Thursday, July 19, 2012

Race # 24 - From King to Beijing 5k/10k

From King to Beijing 5k/10k
8:30 AM
King, NC
Time: 35:04
Place: 3rd overall, 2nd place male

Almost a month ago, I participated in a race to benefit a friend's mission trip to China.  It was slated as a 5k course with a 10k option that runs it twice.  It was located at the local high school I graduated from which is about 2 miles from my house.  So I decided to run there as a warmup, and then run the race, then run home.

We lined up on the track for the start, and once the horn started, we were off.  As usual, I started out too fast.  But this was uncharted waters for me.  Let me explain.  After the Virginia Creeper Trail Marathon, I thought I had recovered enough and jumped back in to training for the Boogie 50 miler I had planned for June 16.  The problem:  I had some discomfort (not pain) in my left knee.  It was weird.  I could run and feel it but after a few miles, the discomfort would go away.  But after the run, and sitting for a while, I could really feel it when I stood back up.  This went on for a few weeks until I finally realized I couldn't run through it and I'd better see a doctor.

One MRI later it was determined that I had a 'slightly frayed' meniscus.  This had nothing to do with the 'cracked patella' the PA said I had according to the x-rays.  I didn't really care about that as it was causing me no pain.  Not much you can do for a frayed meniscus. It's not torn.  Doesn't require surgery.  So it was either take some serious rest, or just make it worse.  I chose the former, and wound down my two months of not much running at the end of May.  I finally got back into training mode in June, but withdrew from the 50 miler knowing that although I could probably finish the race, I may do more damage and cause myself to miss more training for my A race, the UROC 100k.

So, back to the 'uncharted territory'.  Not only have I never raced a 10k, I had not been in full training mode and was slightly worried about pushing too hard and my knee discomfort flaring back up.  But as I started around the track, I just told myself I was going to push until something told me to back off.

Once around the track, we headed up to the baseball field.  Original course was to have us take one lap around the inside of the field, however, the girl who was standing there was sort of a 'low talker' and the guy leading us who eventually won the 5k, just skipped going around the field.  I wasn't about to add more time to my run so I just followed the leader, as did the three others in front of me.

We ran down by the greenhouse, and then past the bus parking lot to the natural area in the front of the school.  This was part of the cross country course so it was nice being on grass and not on pavement.  We then ran up the driveway to the main parking lot where we made a U-turn and ran alongside the outside walls of the school.  By this point I was running behind one guy, with no one in site behind me.  Through the faculty parking lot, back to to the natural area, and then to the bus parking lot.  Then down through the main parking lot and to the stadium where the 5k winner had already finished but I headed out for another lap.

By this point, the guy I was following had fell behind me and I was feeling good.  Back to the baseball field but this time I was told to circle the field so I obliged and the guy behind me followed suit.  I kept pushing my pace and eventually he fell off and I didn't see him anymore.  I ran alone.  But I was fine with that.  I put it on cruise control and passed by a lot of people I knew that were walking and running and I headed for the finish.

I had a feeling before the race that the course was short.  But that didn't matter.  This was for a good cause and it was good for me to get out and see what my legs could do.  I came across the finish line with a Garmin time of 35:04 for 4.82 miles, a 7:16 pace.  Overall, very pleased.

I took 3rd place overall and was 2nd place male.