Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Lyn Yarows Memorial 5K: My Ass Is Grass

Smile! Running is FUN! (right?)

In order to complete my goal of "at least one race per month" in 2009, I had to find something to do, like, now, because July is fast approaching its end. With only one weekend left in the month, I scoured Run Michigan (my go-to race calendar) and found a local 5K race on Sunday, July 26. The race was being held only 15 minutes away from my house. Perfect! Even more attractive was the fact that it was a bonafide, honest-to-goodness cross-country race, something I haven't done since my high school days nigh on 18 years ago (yikes). How could I possibly resist?
Before the race.

So there I was at the starting line of this tiny little race at Hudson Mills Metropark in Dexter on Sunday morning. I was about to run the same 5K course the University of Michigan cross-country team uses. Katie McGregor ran here! A broad field of grass stretched in front of me. The starting line was painted white on the ground. I felt as if I were a teenager again, in a high school dual meet on some balmy Ohio September afternoon. There was no dramatic start, just a woman yelling "Runners, on your marks...get set...GO!"And we were off.

Charging along the grass after the start.

I had been feeling bogged down all week, and this day was no exception. I was struggling to keep my pace under 8:00/mile. I hit the first mile in 7:45, which was as fast as I would get. I don't know what made me feel as if I was wearing 20-pound shoes. I just didn't have it. My fleet feet of a week prior had flown away from me. The grass sucked at my shoes and every little incline drained more energy out of me. A cluster of high school girls passed me around mile 2. By then I was fighting for every step, breathing hard, and furious at myself.

The final loop, on the way toward the finish. I like this picture because my calf muscle looks awesome.

I didn't even want to look at Garmy. I had never wanted a race to end as badly as I did this one. Where was my strength, my verve, my running mojo? Gone. The blades of grass pulled at my feet like pawing, grasping hands, slowing me down. My heart thundered, my breathing was rapid and ragged. My legs felt like iron posts.

Closing in on the finish. Thank goodness.

I hit the line in 25:02, which was my slowest raced 5K in almost 2 years (I don't count the 2008 Big House Big Heart or the Flirt with Dirt last month because I wasn't really purposely racing either of those). I was trying extremely hard...I just wasn't getting it done.

Despite what I consider a subpar performance, it was still good for an age group win. (That's why I love these sparsely-attended local races.) Additionally, I won an exercise ball in the raffle!


I was lectured/admonished/scolded by FK and TC afterward that I am overtraining and that is why I crashed and burned during this race. I reluctantly agreed. I wore myself out last week, what with my 12 x 400m interval workout Monday followed by my failed tempo run Wednesday, then giving blood at work on Thursday, followed by a speed workout Thursday evening (dumb, yes, I know), running 11 miles Saturday...yes, yes, YES. I overdid it. Thus, this week, I have been taking it easy. I didn't do anything at all today. Lazy bum, that's me. Tomorrow, hills with the gang., I'm running another 5K race in the evening. It's only because I want the race T-shirt! That's all! I won't overexert myself, I swear! I won't 'fess up as to what race this is until after it's over, however. I guarantee, though, its name is fucking AWESOME. And that's the only reason I'm driving 30 miles on a Friday evening to run a road race.

Finally, here's a picture of me from the always-fantastic Michigan Brewers' Guild Summer Beer Festival last week:

Life is good. So is beer. Therefore, life = beer1. And really, that's all you need to know.

Thanks to FK for the great race pictures!

1: Copyright 2009, Glaven Q. Heisenberg.


joyRuN said...

25:02 is a great time!

I'm a super-slowpokity runner for two weeks after giving blood.

Giving up on ever scoring an AG around here - these locals are too stinkin' fast.

Oh, & yes - nice calf muscle there :)

Anonymous said...

Your legs may have felt heavy but, you still a a nice time!

12x400 is killer, no wonder why your legs felt heavy. Oh, and the picture of your claf is nice!!

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

I'm glad you won something, even if your "grass time" is slower than you'd like. The grass slows everyone down, so it's all relative.

mr loser said...

Cool pics, especially the high school white girl fro. What a rough slog; some days, as every clumper knows, you just don't have it. Good luck at your upcoming race.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Life is good. So is beer. Therefore, life = beer.

Hmmm ... where have I heard this COPYRIGHTED aphorism before?

25:02 is SLOW? That's like PR territory for me.

I too will never have an AG win. But I'm good with that.

[GQH quietly weeps into his life, i.e., his beer.]

Christina said...

It looked like you were having a great time running...and then enjoying the beer. Good job!

Spike said...

11M the day before a race leads to heavy and slow legs for a race on the following day 99.9% of the time. you did excellent and got some sweet gear in the process.

Maggs said...

Running on grass is definitely slower. Nice job on the race.

Carolina John said...

25 min 5k with an age group win is something most people would be proud of sister. embrace it.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

Woo-hoo!1! I'm someone else's footnote!

IN YER FACE ... um .. someone. Not sure who.

But ...


B. Kramer said...

I hate when people win stuff and complain about it. Thanks for a math equation I can understand. Cheers!

Unknown said...

I was in the company of greatness then on Sunday, an age group winner! Congrats

Robert James Reese said...

Crazy, I just ran my first ever cross country 5K race today too. Must be an end of July thing... Anyway, congrats on the age group win, even though your perfomance wasn't what you'd hoped for.

Mike Fox said...

Gotta agree with the post on giving your body two weeks to get back to your normal pace after giving blood. I found this out a few years ago at a July 4th 5K...I couldn't figure out why I didn't have it that day, and realized I had donated blood 2 days earlier.

Great job on the age group win!!!!

Midwest said...

I too love sparsely attended local races. If they also involve bad weather, that's pretty much my wheelhouse.

Your calves do look amazing, and isn't that a victory?

Anonymous said...

I started running about the same time you did and I am no where close to how fast you are. I think I"m doing good if I run like a 10 min mile. You are my hero. How did you get so good?