Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Jay Lyons 5k, two races in three weeks...I'm on a roll!

The Jay Lyons 5k...the race that started me back into running some 8 years ago after I decided to quit being a fat guy. Well, why not make sure I do it as a hip surgery recovering/fluffy guy now too?! In honor of a fallen firefighter of a terrible warehouse fire 17 years ago, the day started out cold and rainy and miserable...and then right before the race started the rain went away and the sun came out. So weird and yet so cool.

I'm rusty at racing (um, ya think?!) so I figured the best thing to do would be to seed myself toward the back and then just take each mile as it came. The race normally has close to 1000 runners but since there was another 5k for a recently killed in the line of duty police officer, today's race only had about 500 people. No big, start at the back, use the crowd to keep me from trying to get out and run fast (this is my only my second race after getting cleared to run on the 2nd of April and while I want to run all out I don't have the fitness level for it) and see how it goes

Ya, that face kinda says it ALL!
I had forgotten the course had a short hill kicker at the start before flattening out and then turning down hill/flat. The thought was to try and dig in and then use the down hill/flat to settle into a decent pace...but it felt like the my first mile was slow as molasses. A quick glance down to the Polar v800 showed it did it in 7:59...ok, no more looking at my watch for the rest of the race! There's another hill at around the 1.3 mile mark that stretches slowly higher with a short false flat up to the 2.4 mile mark. This hill would normally be where I bear down and start chewing people and gaining places. Well this year that hill made me one of the folks getting past. Yes, I know it is ridiculous to think I'd have any run conditioning (or speed) when only having been back to running for 3 weeks...but man it is a whole new world to be struggling and struggling on a course I normally run around 20 minutes on. I will say that it's a different perspective to worry about seeing how I feel and finishing versus my usual of trying to get a podium. But, but,'s all about learning (or relearning) and building back my level of fitness and "race intelligence".

I made the right at the top of the hill, where it flattens out a bit and I thought my lungs would explode. I actually yelled at myself "what are you doing?!, to push this hard with NO mileage in your legs, or speed, is just stupid". That is a FAR cry from what I'm normally yelling at myself...I made the right for the sloping downhill for the finish and was happy to cross it. Second race in a row that I was so happy that I crossed the finish line I was just kind of out of it. Well, it's all about getting miles in my legs. And, and, and...I even treated myself to a beer after!

I know this going to be a long slog to get back to my level of racing and more importantly the level of fitness I want and expect from myself but I have to realize its going to take time. And, and, and. humble me and teach me a whole new level of patience. I'm not happy about it. I actually dread it. But I know in the long run, the fact that I'm pain free post surgery I can hopefully be even better than I was. We'll see.

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