Thoughts, Ideas and Stories

The Great Westchase 5K

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I knew 6:00am was going to come around early so I set the alarm and went to bed at 10 the night before. I debated the merits of carb-loading before I slept but it was only a 5K for goodness sakes. I applauded Michael Scott’s effort during his 5K but felt the result did not justify the attempt so I settled for some chicken for dinner and lots of water.

I awoke about 3:30 to the sound of rain; crap, it’s going to be a wet run. I debated skipping the run altogether but I had already paid and my coach had specifically added this race as part of my training. As I lay in bed it dawned on me that the rain was actually the sprinkler system from my condo complex. I breathed a sigh of relief and went back to sleep for a while.

The alarm went off and I was up once again. This time it really was drizzling but not enough to ruin my anticipation. I ate a bowl of cereal for breakfast and got myself ready to go. I had picked up the official race T-shirt the night before but since it was raining and the shirt was very thin, I put a sleeveless shirt on first. I grabbed a protein bar and a bottle of water and drove to the race site.

After a few inquiries, myself and a couple of other lost souls found the check-in table and I attached my timing chip to my running shoes. Now all that was left was to wait….and wait….and wait. As the crowd built, I jogged a few blocks to warm up and burn off some nervous energy. I chatted with some of the other runners, trying to gauge where I should start in the crowd to avoid getting blocked in by slower runners. I shouldn’t have worried because unless I was starting up front there was no way to avoid the bottleneck that was about to begin. With so many runners starting off in just two streets, there was just no way to prevent it.

The first mile was probably a little slow due to the cattle call start. I didn’t see the marker so I have no idea what my split was. I got passed by a few people along the way but I wasn’t concerned with that, I just wanted to make it to the end! I grabbed water at the halfway mark, spilled most of it as I tried to run and drink and finally just tossed the cup to the side.

I checked my time at the second mile marker; it read 17:20. That was a little slower than I wanted so I attacked the approaching hill, lengthening my strides and pumping my arms. I sailed through the downhill run, passing most of the people who passed me during the first mile or so. I knew the end was up ahead somewhere but since I didn’t have my glasses on all I could hope was that traffic light I saw was the turn for home!

Thankfully it was but I was quickly losing steam. I rounded the corner with about 300 yards to go. I saw the three-mile marker, phew! I corrected my form and stepped up the pace to all I had left. I didn’t want to finish breathing like a freight train but I didn’t want to leave anything out on the course either. I could hear a few cheers from the crowd which is always appreciated and hit the line at 26:40. Not bad for an old sprinter and a full two minutes per mile faster than the Mother’s Day 5K I ran this year!

If I keep this up, I’ll be running sub-four minute miles in no time!

Males 45 – 49 years

GrpPlace Time  Name       Age  City      OAPlace   Pace    Time

16               26:54    David Ufer      47      Oldsmar          239            8:41         26:40

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Written by David A. Ufer

October 31, 2011 at 10:16 am

Posted in Sports

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