Saturday, August 23, 2008

Xentury City I-Drive U Run 5k

Today, I ran a 5k down at Xentury City, which is next to the Gaylord Palms Resort and close to the Nickelodeon Hotel by Holiday Inn. Dora the Explorer was there... so was Sponge Bob Square Pants.

I haven't run much lately and this was a last minute thing. I just signed up a couple days ago. I didn't know what to expect of myself and I didn't have anything to lose.

Got up at 5am, took a shower, got dressed and started eating a Snickers Marathon bar. Not sure if that was a great choice, but it came free with my race packet, so I was going to give it a shot. 11 grams of fiber in that thing. I'm close to my normal daily intake, well... recommended intake.

It was a nice intimate race with under 500 runners and walkers.

My wristband watch has been broken for a few months, so I didn't have a good way of gauging my pace other than running what felt comfortable and using the mile split clocks.

According to the official results, I finished in 26:25 with an adjusted time of 26:10. It's funny. My girlfriend asked me what my goal was just prior to the start and I quickly thought 8 minute pace would put me just under 25 minutes. I added a minute since I haven't run consistently in over 3 months and out of my mouth comes 26 minutes. I was close. If I hadn't stopped during the race, I might have run the 25 minutes.

So it apparently took me 15 seconds to get to the starting line. I remember my mile split time said 7:57, so my real split was 7:42. Faster than I wanted to be going, but it felt good to that point. That's the problem. I had 2 more miles to go.

The water station was at the 1.5 marker. I slowed to a walk to drink my water, but got right back to my pace. I might have lost 5-10 seconds by walking, but hey, it's not the Olympics. For that matter, if it was the Olympic 5000 meters, there are no water stations.

I don't remember the time when I hit the 2 mile marker. I kept looking for the highway overpass after that point because my back started cramping. Not my lower back. The middle of my back and it was affecting my breathing. It was very uncomfortable. I tried to concentrate on a guy about 10 yards in front of me. It helped for a little. I tried concentrating on my arm swing to keep my pace from faltering.

Oddly enough, when I saw the overpass I gave out and stopped to walk. I tried stretching my middle back by raising my arms overhead it helped, so started running again. I must have walked for about 20 seconds. Not long, but enough to lose some ground. I made it about another quarter mile and I had to stop again. I did the same routine until I could breath comfortably. I ran at my pace the whole way into the finish line. I didn't have any juice left to kick at the end.

I just checked the Track Shack site for the race results and if I had run the same race as the Corporate 5k, I would have won a 2nd place in my age division. That's what makes small races fun. You actually have a shot at a ribbon.

I wanted to run this race to kick myself in the butt and after knowing that I could have placed, I think I'm going to get back into my running routine. I need to take it a little easier than before so I don't get hurt, though.

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