Sunday, December 02, 2007

Jingle Bell Arthritis 5K

Another 5K yesterday. Val's idea to ride bikes to the race (21 miles), race, then ride back home. It sounded like a good idea until Saturday morning. We got up there about 30 minutes prior to the start, got signed up, changed and ready to go. Never gave a thought on how I might place or anything - just a fun race 4 weeks out from Ironman. The gun goes off and the pace felt really quick but I followed the young girl who went out like a rabbit and it nearly killed me! The race was out and back over the causeway in Tarpon Springs. This causeway is typically quite windy with nothing around to block the wind. It happened to be a pretty breezy morning so this was getting wound into my spontaneous race plan. I went into the lead (for the women) after the 1/2 mile mark and wanted to try and stay there. A couple guys came up to me at this point and I really had to try hard to stay with them to have a draft on the way back into the headwind. The Dane was up ahead and I had to, once again, conceive the household 5K trophy unless he really popped (he didn't). The way back was tough into a pretty stiff headwind so I tucked in and enjoyed my draft - I did try and go ahead but found that too tedious so stayed where I was. Once we got closer to some cover and the wind lessened, I tried to give a decent kick the last 1/4 mile or so. Wow, I won the race! My first 5K win in about 10 years. I didn't run fast but fast enough. About 20 seconds faster than Turkey Trot which was good (the time listed in the results is wrong by about 10 seconds). The ride home was a slow slog but the weather was warm and I had the sweet feeling of a solid effort, 2 tickets to Busch Gardens and a $50 gift certificate for a running store in Tampa for my prize! How cool is that? I was glad to do this race because it went for a good cause, the arthritis foundation. Being a sufferer of rheumatoid arthritis, this was gratifying. I am also going to try and run every day in December just as a fun little challenge. Not long runs, just 30 minutes as slow as I wish. Maybe it'll make the time until we head to Maui go faster!! I can only hope....