Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"Not that hot" Hot to Trot (race report)

Thanksgiving weekend (along with Black Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, nobody cares Sunday and Cyber Monday) has come and gone. Hopefully you, like me, survived the family gatherings and huge crowds of people searching for the elusive "deal." (Which didn't exist this year... you could have just stayed home and bought most of it online...cheaper.)  I spent most of the weekend like a hermit...watching movies and playing with my Nexus 7 (which I scored for $99 BEFORE the weekend might I add.) However I did make my way out on Thursday morning for the 5th Annual Fleet Feet Hot to Trot 5k.

Now let me start by saying... it was cold. I mean, maybe not you crazy lumberjack hairy knuckle, big beard menly men (and women) kind of cold, but for temperate climate lovers like myself, 20° is pretty friggin' cold.

Not an accurate representation of me. I wasn't wearing a scarf.

So how did it go? Well that's the rant of this post. How do you answer that question to the 'non racers' in your life? Because I spent most of the weekend trying to find the right answer to that question. Of course, if you're reading this blog it's pretty likely I could just say "It didn't go very well" and you'd accept and understand what I meant. My goal was a 19 even or better. I finished in 19:17. End of story, right. Well, in my experience... non-racers want to know three things after the first question. (how'd it go)

1.) How far was it?
2.) How many people did it?
3.) What did you place?

If I've already said "not that great" to answer "how'd you do" then I start getting that sinking feeling.

1.) Well, it was 3.1 miles (reduces redundancy instead of saying "a 5k")
2.) There were a little over 1700 people.
3.) Well I was 10th overall... 1st in my age group.

Yeah yeah... it sounds like bragging (or just being a douche in general) basically however you read it. So in the end I came up with
"I finished well for who showed up, but didn't meet my goal."

Ok, ok... rant ending I promise :)

On to the real report

Turkey Trot 5k
Pre-race standing around (7:12-7:30a.m.)

Where's Waldo? Dead center with the red Oakleys B)

- We get called into the corral a bit earlier than I had hoped. I was dressed fairly Spartan (shorts / sleeveless shirt / gloves / arm warmers / sunglasses / race flats) so to say I was freezing would be a lacking comparison.

I work my way up to the front of the start line... right beside the family of 4...
Rant #2 Go!
Seriously, how are people so oblivious. I mean, the guy with the big microphone JUST SAID that we'd be lining up by estimated finish time. I know there are child prodigies out there, but you're telling me YOU, your wife and two children under 10 are going to run a pace that puts you somewhere even NEAR the front? Let alone first in line? I know you spent a lot of money at Dicks sporting goods trying to look stylish, and I can even appreciate the matching jackets / tights (although seriously dude... wear shorts over those things next time... nobody wants to see that.)

... and after the National Anthem we're off.

Mile 1 (6:00)

We start with a soft downhill. I make a note not to go blazing out of the gates, since a downhill start means an uphill finish. It's amazing the number of people that are falling off before we even reach the 1mi marker. I get into my groove and start making mental notes of what to be looking for on the way back to gauge my distance from the finish.

Mile 2 (6:15)

About 1/4 of the way into mile 2 is the turnaround and I cut it a bit too wide to be optimal. Now it's a drag all the way back up the slight incline enjoyed up to the turnaround. I start hurting about the time I see the flag for the 2 mile point, but it seems like I'm fairly well on pace still. As it turns out I'm a little behind, so boo.

Mile 3 (6:17)

Mile 3 hurt pretty much the whole way. I caught a couple more people who I could tell were really hurting at this point but I was fairly alone overall. At the mile 3 marker I got my first sight of the finish line... and I also realized that I wasn't going to hit sub 19. I still had a shot to PR my 5k time with a solid sprint though.

Being outclassed in sweet apparel by the dude with American flag shorts.

Mile .15 (:50)

My Garmin says that the course was .05 longer than a 5k... but Garmins aren't notoriously accurate... so take what you will. The sprint was sucky and my face was so cold that it hurt to smile, grimace or whatever other face we make when we're in the tank. I cross the line and managed to PR by a couple of seconds. Certainly far off what I came to do, but still an acceptable finish.

As soon as I finished I hugged mom and then made a straight shot  to the car and turned on the heat. I was freezing, and couldn't imagine anything being better than going home and making some coffee. (Turned out to be Irish coffee... ;) )

So, things weren't as perfect as they could have been... but I suppose that leaves some motivation for the New Years Day race.

Hopefully all of you guys had a good holiday break with the family/friends/whoever.

Until next week, thanks for reading!

- Christopher Morelock

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