Spring Into Health 5K – 2004

March 20, 2004

Right after Way Too Cool 50K, I came down with a cold.  This is not a totally common circumstance, but often after I finish a race, my body needs to recover and I just get sick.

I mostly walked for the week after Cool, but I am “running” in the American River 50 MILER in a few weeks and will need to re-ramp up the mileage to prepare (or at least, that is my thinking).  On the Tuesday after Cool was the Nike Run, and I went ahead and paced one 5 miler at 9:00 minutes/mile with Bernard, and I felt OK (but walked the rest of the week).

Today’s run is the Spring Into Health 5K (free, for me) in Whittier.  As is typical with a one-week-post-race run, I am not quite back into shape for this race.  To boot, I am wearing the shoes provided to me by Nike, the Nike Shox.

These shoes have “springs” in the heels.  These are not actual springs, but rather foam rubber springs.  If you are a true heel-to-toe runner, the shoes help you bound forward.  If you are a toe striker, the effect of the shoe is to negate your stride.  In my case, I am more of a full foot planter, and the effect of the shoe on me is that it somewhat double-bounces.  I am probably going to ask if I can have a different pair of shoes (and give this pair to my dad, since they are Cal colors).  Since I have such an odd size foot, they usually don’t take my shoes back if there is a problem.

This course is easy to get overconfident on, as there is a downhill element early on.  This is also good for a recovering runner, because there is no trauma from the outset, just “rolling down the hill.”

Oscar, the RD (and my good friend), has figured out a way to overcome the problem of kids and people with strollers lining up at the front.  I can remember a few races where I had to dodge women with strollers who were just walking.  They would say, “I paid for this race, so I can start wherever I want.”  ALL of us paid for this race (in one way or another), and you should start near the back and do your own race.

What Oscar does is he has a tape line on the ground, and everyone assumes that this is the start.  It’s not.  First, he gives his speech about not crossing the finish line if you didn’t register for the race:  “It’s like showing up to dinner, uninvited…”  Then he steps up to the real start line and calls out times that people can finish in (Under 20 minutes, 24 minutes, 30 minutes…).  Suddenly everyone is lined up in the correct order, and little time to shift, and… GO!

I shot off down the hill and I feel great.  My first mile – 6:17!  Oops.  Maybe a little too fast.  I then have to walk on the uphills, and lose much of my pace.  My time of 22:52 is 4th in my age group.  Third was just 2 seconds faster!  Dang!

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