Sunday, May 18, 2008

Things I Learned from my First 5K

Ego is the enemy.

I really pressed the last leg of the race I wasn't really thinking about my time. I wanted to pass the two girls in front of me. I not only exceeded my training, I also wound up with a brutal cramp that still has me limping a day later. I now understand what they mean when they say an athlete "plays within herself." My race isn't with young girls, It's with the Fat Man, and he's been winning for a long, long time. I need to be patient. As it turned out, the time I gained by pressing and the time I lost by limping just about canceled each other out.

Water, water everywhere.

I did not drink enough water before the race. Hardly any, actually. The fact is, I just forgot. I was excited. I need to make water a bigger part of my training. That may have been one reason for The Big Cramp


OK, maybe Jeff Gallaway is right on the run/walk business. There were two LITTLE girls, like 11 or 12 year old girls who pretty much kept pace with me for most of the race. The older of the two kept telling her friend, "It's okay, we need to pace ourselves." They would run like fawns for a while, then stop and walk. I would pass them and they would be chatting away, having a blast. Then they would run some more, passing dozens of adults at a time. The continued this for the whole race. Gradually, I stopped catching them. They just got farther and farther off into the distance (even though I was getting faster and faster.) They pulled away running, walking and laughing. They finished several minutes ahead of me and Mrs P said they crossed the line holding hands. I should have followed their example. I intend to do so in the future.

The most important meal of the day

I had a bowl of oatmeal and a glass of Crystal Light for breakfast. The oatmeal was a good choice, but I should definitely have thrown a banana or two in there. The drink was a bad choice. Icould taste that weird grape flavor for a good part of the run which was just ickey. A more balanced meal would have served me better.

Keep Moving!

I had a reasonably long cool-down, but coming home and crashing probably made the stiffness worse. I could have mowed the yard, walked the dog, or just gimped aimlessly around the neighborhood to flush the lactic acid out. Instead I flumped down and fell asleep. I awoke in a state of near paralysis and made my way to the gym and the recumbent bike. Slow easy spinning helped to clean things out, and long gentle stretching followed by a hot shower left me moving slowly but much more smoothly.

My wife is idiotically in love with me

She got out of bed at 7:00 on a Saturday. She made me a sign and cheered me on. She was the official photographer for Team Pennsy. She cried when I finished. Everyone on Earth should know what it is to be loved the way Mrs P loves me.

With God's help I can be a fighter..

I have quit on an awful lot of things and people in my life. It is easier to walk away that to stay and fight. Yesterday, I did not quit, even when I knew I would not win or even look good finishing. But I by-God finished. I am grateful to God for letting me run. I am proud of myself and eager to discover what I can do next. Pride without arrogance is a new experience for me. I like it. It feels clean.


I'll take a couple days off from working out. I'm going to eat smart, sleep well, and do some heinous chores around the house. Then I'll start training for the Bluegrass 10,000 which is in six weeks!




    A thousand congrats to you! Though I'm sure that this will be the first of many such celebration-worthy posts, I am simply thrilled for you and your first 5K.

    I am also increasingly enamored by your blog and your lessons that you share. Thank you for keeping up with it and I hope it continues!

    By the way - you look GREAT!!

  2. P.S. Would you mind if I linked to this blog from mine? I have the other one already and am not sure how "public" you wanted this one to be...
    I would love to if you are okay with it. I am really, really excited for you and would love to "share you" with other people. Let me know your thoughts!

  3. I would be honored to be associated with you Ms Katie(!)


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