Monday, May 19, 2008

Busy Busy Weekend

It started Friday night. I had the best intentions to get to bed early as we were having to get up at 3:00am and drive to Fort Smith to race the Survivors Challenge 5k. Well, by the time we had gotten everything settled and ready it was after 10:00pm. I was already beginning to dread Saturday.

Then just past 11:00pm my fire department pager goes off and we have a car fire at Cupids. For those that don't know what Cupids is, its an adult entertainment/lingerie store. You can figure it out from there. Dispatch said the vehicle was 15 feet from the building so that was enough to get the adrenalin going good. I should be really good at duathlon/triathlon transitions because I can go from a dead sleep to fully dressed in about a minute. This was one of those calls where I had the feeling it could be bad, and since I needed the sleep, it usually would be.

So off I headed to the station, arriving to find my crew getting turned out. I had a driver so I took my Captain's seat which meant I was responsible for all the men on the engine plus have command at the scene. As we got close to the scene we didn't see any smoke so we all were a little calmer. When we turned in the parking lot it was almost funny. There were guys bailing out of that place like crazy. I guess the red lights were scaring them off. We found the vehicle with the apparent fire but it was out. Evidently the owner had a gas line come loose and set his under hood area on fire but he got it put out with a fire extinguisher before we got there. All my guys were disappointed as they really wanted to go inside!! I think I made it back home just after midnight. Then I couldn't get to sleep. I had that shot of adrenalin and didn't get to use it.
So I tossed and turned, then finally got to sleep about 1.

Just over two hours later I was up and drinking coffee getting ready for the 5k. It is about a 2.5+ hour drive to Fort Smith so I was not looking forward to that. Gary, Curtis and Rock were also headed out so along with Annette we had 5 total going from our club.

We arrived at the race in classic Cruiser style, one hour ahead of the start. This gave us time to get registered and check things out. It looked to me like it was going to be a fairly small race so I was hoping the other clubs would not field a team. No such luck. We needed one more male and one more female for us to make a team but we didn't have it. So the best we could do was get individual points.

After registering we took off for a warm up run getting about 1.2 miles in. There were lots of volunteers so it appeared that this would be a well supported race and it was. My goal was just to PR which meant I needed a 27:19, about a 8:48 pace. I really wanted to break into the 26 area but that meant an 8:41 average pace. So my main goal was to start out slower around an 8:50 then speed up the next two miles.

It was really a great race course but it wasn't flat. There were a few rolling hills, not real big but big enough to slow you down. I managed to force myself to run slower on the first mile and my split was an 8:53. Pretty much what I wanted for the first mile. I kept pushing through mile 2, dropping down to an 8:47 pace. Going into mile 3 is when I started losing it. I guess my lack of sleep, the hills, and the start of the heat had its affect. My 3rd mile dropped to an 8:54. One good thing was that after the first mile, no one passed me. I slowly picked off other runners one at a time. It was weird though, there was almost no one walking and usually you will see several people walking by mile 2 or so. Not today. I will have to admit that on the last hill I was feeling pretty winded so I did walk just maybe 30 seconds or less, but then I fired off again. The runners that passed me while I took that break I soon took out. The finish was on a slight downhill and if I had known I was as close as I was I would have started my sprint sooner. It's so hard in a 5k to time that just right. I did sprint it in though and passed three people before I crossed the finish line. My final time - 27:25. I had missed my PR by 5 seconds!!

I was a little annoyed at that but after talking to Gary, Curtis, Rock and Annette, I soon found that all of them seemed to slow down on that 3rd mile. We all had good times, but none of us really did what we wanted. Such is the way racing goes. It's really a constant learning process for me. Oh, and I did try something different. I hadn't used an Ipod in a race in over a year but I did today. I had hopes that it might give me something extra mentally or give me some extra push. It didn't.

Gary did win 3rd place masters and Rock won 1st place in her age group so the day was not a total loss. Afterwards we all stopped on the way home at Cracker Barrel in Russellville for a late breakfast. Then Annette and I hit the Starbucks in Conway to help us get home.

It was about 1:00pm by the time we got home. Annette and I both were pretty tired by then so it wasn't long and we were both napping. We already had evening plans. Jackie was having a big birthday party at Cregeen's Irish Pub in North Little Rock and there was probably 25+ Cruiser friends going to be there. 6:30 for dinner and then some were going to the Piano Bar at the Rivermarket. Well, we had already decided we would do dinner and come home since we had a 6:00am Brick workout scheduled for Sunday morning.

We rode with Bailey and Jane which was nice since I had already driven almost 6 hours. Dinner was great, we had a lot of fun celebrating Jackie's birthday with all our runner friends. I really would have liked to have went to the Piano Bar but I knew I would not have been able to bike/run Sunday.

More to follow on Sunday's activities!

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