Well, at least I didn't just wear speedos during the race, but felt like it here in cold Kansas. I decided last minute this weekend to not run the High Noon Saloon 7.2 Mile run in Leavenworth, about 2 hours away, and raining cold on Saturday, and decided to run the Winter Runderland 5K in nearby Manhattan, KS, on an equally cold, but sunny day. Hmmm, good call!
The race was put on by the local running shop, Manhattan Running Company, and I think was put on quite well for a non-race producing company. I kinda liked the lack of chips and going all old school with the pull tags on the bottom of the numbers and the elongated coat hanger to keep them, harkens be back to simpler days! LOL But all kidding aside, it was a fun race, just wish I was more up to the task! So, let us begin...
I drove the 15-20 minutes to Anneberg Park in west Manhattan for the race about an hour before the 3pm start time (love afternoon races, especially when there were no good late NFL games on!) and even though the temp was 35 out, I decided to rock the shorts and long sleeve t-shirt, as opposed to the typical hat, three layers and tights that I saw on the start line. Besides, it would be good motivation to run fast so I can put my clothes back on at the finish line! I ran into my old Masters Swim coach, Jess and her friend who decided to come out and run and they were more sensibly attired than I was. Jess had just gotten over a a foot injury, so good job Jess!
But I lined up about 7 rows back, mainly because I figured I wasn't going for the win on this one, but also, I didn't want to go out too fast, so it wasn't too bad of a starting position. The countdown came up and gun went off and off we all (about 118 runners) on the 3 mile tour. The first mile was part in the park, so a bit flat, but at about the 1/2 mile mark, crossed a road and up hill it went. Wow, I missed running hills from running on the dreadmill so much, yikes. But I kept a good pace, cresting the big hill and rolling thru the first mile in about 6:51 with my HR topping out at about 189bpm (thank you hills!). But I didn't feel too bad yet!
The 2nd mile was a rolling adventure thru a housing area, and the hills were manageable, but yikes, the legs doth protest! I was gaining on a few folks and really pushed the big downhill (what goes up, MUST come down! I love gravity!) and made a sharp turn on to a gravelly perimeter trail, which still showed signs of ice crystals from the rain the day before and lack of direct sunlight, which adds up to MUD. But it wasn't too bad, and it was mainly flat, so I huffed and puffed thru the two mile mark with a 7:10 split and again, nice 189 HR, oh well, that is what you get when all you do is spin on the bike when you can't run!
The last mile wasn't so bad, but I had no "GO" in the legs and even though I had two guys in "pick off" range, and no one threatening from the rear, I just couldn't turn them over fast enough. Mind you, I ran a two mile PT test a week and a half ago in 13:12, so I still have the wheels (somewhat) but just the lack of miles leading up to this point hurt me. So I just maintained at a 7:04 pace and gave the young kids some high fives as I crossed the line in 21:59 (22:01 official), and I figured that I was at least in the top 20, which I ended up 17th over all, so not too bad.
The bad part was that both 2nd and 3rd in my AG were the next two guys in front of me, who I KNEW I could have got, but again, that lacking of miles hurt me. Oh well, but I am only talking 15 secs out of 2nd in AG, and if I would have run my goal pace (21:00) that would have moved me up to 14th OA. But that is another good lesson, don't get hurt training and get the miles in, and oh yeah, stop whining! LOL.
But looks like my race season isn't over, there are still a few races here, even if they are cold ones, I guess I will continue to race, with the Junction City 5k coming up in a few weeks. Guess I'd better get those miles in, and NOT on a treadmill!
Hope you enjoyed and sorry for lack of pictures, wife decided to stay home in the warm house, can't say I blame her!