Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Weekend Race Reports

Turkey Trot 5K
Vancouver, WA
November 24, 2011

Time:  25:49 (8:24 pace)

Simply an amazing example of some of the great people we have in the local area.  This event started several years ago by a group of families that liked to get together Thanksgiving morning and go for a run.  It has grown by leaps and bounds and is one of my favorite events all year. 

Arrived at the event site of Klineline Pond/Salmon Creek Park with Wendy and got signed up and collected our goodies.  For being a ‘free’ event (there is a $15 recommended donation to the Principal’s Checkbook), it is well organized, staffed and the SWAG is pretty cool.

Goal for today was to have a good race, not break any speed records, but also push my effort.  The course was almost exclusively on the Salmon Creek Trail and with 700+ participants, it was very packed.

Gun goes off and we head out, shortly after getting on the trail, I see a man on the ground with a few other people around him.  The trail is slippery in some spots so I figured he had slipped and hurt his leg or something.  There were half a dozen people lending assistance so I kept on going.  Later I would find out from Wendy that the man suffered a heart attack and some of the racers had to do CPR on him.  Yikes, I hope he survived.

The first mile was pretty mellow, kept things steady and then tried to crank it up.  First mile was a 9:20 I think.  Just before the 1.5 mile turn around, we had to ford a deep puddle.  Some people turned around a bit short, but I slogged through, getting my feet wet up past the ankles.  Speaking of ankle, I have a bad injury on my right ankle from walking around Seattle for a week in crappy shoes.  The injury is from my flat feet and my ankle rolling, compounded with the tender area caused by my bone spur.  Ouch.  So every foot strike hurts quite a bit.

I upped the pace and dug deep.  But about a half mile from the finish, I got really fatigued and had to slow to a 9:45 pace.  Ugh.  Sometimes these 5K events are tough if you don’t pace yourself correctly.  After about a minute of this nonsense, I found some energy and picked it back up.  Glided into the finish with a respectable time.

Hot Buttered Run 12K
Ft. Vancouver, WA
November 27, 2011

Time:  1:08:19 (9:06 pace)

This was a super fun event last year and I knew I didn’t want to miss it.  A high energy, family fun and well supported event at Pearson Field at Ft. Vancouver in Vancouver.  Beautiful venue.  Sister and Wendy joined me on race morning.  Wendy and Gretchen opted for the 5K and for me, wanting to test myself a bit, I went for the 12K (7.5 miles).

Remember the ankle pain I have been having?  I decided to visit the running store to have my foot strike analyzed again and see if I need to change my shoes.  The video showed that I am still a neutral runner but it was evident that I was favoring something on my right foot.  The specialist suggested I try some over the counter shoe inserts to give me some arch and heel support.  I tried several types and styles and finally found one that felt pretty good.  So, with new shoes and new inserts (remember—nothing new or different on race day!), I headed out on 12k’s of running fun.

My goal was to maintain a 9 minute pace.  Although I ran a few days ago, I really haven’t done anything of distance for several weeks.  I have been doing a lot of runs in the 3 to 5 mile range.

Things started out well enough, I was digging my new shoes and the inserts felt great, relatively no pain.  The scenery around the fort is so beautiful this time of year.  Big deciduous trees are everywhere and their leaves have all but run their course of the fall colors.  This made for some deep piles of leaves on the road and trails that many runners would swoosh their feet through the leaves. 

I just kept things steady; everything was going well until…… we came to a train in the way.  Hah!  We were on the west end of downtown Vancouver and a freight train had the road blocked.  I had to wait for about 2 minutes but others had to wait a lot longer.  Oh well. 

As we started heading back towards town, I am thinking I was at mile 4.5 or so, I had to dart into Subway and use their bathroom.  Whew!  Thank you Subway, although your sign read “Restrooms are for Customers Only” I will be sure to frequent your establishment on a regular basis.

I was pretty tired and was feeling the sweat rolling off my head and onto my face.  I could taste the salt on my lips.  Just before the finish I caught up to Wendy as she was getting ready to finish the 5K.  “Hey hottie!!!” I hollered as I went by.

Sister was there at the last turn to give me a high 5 before I crossed the finishline.  Whew!  What a run.  Not bad for me, either. 

So, how’s the feet?  The new shoes and inserts worked beautifully.  Although I am still sore and my ankle hurts, this will prove to be the ticket in keeping me injury free.

What a great weekend of activity.  Next weekend is the Jingle Bell Run where I will attempt to break my 5K PR of 23:50!!!  Thanks for your support.

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