Hear In The Mesa 5K RR – My First 5k!

It has been quite a while since I updated my blog, sorry about that! (Di ya miss Me?)  I was sick for a week, on vacation for another week and still having breathing issues that were holding me back on my running. (I will write about the breathing issue another time though.)  With everything going on and the set backs I was having it was hard to find the motivation to run, let alone write about running.My First 5k!

I am back now and I had my first 5K race today.  The inaugural run of “Hear In The Mesa 5K” sponsored by The Olive Osmond Hearing Fund (Yes; as in the Osmond Family) and run4hearing.com. It is a 5K Run and benefit concert featuring the world-famous Osmond Brothers to benefit Arizona’s deaf and hard-of-hearing community here in Arizona.

Short Version

My goals for this race were:
1. Run the entire thing
2. Run sub: 43:00 (My best time on my own is 43:32)
3. Run sub: 40:00 (Stretch goal)
I ran the entire thing AND I ran a 36:02!

My splits were:

Mile 1: 11:15

Mile 2: 11:19

Mile 3: 11:57

Last .1: 1.31

I left absolutely everything on the course today. Just to make the day even better…I won 3rd in my AG! 59th of 135 overall.  (How did that happen?)

Long Version w/pics (a LOT of pics)

Packet pick up was the night before at Sole Sports Running in Tempe. (They are my favorite LRS in the valley!)  I arrived at 4:00 just as they were finishing setting up and I was 4th in line.  As I was waiting my turn I noticed one of the people helping out looked REALLY familiar…

Yep…It was Justin Osmond.  Second son of Merrill Osmond and the CEO / Founder of the  Olive Osmond Hearing Fund.  My wife is a HUGE Osmond family fan and I knew she would be so jealous! (Score one for me!)  They were a little disorganized right at the start but I got my packet and goodie bag and headed to my car.  Just as I get ready to drive away, here comes Justin Osmond running out to catch me.  Turns out they gave me the wrong bib.

This is whose bib I got and she got mine.  We saw each other at the race and got a picture together.  Funny thing is…she took 3rd place in her AG and so did I!

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Pre Race

My First 5k!IMG_3397

It was a great day for a race.  58 degrees with a light cloud covering, fun crowds, good sponsors and even a couple of celebrities!

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Me and Justin Osmond                         Me and Merrill Osmond

IMG_3402 April and Me

   Me and Mrs. Arizona                            Me and My Wife

Race Time

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And we’re off!  When we first took off I just kept telling myself to remember what a lot of other people have told me… “Don’t get caught up in going out too fast at the start” and “Run your own race.”  I knew my stretch goal was a 12:52 pace to hit a sub 40:00 time and I had been doing some speed work at around a 12:45 pace so I would know what it should feel like.  Boy was I off!  I guess the adrenalin and excitement definitely has an effect.

I settled into what I thought felt like a 12:45 pace and kept going.  I felt really good and was holding a comfortable pace.  A lot of people took off quickly at the start but I just settled in and let them go.  There was one young guy that kept leap frogging me.  He would run hard and pass me and then run out of gas and walk.  I would catch him and pass him..then he would come running again.

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Unfortunately the miles were not marked off and I don’t have a GPS, only a watch to record my splits.  I knew from looking at the map before the race where the miles markers should be, but when I got to where I thought mile marker #1 should be I just wasn’t so sure.  I looked at my watch and it said 11:15 so I figured I REALLY must have looked at the map wrong.  I knew where mile #2 and mile #3 were for sure so I decided to wait until mile #2 to record the split.

I checked my time at mile #2 and it said 22:34!  OH CRAP!  That is way faster then I thought.  I was still feeling okay so I stayed with it.  Right past 2.5 miles, as I am trying to start a small push to the end,  I come up to another runner and politely say “Hello” and “You’re doing great.”  She decides this is her queue to carry on a conversation as I run despite me sounding like a leaky bellows!  She asks how many races I have ran, what got me started, how I lost so much weight and showed signs of continuing to talk like we were sitting in a coffee shop passing the time!  I politely answer her questions and lucky for me she starts to fade so the conversation dies.

From 2.5 to 3.0 miles there is a slight up hill that felt like I was trying to run up the Rocky Mountains.  I definitely slowed down a little.  (Note to self…do some hill work!)  The last .1 is a downhill into the finish line, but I had nothing left in the tank for a kick so I just hung on.  I crossed the finish line with a 36:14 gun time, a 36:15 watch time and a 36:02 chip time.  They had the standard water, gatorade, bananas and orange slices at the end. Nothing fancy, but I certainly appreciated them at the time!

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My splits were:

Mile 1: 11:15

Mile 2: 11:19

Mile 3: 11:57

Last .1: 1.31

I decided to stick around for the award ceremonies since this was my first race and I wanted to experience the whole event.  It was so much fun being part of the crowd, cheering on the winners and watching them get their awards.  I almost didn’t hear them call my name for the 3rd place 45 to 54 AG award.  I NEVER dreamed I would ever get close to one. (The advantages of running a small race I guess!)

I had an amazing time and learned a lot about myself and running.  I will post more later.

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Me and Merrill Osmond
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My wife and Merrill
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I SURVIVED!
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Justin with Caitlyn.  She just got her hearing aids the night before from the Olive Osmond Fund
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Caitlyn.  The runs poster kid.
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Justin and Merrill Osmond.  Father and Son
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Getting ready for the Kids Fun Run
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And they’re off!
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Me with Mrs. Arizona
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My AG Medal!

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I Am A Runner!

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Consistently Inconsistent

Edit: 09/26/12 – I just wanted to thank Running from Hell with El, tristenblog, imarunner2012 and Urban Running Girl for the advice and encouragement!  I truly appreciate it.  I highly recommend everyone visit their blogs..they are great!

To me, one of the most frustrating parts of being a new runner is how consistently inconsistent I can be!  One day a run can feel like you are running with lead boots on your feet, through a mud pit, at 10,000 ft. elevation. Then the same run on a different day can feel like your running on air, faster and easier than a gazelle (in my case an older, much heavier gazelle).  WHY?

I keep a fairly consistent lifestyle.  I get up each day around the same time, I eat healthy and about the same calorie and nutritional values each day (trying to lose weight), I work fairly consistent hours and I get to sleep around the same time.  With all this consistency in routine, I am amazed at how inconsistent running can be!

The most inconsistent part for me is my breathing, not my leg strength, my bad knee or my flat feet….my breathing!  Now don’t get me wrong…3 months ago I couldn’t run for more than 30 seconds without sounding like an asthmatic water buffalo running slowly walking a marathon, and now I run for 45 minutes non-stop (most days).

My last 2 runs illustrate my point and are what inspired this post.  Friday, it took everything I had to make it through my run.  My legs felt good, my feet felt good but I could not get my breathing into a steady rhythm and it just sucked!  Welcome to the lead boots, mud pit, 10,000 ft. elevation run!  Fast forward to this morning.  I ran my usual distance, I felt great, ran great and had my fastest run time yet!  (The old over weight gazelle made an appearance.)

Breathing is a natural function of the human body for most people (all people really), but there are those of us that have various respiratory problems that can effect breathing.  In my case it is/was Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  Basically, I would stop breathing for 10 seconds or more (as long as 40 seconds) 59 times an hour.. suffocating myself as I slept!  Fortunately after decades of this I was diagnosed and have been on CPAP treatment now for almost 3 years.

Doesn’t that look comfortable to sleep in? (and oh so sexy!)  It really isn’t so bad actually.  I basically had to decide between wearing the CPAP mask while I slept, having an operation to open the airway or suffer with OSA.  Well, the OSA was causing other medical complications that were only going to get worse as I got older, the surgery is incredibly painful and not 100% permanently successful or wear a mask as I slept that blows air into my airway to keep it open while I slept.  I chose the mask.  My OSA is very well controlled, the other medical conditions are a thing of the past and I feel great (most days).

So when does the consistency come into running?  I would even settle for a little more consistency on an inconsistent basis if I could get it!  LOL!  I would love to hear any tips, stories, metaphors or sage advice ( I would even take a Haiku at his point) anyone would be willing to share.

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Running and Blogging!

Trying to branch out a little. If anyone has time please feel free to visit my Facebook page.
http://www.facebook.com/#!/ZekeRunning

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What A Difference A Day (Or Seven) Makes

A couple posts ago (Time Out) I talked about taking a week off to let this old body heal.  While I had been taking rest days, stretching, etc. my body just wasn’t feeling as it should. (At my age it rarely does!) So I listened to my body (I think it was saying something like “LISTEN OLD MAN..If you don’t let me rest and heal I am going to kick our a$$es and get hurt so we will be out for a long time!”

I can honestly say that it was worth it, not easy, but worth it!  I just completed my runs this week and I ran better, faster and easier then ever.  The most imortant thing for me was I learned to listen to what my body is telling me in so many ways.  In those of us that are competitive and strong willed it is easy to overide or ignore what we may not want to hear, BUT making the right decision sometimes means a small sacrifice now for a greater gain later.

So now I am more excited then ever to run AND I just signed up for my very first 5k  Komen Phoenix Race For The Cure on October 14th and my second one Hear In The Mesa on November 17th!

Now I just have to keep listening and keep running…neither I do well but I am learning!

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