It was a warm July fourth morning. The 5k would be my first race in more than seven months. My training with Galloway and the Donna Hicken Foundation just entered its second month. I was acting cocky and feeling pretty good but something wasn't right.
At the gun I took off with the lead group of 500 plus runners. My first mile split was just inside a 6:15 pace - "not bad" I said to myself. Just before mile two the head games were in full swing and "Captain Couch Potato" reasoned with me to stop and walk. "You walk in your training runs, go ahead and take a short break. You'll feel better and it won't cost you any time." I guess the rationale was that I could run harder after walking because I would be rested. I walked on three occasions and finished with a sub par time of 20:57. Actually, if it weren't for the 17 year old female determined to beat me with 300+ yards to go I would have finished with a time of 21something.
This weekend the RITA 5k would be my first race since the "Independence Day Meltdown." Proceeds from the race will be shared with the Donna Hicken Foundation so all trainees were encouraged to sign up. Two months have passed since the meltdown and my weekly training has improved. Captain Couch Potato tries to get my attention but I'm getting ready for a race so I successfully ignore him. "Crazy Running Man" has my full attention at the start of the race and this time THERE WILL BE NO WALKING.
Twenty minutes goes by in the blink of an eye when you put it into the right perspective. Runners will often parse a race into some relative scale. Short 5k's (3.1 miles) are one third the time and exertion required for a 15k. Once you've done a 15k the information gathered goes into a mental holding place and it's brought out at the right moment in a race to assist moving through a new race challenge. When you're running full throttle twenty minutes can seem a lifetime if you don't have methods to block certain "pain cues" out of your head.
Captain Couch Potato had some fun playing a game of darts inside my head. At one point during the run (somewhere after mile two) he lobbed the idea that I could walk and then fake injury. Great excuse but it wasn't going to happen.
"Twenty minutes is a very short span of time... gut it up" yelled the Crazy Man.
So I didn't walk and finished with a respectable 20:21 time. Third place in my age group. Cool.
Congratulations to ALL the Galloway runners. It was wonderful to see so many out on a Saturday morning.
Enjoy photos from the race posted below.
Keep the checks coming.
Special Thanks to my friends at Surf Expo for their support of the Foundation.
A complete gallery of my marathon paintings has been posted at this link.