Monday, July 07, 2014

Running a 5k

As many of you may know, I am not supposed to be running at all because I basically have bone-on-bone in my right knee.  Running can earn me a knee replacement surgery.  Just the same, I get the urge to run the occasional race.  To avoid all the wear and tear, I do absolutely no training.  I rely on some combination of a natural inclination to run and brute stupid will.

One race I do every year is the July 4th 5k.  This year there were a little over 1000 runners, and more women than men.  My goal was to grind out a sub 8:00 minute mile pace, and I made it with about 20 seconds to spare.  I was 7th out of 50 in my age/gender and I would have crushed it if I was allowed in the age 70-99 category.  Now the humbling part.

Living in this uber athletic town, I am used to being beaten by 15 year old high school track stars.  In this race, one beat me by about 6:30.  Nice run! Two things did bother me.  The first was getting beaten by a 6 year old boy.  I was standing next to him at the starting line and he came up to about my hip. At the 2.5 mile mark, he was ahead of me.  This pissed me off so I started cranking up the pace.  Right then, a 12 year old girl passed him.  That pissed him off and he accelerated dramatically.  Are you kidding?  There was no way I could catch him.  I slowed down and he beat me by 40 seconds.
In a different category was the 10 year old girl who smoked me by over 5 minutes.  Grace Ping ran a 19:15.  Essentially, she was out of my vision after the first 400 yards or so.  I read up on her.  She ran a race back at the end of April, doing a 5k on a track in 18:02!  For those of you struggling with the math, that's 5:48 miles.  Yes, she shattered the world record for 10 year old girls.

So, while I was OK with my ability to run a decent race without no training runs for nine months, I still feel somehow robbed of any joy or pride. Getting your ass kicked by a 10 year old girl and a 6 year old boy is pretty humbling.  Normally I would crank up my running and start dpoing some intervals for speed.  With a bum knee, I just go for a bike ride.
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