Shorts in 30 degrees? No sweat for a hockey player!
So off I went with my new playlist and proceeded to adhere to the game plan. The first 10 minutes of running was easier than in my previous post, but the last 5 was tough. Same issue as before - tired legs and poor conditioning. Somehow, I got through it and was about 3 minutes into the last leg when I realized that I had only 1/2 a mile to go before hitting the coveted 3.1 mile marker. With that, I threw out the rest of the walk and ran the rest of the way to complete an unofficial 5K in 39:34. To say I was gassed would be an understatement, but 39:34 was pretty damn good when I walked 15 minutes and never set out to finish a 5K when I started.
That day, I thought it over and decided that I could lower that time to 35 minutes. The problem, though, is that my plan required me to push that single running interval to 2 miles in 21 minutes followed by a short walking interval to recoup for a final push for the last 3/4 of a mile. No sweat! Unfortunately, my legs didn't feel as good over the next few days and I was all-around tired. New Year's Eve, the eve of the big race, I went to bed early. I needed every ounce of energy I could muster for the big day.
Disclaimer: photo documentation was highly lacking. That's the problem with having both you and your wife run a race together.
Steph and I woke up this morning, put on our new "Crazy Bitch" gear, and headed over to the race.
These came out much better than initially pictured. Plenty for sale here!
I was focused on my plan. Steph, on the other hand, went a bit crazy with excitement, even rubbing my belly for good luck (for the first time ever). The horn went off and we spent a minute or two wading through the crowd to get to the start line. I rarely feel claustrophobic but things were tight in there. Everything went off without a hitch, and we were on our way.
Thankfully, Steph decided to forgo this race and spent her time making sure I stuck to the plan. It was incredibly difficult to keep pace when we were getting passed by a ton of people. Regardless, things were going alright until I spotted a hill on the course! I hadn't done hill training before, so it felt like it'd be a huge challenge. Keeping Steph's mantra in mind, we passed people on the uphill and took it slow on the downhill. Eventually, we hit the first mile marker at about a 10:30 pace. Things were going well. I wasn't out of breath and my legs felt good. At one point, I had visions of me running the whole race without stopping.
Five or six minutes later, I had to push myself to complete the 2nd mile. I was huffing and puffing; my legs felt wobbly; and I wanted to stop because I was tired. For some reason, Steph thought it was the perfect time to take pictures! Somehow, I pushed through that wall and hit the 2nd mile marker in 21 minutes! I hit my goal exactly as I had set out to do. I could finally stop and recuperate before my final push.
Smile for the camera!
Within 2 minutes, my breathing stabilized and I was ready to run again. Steph and I kicked it up and started passing people left and right. I was going to make 35 minutes and do it with speed! Within 2 minutes, though, my legs were just too tired to keep up that pace and I was left with two speeds - slower run or walk. On several occasions, walking seemed like the better option, but Steph kept me going all the way to the finish. 33:04!
I was so exhausted, I barely noticed that someone was taking my picture as I crossed the finish line. I felt like crap and, according to Steph, looked like it too. I can't wait to see that picture. But I exceeded my expectations and was able to walk away from the race instead of riding in an ambulance.
The medal doubles as a wine stopper. Pretty sweet.
After cooling down, I told Steph that I have my eyes set on the Super 5K and any other race that has a "linemen" or "clydesdale" division. Her response - "I knew you'd be hooked!" I might not hate running as much as I did a few months ago, but at least now, I tolerate it!
Four finishers within 5 minutes. Not bad for sticking together.