Sunday, August 19, 2007

5K Debriefing and RBF Meet-up!

I'm back in Washington, D.C., for the last time before we move to L.A. in 12 days (!). Been logging a lot of miles, people. And I don't mean by running.

Since August 1, I've flown to northern California, driven to Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Las Vegas, all around L.A., and back up to the East Bay. Then yesterday, I flew back to Washington.

RBF Meet-up!: Here's a photo of me and 21st Century Mom last Saturday. I called her up since I was in the neighborhood, and we met for drinks here. It was so nice to meet another RBF'er in person. I enjoyed it, P.! I'll keep you in mind for the Tahoe Relay next year.

NABJ 5K recap: Here's a photo of moi, sweaty and happy, holding my glass trophy for placing 1st in females (and 4th overall) in a 5K in Vegas. There was a photographer snapping pix of me as I broke the finishing line tape, but I can't get hold of him, unfortunately.

I signed up for the small race (only 68 people) at the last minute, deciding to run even though my legs were tired, sore, and heavy from two days of back-to-back hard running.

The temperature was already over 100 degrees at 7:45 AM, when the race started. We ran on by a bone-dry creekbed, on a trail in suburban Vegas, in the Mojave Desert. It felt like I was running on the moon. The landscape seemed lunar - barren and devoid of vegetation.

Too fast!: I started at the front of the pack. I didn't have time to warm up, and almost immediately, my legs, and especially, my hamstrings, screamed in protest. Only one woman and two men were ahead of me in the first mile. I hung just a few steps behind the first woman, clad in green and who clutched a water bottle, which I eyed enviously.

A race volunteer at the mile 1 marker called out our splits: "7:15, good job!" she said to me. I winced. 7:15?! Once again, I went out too fast. I was trying to hit 7:30's, and perhaps even a few seconds slower because of the heat and my tired legs. I knew I couldn't sustain 7:15/mile for 2.1 more miles in the condition I was in.

Despite that, I overtook the woman several minutes later. I took a wrong turn at about Mile 1.5, and lost about 10 seconds double-backing onto the trail. Then another woman, this time in orange, ran by me. I hung on her shoulder.

But at Mile 2, I was starting to flag, big-time. My throat was parched and my legs felt leaden. That didn't worry me so much. What did was that I was literally dizzy from the heat. Cursing, I thought, "Just do the best you can. And whatever you do, for God's sake, don't walk."

A man breezed by me. Damn it. At Mile 2.5, my legs seemed to weigh 100 pounds each. It was a huge effort just to keep moving forward. Orange woman was getting away. But I still had her in my sights.

And then I saw the finish line about a quarter-mile ahead. I turned on my (paltry) after-burners, and started to close the gap between us. I got within 50 feet of her. And then orange woman stopped cold in her tracks, bent down to catch her breath, and started walking!

I couldn't believe it. Who starts walking that close to the finishing line?! I almost said, "C'mon, the end is in sight!" But I didn't jinx myself.

Breaking the Tape: It was cool to break the the finishing line tape. That's never happened to me. Unfortunately, because I am a ham, I slowed down just before I crossed the finishing line so the race photographer could snap photos.

So that further slowed down my time, a rather pedestrian 24:29. That's 35 seconds slower than my 5K PR, and a whopping 84 seconds slower than what I should have been able to run, given my training. I should have placed 2nd overall in both men and women, instead of 4th, as the 2nd place male ran my PR time.

I realize I'm splitting Talmudic hairs here, so I'll stop complaining. And I'm lucky I didn't overheat, as I was so dizzy and dehydrated after the race that I had to grab a tree to stay upright. I felt better once I drank a bottle of water and ate a little bit of a bagel.

Ah, well. I haven't told my coach yet about the race. Not sure if I will, as he probably won't be thrilled with my time. Sigh.


  1. Meeting you was lovely and I'm still lusting after more of that pear quesedilla.

    You are too funny abour your times. It was 100 degrees! You not only didn't die - you won!

    Nice trophy!

  2. Only in Vegas would they plan a summertime 5k in that heat.... Maybe the orange woman suddenly woke up from an earlier drinking binge and realized she's not in Kansas anymore.

    Nice finish and nice photo. And, hey, that's a really nice award too. Will look good in your new home.

  3. They gave you a medal (what's that around your neck) and a trophy? Cool.

  4. Yikes, what conditions for a race -- you should be proud of your finishing time, and even more so on placing so well! Way to go!

  5. of course tell your coach!! if you don't, i will!
    Nice work!

  6. What an outstanding race!

    Sounds like those early fast miles were about right, but the heat just took its toll.

    So impressed you gutted it out and had the solid finish after passing orange hat woman. Great execution!

    Under the conditions, don't even compare with a PR.

    You rocked!!!

  7. Whoohoo! Breaking the finish tape! That's gotta feel great. I'll never know what that's like but it was total joy reading about it here, Bex. Congratulations!

  8. Breaking the tape .... good name for a blog. Where have I heard that before???

  9. Now that is a fine accounting of a 5K. I ran it, too, and thought, while reading, she's got that nailed. Nice work, nice run.