Category Archives: 5M

Plano Pacers 5M – 2017

December 30, 2017

I’m back in Texas again visiting my family for Christmas.

The past week, I did not do much running, because we drove down to San Antonio to watch Stanford in the Alamo Bowl.  Also, it has been super cold here.  Like 20s and 30s, even in San Antonio.

But, I can’t pass up the opportunity to pay $10 to run a 5M and possibly score a medal or trophy in the “fat” category.

I have run this race in the past.  It runs 3/4 around a pond (not frozen this year), out into the woods (on a paved path), under a road crossing, up a steep path (short, though) and parallels a street for about a block, then turns around essentially back the way we came.

For the most part, you have a good idea on where you are in the pack, because you can count when people are coming back.

It’s always extremely fast paced in the beginning because there is a 3K that goes out with us for the first mile or so and they are high-tailing it.  I try and remember to not worry about anyone else but myself.

I am super consistent with my miles and don’t stop to walk, though I feel like it.  The first four miles are 8:21, 8:21, 8:28, and 8:16, and then I throw a 7:39 in at the end, which isn’t quite fast enough to  break 40 minutes, but still good enough to place in my division.

I love when they have the Clydesdale categories because it does give me a real chance.  In my actual age group, I am 10 minutes off of placing, but here I am competing with people of similar weight (but maybe not height).

AREC Prediction 5M – 2017

June 21, 2017

Just the regular fun run, except you can’t wear your watch (Boeing occasionally does these, but we just look at our watches and decide whether we are going to hit a good time or just run whatever).  Inger and I had done a practice last week to see what our actual time would be.

However, it is really hot out this week, so both of us do a prediction that is substantially (meaning 45 seconds to a minute) more than what we did last week.

And holy smokes, guess what?  I ran 21 seconds FASTER than last week, so I was WAAAY off.

New Year’s Day 5M – 2015

January 1, 2015

My most expensive race in Texas (this year!).  This was a $38 race that I have done many of the Christmas seasons I have spent in Dallas.  It is ideal for a New Year’s Day race because it starts at 10am and they have alcohol at the finish line (in years past – spiked eggnog, beer and mimosas).

Mom said to me last night that she wondered if the race would be cancelled.  Thinking back to past years, I can remember running through ankle deep water on the path, so I am assuming, short of lightning strikes (and yes, I have started an 100-mile race in a thunderstorm as well as the Fort Worth Cowtown Marathon).  The weather on New Year’s Eve was crappy, and it was possible that the bad weather would continue through New Year’s Day.  Since the race was just 5M, I didn’t really care about the cold and rain as long as it wasn’t mortally dangerous.

I went to bed fairly late; I was kept up by the heavy downpour on the roof… and when I got up around 8am, it had receded a bit, but I didn’t know how bad it would be at the location of the race.  I was game.

The drive out (about 20 minutes) wasn’t too bad, but it was definitely raining.  The car temperature said 33 degrees… so just short of freezing.

I was able to park pretty close to the start and quickly went down to pick up my bib and shirt (technical blue this year) and then race back to the car and read (Julie and Julia) until the race starts.  For extra warmth, I am also wearing my sleeves (some people call them “arm warmers”) under my long sleeves.

When I hear announcements for ‘5 minutes to the start,’ only then do I make my way as I do not want to stand any longer than need be in these conditions.

Just as the race was underway, the rain began coming down… HARD.  Fortunately, the course wasn’t particularly muddy or slippery as in the past, but some of the metal connectors to the bridges were slippery, and there were beaucoup puddles.  At first, I was trying to avoid the puddles (to do so, one had to run onto the grass lining the trail… which was muddy), but after a while, it was easier to take a more direct pathway.

For the first two miles (7:25 and 7:49), I was just behind the first woman, but faded a bit to the turnaround.  I tried to take advantage of the couple of undercrossings, because in the direct rain, I couldn’t see that well through my glasses.

For miles 3 and 4 (7:59, 7:54), I was passed by a few more females.  And on the final stretch (which is a series of little bridges paralleling Northwest Highway), I managed a 7:42, to finish in 38:46, just one second slower than the 8K a few days ago (though to be honest, an 8K is slightly shorter (0.04M) and the conditions were crazy here).

I grabbed a cup of mimosa, but wanted to change into something dry (it wasn’t raining as hard at this point) and slowly pulled my shirt, sleeves, and shoes off.  My hands were so cold, I wasn’t able to untie my shoes, but I could tie my dry ones decently.

While I was doing so, I got into a conversation with a runner who was wearing a sweatshirt that said “Ultracentric” something.  She turned out to be the Masters winner, Candace George.  Really nice gal… especially when she helped me button my shorts (the outer shorts OVER the running shorts), because I didn’t have enough feeling in my fingers to do it myself.  While embarrassing, it is indicative of how helpful runners will be to each other on ‘gross’ things.

We walked down to await the awards.  It seemed like everyone was winning an award because only 100 people showed up; I was the only Clydesdale in my weight class.  I was even the 9th overall master; that NEVER happens.

The award, as usual, was a champagne flute with some of the race details etched on it.  (The glass made it safely in my carry-on, only to have the stem break when I put it on display.)

Holiday Hustle 8K – 2014

December 27, 2014

I’m back in Dallas, TX, for a Christmastime family visit.  There seem to be races every weekend (and inexpensive, too), so I am taking advantage of whatever I am able to run.  The only (minor) issue is that I don’t have my own car here, so I am borrowing my parents’ car and it is important to get the car back by a reasonable hour so they can make appointed rounds if necessary.

I have run this race previously a few times.  Last year, in 40:42.  I would like to do better than last year, but the reality is that most years I am getting slower, so I will just deal with it.

The weather is pretty cold (not wet, though) and it is very windy.  I have forgotten to pack my Buff, but I wear a long-sleeved shirt, my “ultra” shorts (which have the bicycle-short-like lining), hat and gloves.  Registration is pretty easy (no line) and a mere $10.  I go and sit in the car pending the start of the race, because it is really too cold to hang around outside.

There are 200 competitors (exactly, according to the website) and the race starts just a slight bit late as a local TV station is doing interviews and positioning their cameras.

The first part of the race is the length of the parking lot (and back) and halfway around the lake.  The shorter race (the 3K) turns off from us and goes off to their turnaround.  My first mile is 7:40 (if I am to improve on my time from last year, I am making a good start of it).

The race continues through a wooded area, mostly flat.  I keep trading off between a number of people, including a kid who is much shorter than me.  Every time I make contact, he accelerates.  In my mind, it’s “whatever,” because I am maintaining an even pace, and he is tiring himself out (also, he’s probably 2 feet shorter!).  Towards the end of the second mile is a loping uphill, so I slow down my pace a little bit to survive it and manage a 8:06.

To the turnaround, there continues to be some uphill and then a flattening out of the course.  It is nice to see approximately what place I am in (maybe top 30?) and if there is anyone I might catch (Probably not.).  Despite Mile 3 being a bit down a hill, I pull out another over-8:00 mile (8:11).  I have dropped almost all of my 20 second advantage garnered from my first quick mile.

Once back on the flat, I can accelerate a bit more (since there are really no more uphills) and pull out a 4th mile in 7:38.

The last stretch is coming in from the opposite side of the lake, but then retracing steps around the lake and finishing at the front of the lake (previously, the race ended up a slight hill by the park pavilion, but this is better because that path was narrow and cracked).  I put on a bit of a sprint at the end and pass a couple of folks (including a guy who passed me, but I couldn’t “let him go”).  My last mile is 7:11 and I finish in 38:45.

I hang around a while to find out if I may have won an award (I’ve run in the Clydesdale category to give me a better chance than in the 40-44 category.), and I eat a cinnamon raisin bagel and grab a couple of tangerines.

The guy who used to do the results doesn’t do them any more, so it is taking forever.  I had said that I would probably be back by 10:30 (and I still have to drive back) and even at 10am (more than an hour AFTER I finished), they are still not doing the results.  I can’t even try to pick up my award early because they haven’t processed them yet.  (Even on Sunday, they are not posted to the Plano Pacers website, but someone at another race tells me about where the results are mysteriously posted BEFORE their own website.)

When I finally am able to see the results, I won the Clydesdale category (more than a minute faster than the 22-year old in 2nd place).  I guess I don’t really need another medal, but it is cool that I improved my time (from last year) and won my weight category.

Postscript:  Someone left their nice running gloves in the door handle of my car.  They either thought it was their car or meant to get them later, but 75 minutes after the race ended, they became mine.  I like coming home with something nice after a race, so I got gloves and tangerines.