Post Race Results

Posted: June 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

Well, today was the Aggie’s Axe Out Cancer 5k/10k. My wife and I both participated and we both had a blast. Given our lack of experience to draw upon, we thought that the race was well put together and we were surprised by the amount of participants that showed up to brave the 106 degree heat this morning. I don’t know the official tally, but the numbers were well over 100 people. That’s a lot considering the size of our town and the relative lack of advertising that the race had done. Anyway, onto the race preparation.

As mentioned in my earlier post, my wife and I decided that the night before we would go walk/run the course to see what we were going to be dealing with. After that run/walk I had tentatively decided that I would run the race barefoot. Well, that didn’t happen, but not because of any reasons that were within my means of control. I’ll get into those reasons in a bit. When we woke up this morning, I checked the temperature and made myself a glass of iskiate (chia seeds, 2tbsp lime juice, and 2tbsp of sugar). I find iskiate is the perfect picker up in the morning rivaling the almighty coffee. We lounged around the house for a bit, my wife ate two bowls of cereal, and I decided against eating. This was for two reasons…One, when I checked the temperature it was already nearing 95 degrees. I didn’t want to overheat with food in my stomach and blow chunks on the race course. Secondly, it takes me much longer to digest food thanks to my gastric bypass surgery that I had in December 2009. So, I decided against food…This was mistake number 1. Mistake number two in my preparation was not drinking enough WATER the day before and morning of the race.

Anyway, we arrived at the race site at about 09:30…30 minutes before the official start of the race. My wife and I pinned our bibs on in the car, and began walking to the corrall/starting area. Now, as previously mentioned, I was planning on running barefoot, but I had brought my bikilas along just in case the ground/distance proved too much for my feet. As we began walking through the grass to the starting area, I noticed a sharp stabbing in my feet. I looked down and noticed several spots of blood that looked like tiny pin pricks in the soles of my feet. What had happened was we had unwittingly walked through a field of grass that was littered with tiny burrs…All of which conveniently ended up in the soles of my feet. Great…now my feet were tender and we hadn’t even started yet. As we got to the starting area to warm up and lightly stretch the race director gets on the microphone and starts describing the race course and the differences between the 5 and 10k races. He describes it as a single 5k loop that the 10k runners will run twice. The highlights being a nice pond side run with rolling hills….Rolling hills my butt…The last hill lasted almost .5 miles and was steeper than any hill I had seen before…More on that later. He also mentioned that the race would be run, not on the nice smooth bike track that my wife and I had walked the night before, but on the poorly kept road and “running trail” that runs through the park….I had run that trail before and I knew my feet could not take the terrain for an entire 5k…So the decision to put my bikilas on wasn’t very difficult. I did notice another bikila wearer…He was running the 10k, and when I passed him during the 5k portion he looked to be in complete agony…Not sure what was going on with him, but I don’t think he was accustomed to vff running yet…Or maybe he was just having a bad day. There was a family of triatheletes that were running the race too. They were all sticking to the 5k, and dad was not participating so he could catch the son and wife finishing the 5k.

 

At the start of the gun, my wife and I (strategically lined up in the back) began a nice brisk jog down the road that was downhill for the first mile. We hit the water station at about the .5 mile point and she said that she was going to walk…So, I bade her goodbye and began to pick my pace up. This is where mistake #2 came in…Even after the water station, I still wasn’t hydrated to compensate for the temperature that had risen to 106 degrees at the start of the gun. This lead to me overheating and having to severely slow my pace. I went from an easy pace of 10 min mile to just over 12 minutes per mile to compensate, and my next trip through the water station I grabbed 2 cups of water…One to drink while I walked through the station and the other to dump on my head to provide some much needed cooling. At the 2.5 mile mark I had caught up to the son of the triathlete family. He was walking, looking rather disappointed, and entirely too hot to continue running. Luckily we weren’t too far from the water station and I still had a bit of water left…I pulled up next to him, offered him the rest of my water, and asked if he’d like someone to run with him for the remainder of the race. This picked up his spirits, and the water refreshed him enough to start running again. I figured he’d just run at an easy pace…Well what turned out to be an easy pace for him wasn’t so easy for me, and during the last .25 miles I let him run it by himself as I settled back into a sustainable pace. He only a finished a few seconds before me, and I’m glad that I stopped to help him finish his first 5k on a run rather than just passing him by. Running is a sport of companionship, and I think that part of the sport is lost in all the big hoopla of race day.

At the end of the race I felt a surge of energy after realizing that I was going to finish my first 5k…and do it with a smile on my face. I picked up the pace and nearly sprinted the last two hundred yards. Post race, I met the kid’s father and he began asking me questions about running in my vffs. It appears that he has a pair of treks that he runs in, but he says that he always seems to suffer from his calves cramping up for the next few days after every run. I figured, he had only been running in them a few weeks and was simply doing too much too soon during his transition to forefoot and minimalist running. When I asked him how long his runs were I was blown away by his response of 10-15 miles per run. I told him that fixing his problem was very easy…He needed to be patient. He wasn’t doing just a little too much too soon…He was doing WAY to much too soon. I told him to cut his vff running way down. Start with a few miles and build your self up from there. I also told him that he would do more good for himself if he would run barefoot a few times every week. I explained that the vffs are great for running, but nothing teaches you proper running form like being barefoot. He seemed very open to the idea, and I hope he takes my advice to heart. I also directed him to birthdayshoes.com. After our conversation I promptly grabbed a water bottle and walked back down to the beginning of the finish area to hand the water to my wife whenever she would show up. It didn’t take long before we met up with each other and ran the last few hundred yards together.My finishing time was 00:38:43 and my wife’s was 00:47:42. We were both pleased, me with my time, and my wife with just finishing. The race bug has bitten full strength, and I can’t wait to participate in another race in the near future.

 

Until next time,

Puff.

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