Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My First 10K

Sunday was the 32nd running of the Classic 10K race and it was also the first 10K race I've competed in. I've participated in the Classic's companion Rowley 5K race twice before this so it wasn't my first road race, but I'd still consider myself novice in the running world.


Leading up to the race day I've been trying to stick to a somewhat regular running schedule. I would run every other or every third day depending on the weather. During the week I ran maintenance runs between 2-3 miles before work. I was just trying to build endurance into the muscles I don't regularly use on a daily basis.

On the past few weekends I've tried to run longer and longer distances. I started with 4 miles. Then 4.5, 5, and 5.5 miles. Each run was a bit more challenging, but I was able to push myself to the distance I hoped to reach.

The Unknown

Despite all of the training runs I knew there were a few things I wouldn't be able to prepare for. Even though I had worked myself up to 5.5 miles, there was still that last mile I had yet to experience. Granted, if I felt fatigued, but able to continue on at 5.5 miles then I should be able to survive that last mile - even if I had to walk a lot of it.

Another unknown was the course itself. I have been training by running laps on an outdoor track near my house. It doesn't make for terribly interesting running, but what it lacks in amusement, it makes up for in consistency. I had clocked myself running 2:45 laps over and and over again. So I knew I could anticipate to run about 10:30 - 11 per mile and therefore around 70 minutes over 6.4 miles. But I didn't know what the course was going to be like. Were the hills going to destroy me? Was I going to be thrown off at some point by a confusing turn?

Finally Race Day!

It started out just as I had planned. The day before I ate light and stuck to simple carbs. I had read that was easier on the body to digest. The night before - plenty of water. The morning of the race I had an energy bar another glass of water. Fueled up and ready to go!

I made my way to the race start. One of the luxuries about this particular race is that it practically starts and ends in my back yard. I could hear the announcers from my house. In fact, the race route encompassed my house making it rather difficult to leave if I wasn't running! 

Anyway, I made my way to the race start with plenty of time to watch the Rowley 5K runners take off. I had run this race before, but I had never seen it start from this angle. I was just off the starting line, facing the runners who were stretching out and shaking their limbs in anticipation. The National Anthem was sung and the starting pistol fired. The runners were off!

Once the 5K runners cleared out, I found a quiet place to stretch and gather my thoughts. I went for a very brief jog up a hill and down again. I waited for an hour or so to pass.

And I'm Off...

As the runners took their places I noticed signs along the road. "6:00 Milers Start Here." "8:00 Milers Start Here." "10:00 Milers and Walkers Start Here" That was depressing. I was roped into the same crowd as walkers. I scowled and took my place near the very back of the pack. I didn't know until later that those signs are all rubbish and no one else seemed to pay attention to them.

Just before the start I bumped into one of my neighbors. We shared some words of encouragement and wished each other luck. The starting pistol snapped and "we were off." By "we were off" I of course mean I waited 30 seconds for the mass of runners in front of me to start moving so that I could begin. It's just like driving a car ... even once the light turns green you still have to wait for all of the drivers in front of you. Eventually the traffic started moving and we took our first steps. The race had started!

I passed by a number of neighbors spectating and my wife and daughter - all cheering us on. It was a really nice feeling to see everyone come out. Throughout the race there were a lot of people watching on. Some were on the sidewalks with signs and bells. Others just watched from their porches or second floor windows. It was just great to feel that kind of support while running - something the outdoor track definitely lacked.

I'll skip ahead a bit...

The Finish Line

As I got closer to the end I realized that I still had a fair amount of energy left in the tank. It was definitely more than I had expected. I was smiling at spectators cheering us on, cracking jokes with other nearby runners, and even gave the event photographer a big thumbs up! It was clear to me I wasn't hurting half as bad as I expected to be.

The course route ends with a dramatic finish. It pours onto an outdoor running track (hey, I've seen one of these before!) where the stands were filled with people. As I entered the stadium, they called out my name on the PA system and I saw myself on the jumbo screen across the field. What a thrill! I came around the back straight and started to pick up my pace. I saw Anne and Emma, who had moved down to field level, on the final turn and sprinted to the finish line recording a time of 64:35! I had finished comfortably faster than I hoped! Wahoo!

What's Next?

So I've finished my first 10K. Now what? I think the first thing to do is repeat that a few times and get more comfortable with the 6.4 mile distance. Eventually, I think I'd like to work up to 10 miles. It seems like a lot further though.

Ken Shelton Photography

Monday, June 16, 2008

research project

Now that Anne and I are returning back toward our home roots, we’ve begun a very important research project. See, the home turf pizzeria used to be Roma Pizza for years upon years. That was our joint. It was amazing pizza. They closed shop a few months ago – we can’t figure out why.

So part of us moving back to Middletown is determining our new pizza place. We started our research project last night at Colandrea Pizza King. I used to have their pizza when I was a kid and quite frankly I was surprised they’ve survived so long. However, I think they make a very strong entry into our research project.

I had two slices of pizza with sausage and Anne ordered two slices with mozzarella cheese. My two came out with heaping stacks of sliced sausage on top. It was very filling; I might have only needed one slice. Anne said hers was quite good as well. The only negative point for Colandrea’s was the price. Four slices and two drinks cost $14.50! Not what I call a cheap meal. However pizza is very important so if this turns out to be the winner of our research project, our wallets will simply have to be ready!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

closing jitters

We didn’t close last week as we had hoped. To make a long story short, the necessary work wasn’t completed in time to beat the seller’s lawyer’s vacation. So now we have a scheduled closing date for the day after his return: June 20.

Anne and I are becoming very anxious. It’s only a short time away, but we’ve been living in boxes for over a month now. I believe we have over 70 packed boxes! I’ve also been recruiting help. If you’re interested in helping please let me know! I even recruited some of the scout families to help out!

My dad and I were talking on the phone last night. He’s had a chance to see the house twice now and we’ve come to the conclusion that some of the bushes and trees are encroaching on the house. Somehow when he offered to cut down the (what I consider to be) large pine tree touching the back of the house, I gasped. I’ve never had to decide if a tree should be cut down! That’s something homeowners do! It was an awkward discussion that I think we’ll have to continue once I can see that tree again.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Closing next week?

We got an unexpected phone call from the seller of the house we’re buying. Apparently our meeting last week convinced her to move along on the closing date. We could be closing as soon as next week!

It sounds like a lot of things will be left behind in the house and some cleaning will be necessary. I’ll take that trade-off compared to getting into the house later and it being cleaner.

I had a number of family members, friends, and colleagues volunteer their services recently. Now I’m hoping that people are actually interested in helping out! We’ll probably hold a painting party sometime after closing. And I’m not sure if we’ll stick to our original moving weekend (June 21-22) or push it out a week.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

One thing I've been asked a few times because I'm the resident computer expert of the family is how to print a screen when no printing option seems available. I may be subverting some systems that are not supposed to be printed, but this trick should work when Ctrl + P fails us.
  1. Open the window you'd like to print and make sure it's the active window.
  2. Press Alt + Print Screen
  3. Press Start key (sometimes called Win key) + R (alternatively you can use the desktop Start button and then click Run)
  4. Type "mspaint" and press enter
  5. Once Paint has loaded, press Ctrl + V
  6. Manipulate, print, and/or save your image

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Scouting blog

It's been a long while (again) since my last post. Unfortunately I don't have much to say except to plug another experiment in my life. I've started another blog geared specifically toward my adventures in Boy Scouting. You're all welcome to take the jump with me to Scouting Ahead; however, I realize that most could care less. And that's one of the great motivations for the addition of a new blog rather than continuing the Boy Scouts category. I suspect that the few readers I do have are more interested in the often random events in my life and care less about the Scouting. My other reason for splitting the two aspects of my life digitally is to allow me to brand the Scouting blog for Scouters interested in reading about Scouting (not my latest party or random event) .I will continue to keep this blog as alive as ever (if you call that alive).

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

first Eagle Scout on my watch

I'm pretty happy right now because I just got back from my first Eagle Scout Board of Review. The young man became the first Eagle Scout while I've been an active adult leader. It makes me proud to know that I've had some influence in his success.

And it just occurred to me that I should probably include this little tidbit: I'm going to become the next Scoutmaster for our troop. I'm really excited and want to hit the ground running when I start in a few weeks so I've been compiling things to say and do for use later on.

New Year's Resolutions - two years later

It's just getting to be too late to talk about new year's resolutions. That must mean it's about time for me to start writing about them. I picked up Guitar Hero 3 which has been totally addictive and is pushing into all sorts of productivity time including blog writing.

So I've been meaning to write this entry for a few days now. In doing so, I figured I'd look back and see if I've written about the topic before. It turns out, I have! I think I did a damn good job of it too! It leaves me very little to say except to instruct you all to go and read that post instead of this one.

In all seriousness, my feelings toward a new year hasn't changed. Yet as I read last year's resolutions my resolutions from two years ago I realized that I've pretty much failed on most of them. Yes, I did indeed have the best damn wedding possible. But I've fallen short of the mark on the others - some quite considerably. I'd like to attribute these failures to factors such as the list being too long or too lofty, but there's not much truth to that.

This reminds me of a Scrubs episode I was watching just last night. Turk and Carla were having marital issues (communication - not sex) and she was spending a few nights with Elliot. Kelso, on a dare from Cox, was actually attempting to treat a patient. The patient was a large woman who seemed to know exactly what Kelso was going to say because she had one of those "internet phones." She insisted on having a gastric bypass instead of dieting and exercise, despite Kelso's recommendation to do so. Getting to the point, as Turk is about to take the patient to surgery Kelso barges into the room (he literally knocks the door off it's hinges) and Cox-ishly explains to the patient that she's not going to have the gastric bypass. His crutch was that she was avoiding doing the right thing, the hard thing, because she might fail and there would be no one to blame but herself. Turk, of course, overhearing all of this rushes to Carla and the light little piano music comes in and all is well in the thirty minute tv world.

The point, and I have one for once, is that Kelso's message is true for many things in life. And one of those things is new year's resolutions.

Without any further delay or soapboxing, here are my resolutions of 2008:

  • Soda be gone. I have given up on soda. There's nothing to be gained in all that sugar, carbonation, and caffeine.
  • Farewell french fries. I really don't like them most of the time anyway.
  • Gossip and revel in misery less. I've gotten mean! If I'm going to be a Scout leader, I should be following the "A Scout is kind" point of the law.
  • Read more. I'm still trudging slowly through Harry Potter (book 2). But the list of books I'm interested in reading is growing by the month. Must keep reading!

And since I was so inspired by 2007 2006's resolutions I'll be borrowing:

  • Get back into the gym and get back to eating well
  • Continue to shrink that to-do list! I'm doing pretty well on this one.
  • Clearer communication. I have made almost no progress toward speaking in full & coherent sentences with proper enunciation.

Do you have any resolutions (or stock in them in the first place)?