Murfreesboro, TN - 08/15/2009 - 7:00am
Nice and beautiful morning for a 5K run, hosted by the Nashville Striders running club. I arrived at the MTSU campus, outside of the football stadium and checked in and got my bib and t-shirt. As always, everything runs so smoothly when Nashville Striders are in charge. Walked back to the car and put the t-shirt in the car and put on the bib and ran a warm-up mile before the race started.
Along came 7:00am, and the gun sounded. Before the race started, I noticed the Brentwood Kenyon's were here, so no thoughts crossed my brain about finishing first. I had set my Garmin to pace at 7:30 miles per minute and off I went.
Since winning the whole shebang was out of the question, I'll lead you through what goes into a NOVICE RUNNER's head during a fast, mid-distance run - THE 5K.
First Mile. I was checking the Garmin and went pretty well, clocked a 7:28 mile. I thought "this isn't so bad, feeling pretty goods, legs feel good, heart rate pretty low, easy breathing." Let me say that this was the nicest race route that I have run, thus far. The tree lined streets of Middle Tennessee Blvd, and running toward the square were a pretty site. But please remember that all of these things are recognizable to a runner in the first mile.
Second Mile. "Ok, it's really kinda warm out here, funny how I'm just noticing it." Clocked a 7:29 mile, and that perks me up a little, since I'm right on pace.
Third Mile. "Squirrel, was that a squirrel?" OK, the mind starts wondering a little bit, but mostly it's saying "this is the LAST 5K ever, why am I doing this to myself? I'm just a recreational runner." By now, my legs are on fire, and I can barely breath. I tell myself "I am a Runner, I am a Runner, I am a Runner. Squirrel, was that a squirrel?" So much for the mantra. Around 1/4 mile left, I picked up the pace a bit, and started passing a few folks. 3rd mile came in at 7:32 mile
Now, only .10 of a mile left. Any respectable runner leaves it all behind, and SPRINTS the last tenth of a mile, some more experienced runners will hi-tail-it much sooner. Well, I was going as hard as I could and lo-and-behold I picked off a 10-year old kid by stretching my neck, right at the end. Actually, I kinda snuck up on him and with 25 feet left and he couldn't quite recover, but I DID pass him. The Garmin say's I clocked a 5:56 pace for the last tenth and I thought that was pretty dad-gummed fast. Well, remember the Brentwood Kenyon ran all 3 miles at 4:50 per mile, jeez.
Final time was a 23:08 finish and a new Personal Record for a 5K. They had a big door prize giveaway after the run, sponsored by a local outdoors company, and I was the first bib number called, and got a sweet pair of running sunglasses. All, in all, a great race and good morning. Of course, every runner will experience similar things during a run, and will most of the time, 20-30 minutes after the race, be ready for another one. So will I.