Monday, March 7, 2016

Cardinal Strut 5K

Heading down the final stretch to the finish line

Ran the Cardinal Strut 5K in Wilmington on Saturday. Time was 18:52, placed 4th overall out of about 200 runners, and won top Masters award.

Was pleased with the effort, though was hoping my time would have been a little bit faster. Splits were good: 6:04, 5:55, 5:57.  But somehow (poor tangents run?) ended up at 18:52. Nonetheless, was an enjoyable morning spent competing on the Cape Fear Flyers team, composed of me and a couple fellow coaches and kids.

Two of which, Zach and Paxton set their respective 5K PRs in the race. Was stoked for both of them. Not only are they talented young runners, but they are fine upstanding young people as well.  I continue to look forward to seeing their careers unfold.

A fairly cold morning greeted us athletes pre-race. However by the time the guns went off for the 10 and 5Ks, the temperatures, buoyed by sunny skies, had climbed into the 40s. Took off a long sleeve shirt I was wearing moments before the start, and raced in what is becoming a favorite get up of mine of a short sleeve T-shirt and gloves. Wore my Saucony Kineta Relays that I have been for the last few road races, though did swap out the yellow shoelaces for black ones. Hence black on black (shoes are black).

Felt fairly strong throughout the race. A gap opened early between me and the 3 runners ahead who would finish 1st though 3rd. So ran by myself from about a 1/2 mile in, save for some of the 10K runners that I passed.

Was my first 5K in about 3 months, and I never fail to be reminded while in the middle of its agonizing roar, just how hard and painful they are. 5Ks become an exercise in maintaining. Maintaining focus, maintaining will power, maintaining pace. Showing courage in the face of adversity. Hoping that the running Gods will help me fight thru the inevitable temptation to just slow up a bit. Counting off blocks, tenths of miles. Finally getting within ear shot of the finish line area. Making visual contact with the spectators. Seeing the clock.

All of which I did.

A friend asked me the night before if I have any pre-race rituals. Instead of answering in terms of training or diet, I responded on a spiritual note.  I remind myself how blessed I am to be able to compete the next day. How blessed I am to be able to participate with other like minded beautiful people in an activity which I and countless others truly love. And to hopefully never take any of this for granted. For life can change as fast as the precious numbers ticking off on a finish line clock.

Enjoy being able to run and compete my running friends -

Flyers family celebrating post-race