"Hey, I could win this thing."
This is what I thought when I looked at the results for this race from last year, and saw that the winner did it in 19:07. Coincidentally, Paul P. thought the exact same thing, and his reaction was to seek out a more competitive 5K. My winning strategy involves avoiding competition at all costs, so I headed right over there.
"No more racing for 3 weeks"
This is what I vowed 2 weeks ago after doing both Bobbie Boney and Philosopher's Way the same weekend and feeling like I was run over by a truck. We have the Bayshore Marathon on May 23, so I really needed to rest and recover. But like other runners, "tapering" makes me crazy. Shannon was in NY, so she was not here to keep me straight. So here I was, like an addict sneaking off for a quick 5K fix.
This is what my car dashboard said about how many miles I had left in my gas tank. It says this when it's too low to register. It was 20 minutes to the start, so I would have to get gas after the race.
"I have no money"
I told the nice lady at the registration table, with a great big apologetic grin. I had left my wallet at home. Now I really felt like an addict, out of cash, trying to sweet talk my way to a score, "I swear I'll pay you later". She was very nice and gave my a bib.
"He's looking back! He's getting tired! Go get him!"
shouted someone on the sidelines. The guy in the lead wearing a NCRC singlet kept looking back. I was about 25 feet behind him but couldn't keep up the pace. A young kid ran by me and almost caught him. I ended up 3rd overall with a slow 19:16. Still, it was only 9 seconds off my PR so I wasn't as bad as I had felt lately, and I had gotten my fix.
"Clunk, Clunk, Clunk"
This was the sound my left front tire was making as I was trying to hurry home to get my wallet so I could pay the nice lady who had trusted me. I got out of my car and found this clip stuck in my tire. Great. Out of gas, flat tire, no wallet. I closed my eyes and I slowly pulled out the clip, like the pin out of hand grenade. I was expecting it to pop out like a cork, or the tire to start hissing leaking air, but it didn't come. Whew.
Drove home, expecting to run out of gas at any moment. Somehow I made it. Good to know I can go 20 miles after my car says I have no gas. Got my wallet, drove back in Shannon's car.
"Clap, Clap, Clap"
Yea! Validation! I won an award! First in my age group, I got a $20 gift card to Dicks Sporting goods. It only cost me $30, and half a tank of gas. The overall winners actually got trophies.
If I put forth a lot of effort, maybe in the future I can find a 5K with even less competition.