At the start of the race, each year, Jimmy's daughter makes a sincere and moving speech telling the story of her father. It is meaningful and motivating and each year it makes me feel glad to have chosen to attend and support this event. Today's race will be the 10th and final Jimmy D 5k.
The course is as simple as they come. It is a straight shot out and back. The course is gently rolling but it is primarily down hill on the way out with the steepest descents in the early part of mile 1. We run down the road to the firehouse, where firemen hand out water at the turn around. From there we run back (primarily) up hill to the track. The track finish seems to awaken kicks that most don't realize they have in them. I love a track finish!
Kim and I met at 7:40 because we wanted 10 miles today. We decided to run the course as a warm-up after getting our bibs. It was a great way to get a handle on what to expect. The firemen were already setting up the table and boosted our ego's by telling us how awesome we were to be warming up for a 5k with a 5k. :)
By the time we got ready to start the official race, at 9:00 am, the humidity and warm was quite high. We did a few strides, and took out sweat soaked selfs to the starting area. I knew this was going to be a really tough day. Not only was the humidity quite oppressive, I also ran 21 miles yesterday in the 8:30's. I felt tired and beat up and stifling hot and the idea of running a race as fast as I could was making me a little anxious.
I have said it a million times because it is true...5k's scare me. In a marathon or a half, you can run comfortable for miles and miles before the race starts to feel like you need to work and focus and dig. In a 5k, I get 2 minutes of running while comfortable and for the next 18+ minutes, I can feel my heart in my ears and my lungs are on fire and there is nothing I can do to make it stop.
Last year I had a great Jimmy D, one of my fastest 5k's of my life. This year it didn't go as well, but I have no complaints. The pack took off at the sound of the air horn and I try to find some room to run in the crowd. The steepest part of the descent happens early and I saw was running low 6 minute pace. I tried to settle down and find a pace that felt swift, but not over my head. I reach M1 in 6:25. I had hoped to be a little faster considering the decline, but I'll take it. (The clock here was 20 second off).
I begin to preparing mentally for the uphill half, I feel like I am running in quicksand and just can't go any faster. I look at my instant pace and it is still in the mid-6:00's. I have an up hill to deal with. I try my best to stay steady, knowing that worst part of this uphill is at the end. M2 in 6:39.
I see Kim on my way in and she calls out that I am on 10th, I can see two ladies up ahead, but I don't think I can catch them. I don't look back, but I hope that I can hold off whoever is behind me. I feel like I am making a solid effort. No one is passing me and I am overtaking a few guys on the way up. My breathing is hard and I just can't find any more speed. I can tell I am reeling in one woman and think if I can just get close enough on the track, and she has less of a kick than I do, then maybe I can advance one position. The humidity and the incline sucks the life out of me, but this mile is done. M3 6:50.
I enter the track and feel someone coming up on my shoulder. It is Eric, a really talented super fit guy I see often at race. He doesn't have the traditional runner's build, considering he is basically 100% muscle (or at least it looks that way). It always makes me feel super strong to be racing near him. He tries to overtake me around the curve, but I think about my Track Practices with Dave and John and I find another gear. I dig as deep as I can and I am actually holding him off! We are picking off people in our way and I am reeling in the girl ahead… but I just don't have enough time to catch her… and then Eric blasts past me in the last few yards, but I am ok with that. We finish and he shakes my hand saying something like "You got a pretty fast kick for an Ultrarunner!" :) Last .13 - 0:40 (5:05 pace)
Kim finished strong, shortly after me. After a short break we ran the course again. A spectator called out to us as we ran by, "Wow, running the course twice! That's impressive!" It felt pretty good to be able to say… "Oh no, not twice… Three Times!" It is a special thing to be in good enough health and fitness to run 10 milers with a 5k race in the middle. I am not sure how long this will last, but I know that I wasn't always able to do this either. I know Kim wasnt always able to or interested in doing this as well. Sometimes feeling proud of yourself, isn't always about the race pace or placement (but that helps too), but about how far we have come with hard work and dedication to being healthy.
Time: 20:36 (6:38 pace)
Overall Female: 9th
Age Group: 2nd