye to them, and lined up near the start of the race on Keech Road. We listened to a few speeches from various people who were involved in the race or were getting awards. After that, a gentleman named Laurence (I believe) came up and sang “The Star Spangled Banner.” There was a few more announcements, and then it was time to start.
We huddled together for a few moments, and then we were off. There were lots of people, so the first turn was a little tough as we all jockeyed for a good position. I tried to stay loose and just enjoy myself.
The course wound up on Division, and as I climbed the hill, I was feeling pretty good, so I opened it up a little. The course turned onto Madison, and I decided to back off a little bit while I climbed up that hill. From there, I knew it was a fairly level and fast course, though I couldn’t remember where the mile markers were or anything.
We turned onto State Street and passed by a steel drum band. The rousing melody and beat definitely helped me along in my race. I soon spotted the 1 mile marker just a little bit south of North University. As I passed the marker, I hit my stopwatch: 6:15 was my time for the first mile. That was a little slower than I had been going out in some of my races earlier in the year, but I chocked it up to my cold. Nonetheless, I told myself to press on hard for the second mile to see if I could catch up on my time.
The second mile was a lot tougher than I expected it to be. I think that I pushed hard for the first half of the second mile, but as the course made a right onto Church Street, I could feel a very heavy tiredness in my legs and my breathing was coming a lot harder.
We turned onto South University, and I heard the sound of bagpipes. There was a gentleman playing a Scottish tune dressed in a kilt. I told myself that the marching tune he was playing was a good one for a race like this, where I feel so weary so early in the race. So, I pushed ahead on South University for a while.
As I came up on State Street a girl started to pass me with a pretty good stride. I couldn’t keep up with her though, so I spit some phlegm out and tried to keep her in my sight in case I might have some “kick” left at the end of the race. Soon, I let her get too far ahead and a few more people passed me. I didn’t like it, but my body was telling me I couldn’t do much faster of a pace.
I don’t know where the two mile marker was, but as I was halfway down State Street, I realized that I had to have passed it. I told myself to try to push it for the last little while. I turned into a lot that was going to go to the stadium, so I tried to speed up for a little while there. I sped up, then faltered on that speed. Then, I sped up again as I saw the stadium looming ahead.
The course went right into the stadium, and I tried to push myself as I ran down into the stadium and onto the field. I knew the race was nearly over, but I didn’t have the “kick” I am used to . I still pushed hard as I ran across the finish line.
My watch told me that I ran a 19:33. My official time was a 19:35. I came in 5th in my age group (out of 241) and 65th overall (out of 6144). Overall, I am very content with my race, and some of the challenges I overcame to get there!