Tripping Over Myself: My 5K Play List
My latest 5K Race could easily be a playlist on my iPod. Here’s how my race went.
The days leading up to the race: Greased Lightning
I am determined to beat my 5K PR. My sights are set on two goals. 1. Beat the 15-year-old neighbor kid who overtook me in the last ¼ mile in last years race. 2. Beat my 5K PR. Even though I am training for a fall marathon, I have been working on my short distance speed and being able to pick up the pace down the last stretch.
Race Day: Guns N Roses-Welcome to the Jungle
Over 500 people are lined up for the 5K. It is a sea of runners because we are all crammed into a side street for the start of the race. The strollers are lined up in formation, the race walkers are set and the gun is about to go off (gun is metaphor for guy with his arm up in the air and as he slashes it down to the ground, he says “go”.) The race begins. The journey begins. The adrenaline is high.
Mile 1: U2-Where the Streets Have No Name
I’m feeling good about my pace. I did some light jogging and then some stretching before the race so that I would be warmed up and ready. The racers are falling into their paces. The pack has separated into the different speed sections. I am feeling pretty confident. I am also feeling that because of the adrenalin rush, I may have started faster than I was able to sustain. I ignore the street signs at each corner and allow myself to focus on putting one foot in front of the other.
Mile 1 ½: Life is a Highway-Rascall Flats
I’m feeling like this run is never going to end. I definitely started too fast. There is a water station coming up. Get a drink (bad idea) and wonder what would happen to my time if I took a few seconds to vomit on someone’s lawn. I decide it probably would kill any hope for a PR and the poodle that is barking wildly by the runners as they pass its house would probably attack me.
Mile 2: Metallica-Creeping Death
I see runners going the opposite direction as me. It’s a blasted turn a round. In a 3.1-mile race, who would do such a mean horrible thing as to rub it in my face that I’m no-where near as fast as the guys who are passing me. It’s even worse when they yell out words of encouragement. I envision myself picking up a small rock and throwing it at the next idiot who claps and tells me “good job” as he passes me going the opposite direction. My shoulder hurts and I’m definitely feeling like this race has turned into a marathon and no one told me.
Mile 2 ½: Dashboard Confessional-Reason to Believe
I can see the building where the race began and will end. I’m feeling like maybe I can just go a little further. There is some hope left in this world after all. I don’t have any idea what my time is at this point and I really don’t care. All I care about it to keep running. Nothing else matters at this point…just finish the race and go home. The thoughts of what I might possibly fix for breakfast enter my mind. A couple eggs, maybe a smoothie or a waffle?
Mile 3: Cold Play-Speed of Sound
The race is almost over. The reservoir of energy has opened and I put everything thing I have into the final few moments of the race. My friend is next to me. I can’t remember if he falls in my age bracket or not, so I am focused on getting past that finish line first in an effort to place in my age division. It’s now or never…do or die.
The finish: U2-Beautiful Day
I finish the race. I’ve given it all I had. I hear my kids cheering for me at the end and my son giving me a high five and telling me my finish time. I didn’t even see the clock as I finished the race. I beat my PR by 58 seconds. My two daughters have volunteered to man the post-race food booth (free food for them) and I grab a muffin and some chocolate milk knowing that I absolutely left nothing on the table with this race. I turn back to the finish to cheer on the rest of my family members who ran or walked this race.
It definitely is a Beautiful Day.