Random Rantings and Ravings from a Slow-Poke Runner in the Heart of the South. (A Weeekly (sort of) Blog about running and just about anything else)

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mission Accomplished -- BARELY!!!

The 2006 Gum Tree Run is now officially "in the books". I have now completed my first ever 10K race!! Now for the recap:

My wife ran the Gum Tree as well and we laid out our clothes last night and went to bed fairly early to get a good night's sleep. I checked the forecast before retiring and it looked like partly cloudy and temperatures in the mid to high 50's at race time. Perfect! However, we were awakened at 5:30 am by strong thunder and penny-sized hail! I checked the radar and it looked like it would blow over by race time; but we were both still getting nervous!

I ate a perfect pre-race breakfast at 6:15 - a big bowl of Fruity Pebbles! After getting ready, it appeared that the storm would, sure enough, blow over. I created another eclectic race-day ipod mix and we headed out the door at 7:20 am.

We got there plenty of time to get our champion chip timing thingies and snapped some pre-race pictures. There was between 800 and 1000 runners registered and there were plenty of folks in line for their numbers.

We did a little jogging and stretching and I was a bit nervous because the calf, sure enough, started hurting. We went over to the start line at 8:15 and I staked a spot about a 1/3 of the way back. I looked around and saw a few people that didn't belong here beside me. I saw some corporate-looking guys I have seen running around the Wellness Center that I KNOW can leave me in the dust. I also stood beside an overweight 50-something lady with a bouffant hairdo. She was chewing gum and chatting with a similar lady beside her in capri pants. I could only think that I would get stuck behind them but I stayed put.

My wife went back to the very back of the line. I am really proud of her because she has been training hard but she had yet to run more than 5 1/4 miles. She was nervous but determined to enjoy the race and didn't want to feel any pressure from those starting off fast around her. She would later say that she probably ran the first two miles TOO slow but she really enjoyed herself, so in that regard, she met her goal.

They had a poor sound system and the start caught me a little off guard. I didn't hit my watch until I was a few seconds past the start line so I knew it would be about 10 seconds slow. I knew not to start off too fast but being stuck behind some slow runners got the best of me and I found myself sprinting (a little) down the shoulder to get in position.

The first mile was pretty unremarkable except that my parents drove over and stood near the first mile marker with our kids. It was REALLY cool to see them and it charged me up! However, by about 2 1/2 miles, my legs felt really dead! You can see on my running log that I only ran once this week and not too many miles last week. The calf felt great but the layoff from running had me feeling sluggish and my 8:30 pace was already starting to fade.

We went through a nice older neighborhood in Tupelo in the third mile and it was neat to see all the folks out by the road cheering us on. There were hundreds of people and their children, sitting in lawn chairs and smiling, clapping, or waving! At one corner, there was a line of five or six little girls in sundresses giving high fives to any willing runners on their way by. One man had the road by his home lined with 60 flags to add to the celebratory atmosphere!

I began to feel better around 4 miles and picked my pace up a bit - but was still only around a 9 minutes a mile pace. I knew I couldn't slow down much more or I would not make my goal time of under 55 minutes. And one of the longest, windiest, and most boring sections of the race was coming up.

The fifth and sixth mile of the race goes down two four lane roads where there is very little scenery. I kept a steady pace and focused on my music. I looked at my watch and knew, barring any breakdowns, I could meet my goal.

The second half of the sixth mile is a gradual uphill and I passes a few runners dry heaving on the side of the road. I began to feel proud of myself that I was relatively comfortable. With the hurt calf, I head really decided not to push myself too hard and I was feeling pretty good. I was too tired to push the pace to much but I wasn't about to die either.

Near the sixth mile I saw my parents again set up in lawn chairs with the kids. I gave a big smile and wave and said hi to the kids. I picked up the pace because I knew it would be close. There was a big crown lining the final stretch and I couldn't see the clock. About 100 yards away I saw that I had a full minute to reach the finish line. I settled into a comfortable pace and crossed at 54:46! Slow by a lot of your standards -- but pretty good for my first 10 K!!!!

They cut the timing chip off my shoe and gave me my finishers medal. I sprinted to the car and grabbed our cooler with Gatorade and the camera. I walked back to where my parents were and waited for my wife so I could snap a few pictures. She finished at 1 hour, 10 minutes and 8 seconds. CONGRATS to her and HAPPY MOTHER's DAY!!!!

I checked our times online tonight and we were both a little disappointed because it has us both listed 5 seconds slower than when we know we crossed the finish line. Since it took us both a few seconds to cross the start line, we assumed our chip times would be a little faster than out clock times but we don't know how that is supposed to work.

All in all, it was a great run and it gave me a benchmark 10K time to try to beat! Now, I just got to see how long it takes for my calf to feel better. I am not sure if I should take additional days off or just try to run easy through the injury. Either way I look forward to many 10K runs to come!!!


Blogger Phil said...

Great run on your first 10k (and congratulations to your wife also). If hope you went home and iced down your calf. It looks like you are on your way to breaking through the 50 minute barrier in a few months.


10:27 PM

Blogger PLANET3RRY said...


Great job! Mission Completion! Sounds like you ran a pretty smart race so that despite the injury you were still able to met your goal time. Think what would have happened if you HADN'T had the injury? sub 52 min?

Also, great job for your wife. That is just wonderful! She looks like she is having fun there...

8:17 AM

Blogger Phil said...


What happened? Did you decide to stop running after your first 10K? What's happening with your training? What do you have your sites on for your next race?


12:08 AM

Blogger Shane (mississip) said...


Thanks for the check-in! I have taken a little hiatus but I am trying to get back into the game. I blogged about it today, giving details about the next race I have planned. Thanks again!


6:36 PM


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