5k Virgin's No More
I popped B’s 5k cherry this weekend. Yup, he’s no longer a road race virgin (don’t worry, BB, I don’t think you’re easy).
Best Buddies had their 5k Gobbler yesterday. It was for a good cause and it was only $25; how could I say no? I couldn’t have, even if I wanted to, b/c my friend works for Best Buddies and was constantly badgering people to sign up. Just to clarify, I did it b/c I wanted to, not b/c I felt obligated or anything.
While B and I were waiting around for it to start, I realized that this was actually my first 5k, too. I’ve done 4-milers and the JP Morgan Corporate challenge, which is a 3.5 mile course. I did the Broad St Run, the biggest 10-miler in the country, and my first half marathon last year. But these various races didn’t include a 5k. Until yesterday.
It was a good-sized group of runners, but I was able to start right at the forefront of the starting line. This ended up being bad news; I took off after the start signal faster than
creepy soccer moms pre-pubescent girls into the Breaking Dawn 2 premiere.
Usually I start far enough back so that by the first half mile or so, I’m passing the folks who overestimate their time and am giving dirty looks to the airheads who stop running abruptly smack in the middle of the road. Yesterday I was the one getting passed on either side. I felt like an out-of-stater on the Mass Pike at rush hour. At least no one flipped me off (that I noticed, anyway).
I was cursing myself the whole run for not pacing myself better, but I couldn’t do anything about it now but slow down and suffer through the gnarly stitch in my side. It was a crisp November morning, but I knew I’d be sweating it out after a mile or so, so I wore tights w/ a short sleeved shirt and my running gloves. I was fine temperature-wise, but not so much w/ the course terrain. It was filled w/ those little “slopes” as you’d call them if you were in your car, but what felt more like hills when you’re trying to run up them.
Me and this older man kept passing each other along the run, and I was determined that I would finish before him. I mean, dude was old. I may be slow, but I’m not that slow. Turns out I am. The ol’ “you can’t judge a book” idiom. Or more appropriately, "you can’t judge a runner by his beard color.”
I crossed the finish line at 26:15 and was pumped. The exact math I can’t do, but it’s less than a 9-minute mile, I know that much. Damn, that old man must have been fast. I should have spent less time resenting him and more time mimicking his form.
After, I looped back around for B who was walking it. I had originally hoped we'd run together, but after more than a few fights about it, I realized I didn’t care if I was running next to him or not. He knew that it was important to me, so him being there was what mattered. That and the fact that he carried all the shit I didn’t want to run with. That was pretty important, too.