Saturday, May 15, 2010

What was I thinking . . .

I'm dreading this.  I remember 5Ks hurt!  Yea . . . but I'm excited too!  First 5K in 15 years!  Wonder who is showing up for this race?  Don't see many my age!  Hope they all are running the 10K.

Oh no . . . there's Tom Thurman.   Bet he's doing the 5  . . . he'll kill it.  No way I can keep up with him.  Wish this thing would start . . . I'm tired of sitting around.

Finally . . . they're calling us to the start.  I knew it . . . there's Tom.  Damn!

What . . . no starting mat?  Time starts with the gun.  Crap.  I need to move to the front then.  No . . . that's not fair to to the faster runners.  Okay . . . I'll split the distance.  This looks close enough.  Only giving up a few seconds.

Finally . . .running!  All right! Don't go too fast here.  Keep it close to your 9:15 target.  At least the temps are OK.  Don't see anyone my age around me.  Stay focused.  Relax.  Breath deep and steady.

Hey . . . that's Michael and his two kids just up there a little way.  I can't let them beat me . . . I'd never hear the end of it.  Caroline is fast!  And Henry is too for his age.  Ahhh . . . I'm catching 'em.

"Hey Michael!  This is my big chance!  I'll never get the chance to beat you in a race again!" Thank God he's running with his kids, or he would smoke me bad!  Still . . nice to pass someone!

OK . . . mile marker coming up.  OK . . . 8:46.  Too damn fast!  But not too bad.  Relax . . . stay smooth.  This is getting hard!  Breathing too hard, lungs burning  No . . . stay positive.  You knew this would happen.  Just back off a tad.  Yea . . . that's better.  Hope I haven't gone out too fast.  Hurting too much, too early.  No wind.  This is going to suck!  Folks have spread out some.

Almost to Battle Park . . . Damn, we've got that steep little hill to climb.  Tight turn.  Down, then up the hill.  Come on . . . it's not very long . . . just slow up a bit and shorten your stride.  Take what it gives you . . .  You do this every day.  I'm dying!  Can't breathe! A little walk break would sure feel good.  NO WALKING! Ahh . . .  the top!  Aid station . . . Get water?  No . . . pass it by.  Take advantage of the downhill.  I wonder how far it is to the turnaround cone.  There it is . . . not far.

More downhill . . . use it!  Wonder where that damn 2 mile marker is?  Run the tangent on this curve.  Good.  Damn, I'm hurting.  Lungs are the worst, just no wind.  Stay positive.  Another aid station.  Pass it by.  Good . . . passed three at that station! Ease up on this uphill.  Damn, where is that mile marker?  Will this hill ever end?  Come on . . . it's only maybe 200 yards and not that steep.  Get your mind right!

How can it be that girl is ahead of me?  I should be WAY ahead of her!  I can beat her

I'm dying . . . this uphill.  I've got to walk.  NO!  No walking!  But I've got to walk!  No . . . just keep running!  Hold on . . . I'm walking!  Damn!  I said I wouldn't do that.  Okay, run again at the shadow just ahead.  OK . . . no more walking no matter what . . . only walked about 15 yards . . . not terrible.  And no one passed me.  But no more walking!

Finally . . . the top of the hill.  I remember that hill from the half-marathon.  No more hills 'till the end.  Must passed the 2 mile marker.  Hey . . . I'm wearing my Garmin . . . I'm an idiot!  OK, 2.7 miles and I'm averaging just over 9:00.  Hope my heart doesn't explode!  All that blood!  That would freak everyone out for sure!  I should be under 30 minutes!  Yea . . . I've got that!  Don't let anyone old guys pass you.  Don't see any ahead. Just relax . . .

She looks a little further from me . . .  crap.  No sweat, I'll just "nip" her at the finish.  No way she can beat me!  Look at her!  She may not even make it!

Finally, just one more turn . . . damn this uphill.  Can't breath!  I'm dying.  Hurts!. 

OK . . .you can rest in a just a few more seconds.  Catch her!  Goooo!  Faster . . . move those legs!!! I'm going to die before the finish line.  Can't breathe.

Damn . . . how can she do that?  She's going to beat me!  Damn!!!

Well . . . at least I can stop running now!  I did it!  Under 30!  Yes!

Okay . . . now I can rest!  Wonder if I did it?  Hope they post the times early.  Maybe.  How many men over 60 were in this?  I didn't see many.  What was my time?

Oh CRAP . . . stop your Garmin!  Wonder how long I've been finished?  Maybe 30 seconds . . . Need to get some water.  Ahhhh . . . better then a beer . . . almost.


So . . . that was pretty much how it went.  I finished in 28:29 I believe.  Under my 30 goal for the race.

I guess I've run in 200-300 races in my life  No 5Ks in 15 years, but still have run plenty of races, big and small.  But up until today I had NEVER won an age group award in a real race.  Ever!  People don't believe me but it's true.  Even in very small 5K races when I was running close to my 5K PR of 20:01 I never placed.  And since then in small 10K races and longer . . . nothing . . . nada!

But now . . . I've broken through!  3rd place in 60-65 age group!  Finally, I was called to go to the podium to get something!!!!  Sweet!  I should be embarrassed . . . but I'm not!


  1. Congrats!!! It is a nice feeling to hear your name called. Glad you were able to experience this! Nice report, you were able to bring those thoughts out very well. The battle between the runner's good and evil mindset:)

  2. Love the description of the 5K - pretty much describes my thought process in the one's that I have done! Wow, a real reward in a real race, congrats!

  3. Great job, Frank! I told you, you could do it.

  4. great race report! I love the "stream of consciousness" narrative. Really captures what somebody goes through in a 5K. Well done.
    Congrats on your age group award!

  5. OMG, I loved that race report- it was literally like being in your head:) It's so funny how so much of the self-talk is universal, too.

    Ha ha! How many times have I had those Garmin moments!!!

    What a cool medal. Don't be shy about it- bask in your glory! Awards are awesome:)


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Littleton, North Carolina
World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.