The last virtual race I hosted featured the four-person group in a lot of the entries. I learned that lots of you like to get out together, motivate each other, and make running or walking as much a social activity as a health & fitness activity. Because of this I expected lots of group photos this time…and then I went and scheduled the race on a weekend that was far too cold for the groups we saw last time. Lesson learned, not everyone is a lunatic like me that gets out in the freezing cold for a 5k (but a few of you are!). Consequently attendance was down for this race, but great stories to share nonetheless.
Race Background: Why this is the Powder Blue 5k
Plain and simply, I named this race the Powder Blue 5k after the only color shirt I wear on race day. But there’s a reason I don’t deviate from powder blue…
In 2011 I took up running with one goal and one goal only, finish one marathon. I had never been a runner throughout my entire life…as my father used to joke, they used a sundial to time me in the 100 meters and a calendar for the mile. So to go from complete non-runner to marathoner was quite the task to undertake. In fact, the furthest I had ever run in my life to that point was a mere mile and a half. There was one thing for sure, I was completely out of my element.
I started my training on January 1, 2011 and started with one ridiculously slow mile. I followed it the next day with one more. By the end of the month I’d run a 5 miler. The target was the Des Moines Marathon in October, a chance to have a few setbacks but really get into shape before my first attempt. But after an 8 miler to close February, a 12 mile run in March, and a complete lack of patience, I fast forwarded race day to June and the Marathon-to-Marathon.
At the time I truly didn’t know if I’d run more than one marathon. I didn’t have a schedule full of races like I do now…I actually had never scheduled a single race before. My first race was the big one, the 26.2 mile test, the marathon. Given that this might be the one and only time I’d do this I wanted a new shirt for the big day, I saw a powder blue shirt in the workout section of Target that spoke to me.
That race day wasn’t exactly well executed. I completely crashed on the second half of the course, my time was horrendous, I certainly had thoughts of one-and-done before I reached the finish line. But as I trudged on and eventually crossed the line of marathon #1 I immediately started to think what I’d do differently in training and race execution for #2.
So back to the point, why powder blue? Preparing for marathon #2, I decided to run a tune up at the Omaha Half three weeks before race day in Des Moines. Going through my workout clothes to pack my bag for race day I looked at my red shirt, then dark blue…none of them looked right. I threw all of them back in the drawer and went on a hunt through the dirty laundry for the powder blue shirt. It became a symbol of accomplishment, perseverance, or just simply a reminder that I can do this. With the same powder blue shirt on my back, Omaha was a confidence boosting race. Des Moines followed and it’s snowballed since. I hope just by naming this race the Powder Blue 5k that some of that “I can do this” is transferred to any of you.
Anyway…TO THE RACE REPORTS!
Holli didn’t send me a pic last time,
so I Facebook stalked her but I found one anyway. This time she sent the best pic of any I got for this year’s race, on the beach in Florida. And bonus points for a powder blue entry!
Holli and her daughter enjoying much nicer weather than any of the rest of us saw.
Mike and Julia have already kicked off the 2013 racing season with a February trip to Fort Worth. They followed up their early season kick off with PR performances in Des Moines for the Powder Blue. Mike in 16:43 (not a typo), and Julia is 26:43. Julia notes that their dog Miles ran with both of them, notching a 43:26 10k.
My sister-in-law Emily was in the Dominican Republic on race day…but I didn’t tell her about the race soon enough so she ran her 5k once she was back stateside. A solid 26:34 performance from Emily…and she left me free reign of photo selection again. I selected one that I took the last time she was up to visit.
I didn’t realize my kitchen was so well lit to need sunglasses.
Since I scheduled races with potentially crappy weather in Iowa…my aunt Peg seems to always get crappy weather in northern Minnesota. So a 5k of snowshoeing was in order for Peg and Ronny, along with the dogs. I think the pictures speak for themselves.
This ain’t the beach, that’s for sure.
Who schedules races for this time of year anyway?
Powder blue shirt sighting!
My sister Laurie just had her first child in December, nephew #5 for me. She was grateful that my modem needed replaced and I was late getting the race report together, because she forgot to tell me until Monday. Either way, baby Jackson already looks good in powder blue.
Yeah, my mom went 5k…she’s awesome!
My mom Deb decided to avoid the cold and go the treadmill way for her 5k (why didn’t I think of that?). Because she stays ridiculously busy, she went for a Monday version of the Powder Blue 5k.
5k complete…Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner.
Amanda decides to go racing elsewhere every time I schedule a race. I think she’s avoiding me because she knows I want revenge for outrunning me with a jogging stroller the first time we met up on the running trail. She ran a surprise PR 2:04 half marathon in Dallas on a cold 33 degree morning.
I love race photos that are snapped at the perfect time when both feet are off the ground.
You may be able to escape the home race, but you can’t escape the cold. That’ll teach ya for thinking Dallas is better than Kingsley.
Julie decided to come freeze at the home race. I think she felt bad for Rebecca and I and thought, “those two idiots shouldn’t freeze alone.” After 5k, she decided to keep on going. Well done!
The brave souls that took to the cold home race.
My wife Rebecca was having withdrawals from not racing for three months. She completed a 12-for-12-in-’12, one race every month last year. The Powder Blue equated to a training run for the upcoming Fort Dodge half for Rebecca.
Down the final hill.
I went out with the simple goal of running the best 5k I’ve put together. This isn’t a distance I run too often, and since I spend so much time marathon training it’s a pace I’m not exactly comfortable with. I set my watch for four 1.25km laps (I always break a race up into smaller pieces, helps me focus) and as I said go to start the home race I shot up the opening hill. It’s honestly the best my legs have ever felt. I knew this one was good from the start.
As the opening quarter of the race closed, my watch beeped a time of 4:58 back to me. WHAT!?! I’m on sub-20 pace!?! My mind starting racing with thoughts of what’s possible after I saw that. And I held on to good pace through the second quarter of the race and hit the mid-point in 10:36. But I still had the uphill portion of my course to come.
The third quarter of the race was the hardest for me. My legs no longer felt fantastic, my lungs were exploding…but I still ran the third quarter in under six minutes at 5:54. The last quarter was primarily uphill, with a one block downhill finish. I felt better here than the quarter before but my time was a little slower. Either way I smashed my PR and crossed the line in 22:42, 7:18/mile pace, a PR by nearly two minutes!
Still huffing and puffing here. 5k’s are tiring.
Maybe next time, I’ll wait until the weather warms up a little more before scheduling a virtual race…to those of you that got out for it, a virtual high-five or fist bump to you. Hope you had fun!