Sunday, April 28, 2013

Playing "Race Chicken" with John Phelan @ some random 5k, Bridgewater, NJ. April 28, 2012

John and I have a tendency to get caught up in games of "Race Chicken." This happens when one of us, usually me, finds a ridiculous race and claims "I want to do it!"  Then other says "Me too!"  But really we both know it is ridiculous but no one wants to be the first to say we really dont want to go.

This is how we ended up running a 6 hour Pajama Romp that started at 5 pm in Queens. I ran that morning, but since John was still going so was I!

This is how we ended up driving 3 hours to Albany in February to race a 5 loop marathon in 2 degree wind chill with 40 mph wind gust!  We both DNF'd that day but neither one of us bailed out in advance.  On the ride home I said, "You know if you had said you didn't want to go, I would have stayed home... but I didn't want to be the first to be a chicken!"  He admitted the same.  So now we play Race Chicken at random :)

Today we planned to meet at Duke Island Park for 10-12 miles of easy running.  We both have a race coming up on Sunday and I raced a hard 15k race yesterday.   While on my way to the park, John calls to tell me "There is a race here!"

Of course I immediately say, "Let's do it!"  Then I ask, "What is it? How far? What time does it start?"  John goes to find out.

I get to the park, in my too warm capri pants and non-racing training shoes, planning to jog around for 2 hours only to find John with his bib pinned on.  That big jerk ;) didn't even wait for me to get there so we could discuss whether racing a 5k today was a good idea!

I have no intentions of standing on the side lines while he races so of course I register and then spend the next 45 minutes trying to figure out what to do with myself.  I have no racing flats.  I dig through my bag, hoping I packed a pair of shorts... no luck. I knew that, but I would have loved a pair of shorts.  I was overdressed because I thought training slow but warm would help me begin to acclimate to the warmer temps coming.

I had planned on running 2 hours in a fasted state.  No breakfast before but now that I am racing, I looked for a gel.  None to be found, but I did have a small gatorade and I drank half of that.

We warmed up for 2.5 miles, then headed to the starting line.  It was a small race, on a flat course, but I knew my tired legs were going to hate me!

M1 - 6:24.  Ok, this hurts and I really wish I had on some T7's.  I love my Launch but not for a 5k.  At least I wasn't wearing my heavier Ghosts for this.  I already feel tired and know I cant hold that pace for very long, so I settle down a bit and slowly try to reel in those who had a faster start than me.

M2 - 6:43.  Oh Boy this is hard.  I am trying to run as fast as I can, and I just don't have anything. I feel like I am running in quicksand.  Nothing hurts, but I just cant seem to go any faster.  There is a girl just a step ahead of me who is making it a point to stay in front of me.

M3 - 6:43.  At the start of this mile, I pass the girl and begin to reel in Tara, a incredibly fast runner just ahead of me.  She is usually much speedier and I believe she is recovering from something.  As I pass Tara, I tell her that there is one female behind us that I just passed, hoping she can hold her off too.

M3.1- 39.15 (6:24 pace).  I try to kick it in, and know that the female in front of me is just way too far away for me to catch. I am not sure who is behind me, but I would like to not be passed in the last 10th, so I hurry.

Time: 20:30
Gender: 2nd Place
OA: 4th place

John finishes strong shortly behind me, running what I think is his second fastest 5k ever... on a whim.

We meet John's friends after the awards and run the balance of 10.5 miles for today.

Had John not registered before I got there, I am sure I would have chickened out of this race.  But now, I am glad he tricked me into racing it in the middle of "our easy day" :)

p.s.  I didnt even know the name of this race until just now, after looking it up.  It was the Homesharing 5k and it was a very well organized event.  It would be a great first 5k race for anyone new to the sport.

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