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 A Pair of 5K Race Reports
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

A Pair of 5K Race Reports Posted: Sat Oct 08, 2005 2:56 pm 

After ages of mostly sedentary living this past summer, I finally got back to my running program, and decided to test my fitness with a couple of 5K races. I've got a way to go to regain my past fitness...

Polo Field 5K, September 25. My friend Michelle has been religiously attending a fitness "boot camp" for several months, and her instructor suggested she try a 5K race, her first race ever. We settled on a very small race in Golden Gate Park, with a total of about 40 runners. The 5K was actually a sub-event of an ultra race occuring at the same time, so practically nobody was paying attention-- a good thing if you're worried about being embarassed!

I lectured Michelle about being careful not to start out too hard, and then immediately ignored my own advice by breaking out with the lead group. The first mile was a slight uphill, and I wasn't far behind the leaders. I think I hit the 1 mile mark in about 6:50, which was awfully speedy considering the hill and my overall expectations. Shortly thereafter I exploded and had to slow way down, probably running something like an 8:00/mi pace for while before finally recovering to something half-way decent near the end. I finished in 22:02, or about 7:06/mile pace. That's a minute and a half worse than my personal best set 12 months ago.

Running of the Bulls 5K, October 1. This race was a fundraiser for the Nike Farm team, a group of post-collegiate pros in Palo Alto. 12 Olympic runners dressed themselves in bull and cow costumes, and chased a crowd of about 400 everyday runners through the town's streets. The field had a few minutes head start over the bulls, but the bulls caught up fast. I tried to pace myself a little better this time, but it was difficult to judge because I couldn't find the mile markers. I really began to tire during the last mile, which just goes to show how out of shape I am. The final insult was being passed by a centipede (4 runners roped together) in the home straight. I finished in 22:10. The only consolation was the free pint of beer I received afterwards. There's nothing quite like the experience of strolling around the streets of town drinking a beer early in the morning before most normal people are even awake.

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