April 2, 2016 by scratchtype1
A total of 7.1 miles today, of which 5 kilometers came at the Chester County Hospital’s Dash for Diabetes 5K.
It’s been nearly 2 years since I last ran a 5K. It’s been more than that that I actually raced a 5K. 2 years ago I lined up at the 2014 edition of this race and did so with a ticklish sore throat and drippy nose. Yeah, I was sick, the second cold I had had in a period of 3 weeks. I ran about 26:48 that day as I had no desire to add too much to what I was already suffering.
Then last year I was sick again and the winds were strong the day for the race, so I elected to just do an easy run that and pass on the race. Some 10 days or so after that I then began the running streak which reached 356 days today. So I’ve been running a lot and as always, trying to learn about things.
In Matt Fitzgerald’s book, Brain Training for Runners, he spends some time writing about to some extent all running is about learning to manage suffering, but obviously more particularly in races. If you run a good race, you’re going to have to suffer some. The goal is to push the body, mind and spirit to the limits and when you get near those, your body and mind inflict a sense of suffering upon you, to try to convince you that you can give up.
So here I am, now, I think as it’s somewhere during the third mile of this senseless thing called a 5K. I can’t really think all that straight or lucidly anymore. The wind blowing into me insults me. There’s a strong desire to drop off into a leisurely jog. But while this suffering isn’t all that enjoyable, I know I’m going to be pissed off at myself if I don’t get the soft and easy goal of faster than 25 minutes.
Every now and then I look at the Garmin and try to calculate. How much farther? How much time do I have left until 25 minutes? While I can usually run numbers through my head without much trouble, these are defying me. I’m thinking that if I don’t keep pushing hard, I might be slower than 25 minutes. And that would suck. How the hell can I be so slow? Yeah, I’ll never be any great burner in running speed, but after all this running and training I’ve done, I better be able to fucking run a 5K in less than 25 minutes.
So I chase those people in front of me. I finally chase one down in the late stages of the third mile. And I chase after the next. Near the last corner, I put the spurt on past another guy. But damnit I’m slow. I’m a little over 8 minute per mile pace this 3rd mile. The brain tries to calculate this and wonders why if I’ve run the previous 2 miles in under 8 minutes I’m even worried about not breaking 25 minutes. I don’t know. I can’t figure the numbers. All I can do is look ahead to the finish line sitting up the hill there and just drive for it and try to chase the guy who’s in front of me.
Finally I see the finish line clock. It’s ticking just over 24 minutes. Why the hell was I even worried about not breaking 25 minutes. On the other hand, damnit! I leaked too much time and failed to break 24 minutes.
Then I cross the line and hit stop on the watch. 24:16.
Blood sugar was 153 mg/dL 15 minutes prior to the race, 174 after.
There’s still room to improve. I hope so. I’d like to some day run a time that will yield an age-grade equivalent of under 20 minutes. Today’s age-graded time is 22:00.