Tuesday, July 14, 2009

8 Seconds

The Cherry Festival 5k race report

In professional rodeo bull riding, eight seconds is the goal. The dream. An eternity. You last 8 seconds, you’ve done your job.* You go home happy. In that sport, eight seconds is a big deal. Ask Luke Perry. He made a whole movie about it.

In 5k running? Eight seconds doesn’t mean so much. This past Saturday, I ran in the race I’ve participated in more than any other: The National Cherry Festival 5k. My ultimate 5k goal is to best 18:00. My PR going in was 18:30 (set at this same race last year.) So, how did I do?

18:22

Eight measly seconds? This isn’t bull riding. Eight seconds is like 50 feet isn’t it? I could spit a cherry pit that far. Sure, a new PR (drum roll, drop the curtain, wild applause, note the new PR on the list to the right) but it feels a bit hollow. Like when I tease midgets. I didn’t come here(there) for a mere 8 second PR. I wasn’t sure I could get below 18:00 but I was pretty sure 18:15 was in jeopardy.

The plan was miles of 5:45, 5:55, 5:55 and then bust a gut to the finish in the final .11.

The execution?

Mile 1: 5:47

Slightly behind goal but I was congratulating myself for not smoking a 5:35 or something here and undermining the entire race. There was one wispy 70 lb high school gal with legs about as big around as Luke Perry’s forearms that I followed right from the starting gun. I felt sure that there was no way she could keep pace with those spindly legs.

Mile 2: 5:54

11:41 total at this point but I knew I probably needed 11:30 here to challenge 18 minutes. I was still moving pretty comfortably as I continued to trail Olive Oyl. I spent the entire second mile contemplating the physics behind Oyl’s legs not breaking with every foot fall.

Mile 3: 6:02

17:43 elapsed time. Not sure what happened here. As all of you 5kers know, this particular race is an all out, all the time effort. I was giving a lot but, looking back, I’m not sure I gave it ALL. Last year, I remember red lining through this last mile and praying for the finish line…or death. And probably not in that order. I don’t recall that same feeling this time around.

Last .12 (according to Garmin) fraction of a mile: 39 seconds (5:44 mile pace)

The final mile heads down the main street of town where the villagers are gathering for the parade. I never did catch Olive Oyl. I guess one doesn’t need much leg muscle to run 5k’s after all. Either that or she had her femurs removed and is running purely on hardened muscle and cartilage.

I was pretty p.o’ed for awhile over those measly 8 seconds but we’ve come to terms.** In fact, I’ve been twisting around and inspecting that 18:22 to find just the right angle for me to appreciate it more. Last year, my Garmin recorded only 3.06 miles for this race. They redesigned the course slightly this year and Garmin reflected a more accurate 3.12 this time around. See? Eight seconds quicker but .06 farther as well.

Turns out, Olive Oyl (finish time 18:19) was passed in the final two blocks by the overall female winner (18:16). I was unknowingly chasing the female leader the entire time – mocking her pencil thin legs and arrogantly expecting her to fade at some point. If I only had a male uterus like RazZ, I could have been right there challenging for the overall female win. Instead, unlike RazZ, I’m entirely male. I’ll never feel the pain of child birth. (But I did feel the pain of watching my professional football team lose every single game. Every Sunday. For 16 straight weeks last season. That’s got to be worse than a few hours of labor on one single day right? Olive Oyl – and all you other ladies – will never go through something that painful. Trust me.)

I did score a bittersweet age group award. In one final insult, just as Oyl was succumbing to her late race challenge, I felt the panting of breath and slapping of feet hot over my shoulder. I kicked it in to hold him off (which begs the question WHY DID I HAVE A GEAR TO ‘KICK IN’ WITH WHEN I SHOULD HAVE BEEN GOING ALL OUT ALREADY?!?!) crossing the finish mat a couple whiskers ahead. I was smugly satisfied with that, at least. Alas, through the magic of timing chip starts, my challenger still bested me by 1 second in my age group. He was 2 seconds behind at the start. (queue wah wah wah trumpet)

Crap.

Next time – possibly in two weeks – I’m going to run all out in that final 5k mile and hold on like a bull rider at the rodeo. I just hope it means a bit more than 8 seconds.

Number? Yes, numbers:

Official time: 18:22
Official pace: 5:54/mile
Overall place: 46th of 1690
Age group: 3rd of 83

* No, Vanilla, this doesn’t apply to other “activities.” Besides, this would be a PR for you.
** Though I still haven’t forgiven Luke Perry for 8 Seconds.

42 comments:

Jamoosh said...

Subdued congrats on the PR. In a 5K, eight seconds is a lot. In a marathon, not so much.

I was also interested to see last year's distance according to your Garmin. No wonder they tweaked the course. For a course to be Certified by USTAF it must be a minimum of the advertised distance, meaning that it must be at least 3.1 miles. 3.09 miles won't cut it. It also means that it could be 3.3 miles and still be considered a Certified Course.

Vava said...

Congratulations on a very speedy PR! And I bet you have that bye week penciled into your calendar already in anticipation of much needed reprieve...

Betsy said...

Fun fact: My first date with my now husband was to see the movie 8 Seconds. Luke Perry has a special place in my heart.

Maggs said...

Congrats. Have you ever tried the mechanical bull. I think I lasted 2 secs. A PR is a PR.

B.o.B. said...

Hmmm. Eight seconds? Never seen it. I prefer my Luke Perry gelled in Beverly Hills de-flowering one half of Minnesota twins.

Well done on the PR.

Ace said...

Grats on the PR. I think you should focus your rage on the twenty two seconds which still stand in the way of world domination, aka 18:00. You know, that and beating all the women folk....

Marci said...

A PR is a PR, congrats. And also congrats on 3rd place in your AG. It looks like the field was pretty competitive in that race!

Roisin said...

Great! I had a 5K last week and think I could have pushed a bit more too, but was a little scared about bonking :(

P.S. Word verification = budge.
Do you think that might be in reference to the cheeto layer?

passions said...

Ok first off congratulations because you are a much faster runner than I will ever be. 18:22 is amazing and you should be very proud. Secondly, no man on earth can handle labor, that is why women do it. We are the stronger species. Find me one man who is strong enough to handle the pain of a 10 pound baby being push out with no drugs. Not happening. Keep running, leave the harder stuff to the women.

Viper said...

You really let us done ... again. Not surprising. And, what, you give us a PR? Pfft. You're pathetic.

Running and living said...

Hey, congrats on the PR. 33 seconds is a lot in a 5k, so be happy with 8. Also, I find that no matter how fast I run in a 5K, I can still go faster as soon as I see the finish line.
Ana-Maria

sneakersister said...

Hey, 8 seconds is 8 seconds. Quit your whining. Alright, I'm kidding. Maybe you can knock off another 8 seconds in two weeks ... 16 seconds is definitely better than 8. 5:54 pace is smoking fast in my book!!

Congrats Nitmos.

Lily on the Road said...

Good for you, no, really, I'm being serious!

BrianFlash said...

My most recent 5K was a PR by 69 seconds. At your current rate of improvement, you'll never set the world record. At my current rate of improvement - 9 more races to go!

But nice job anyway - during my race this weekend 16 men aged 40-44 defeated me along with 29 women...

Vanilla said...

8 seconds is barely worth a blog post, but it's no surprise that you devoted an entire one to it.

Xenia said...

So close. Congrats on the PR.

Marlene said...

Are you kidding? I think 8 seconds is a lot!

Congrats on the PR and AG placement.

Jessica said...

Eight seconds has to beat teasing midgets though, right??? Seriously, nice job!

Lauren said...

I just watched part of that movie because we had been trying to think of the real bull rider's last name. I only made it through ~4 minutes before I decided it wasn't worth it. I forgot that Stephen Baldwin is in it. Just remmeber, no matter how far you fall short of your goals, you'll never have to be Stephen Baldwin, so that's something.

Take the PR and be super happy! Now you have another chance to improve.

Spike said...

another go at Max's Race? if so, I should be there, maybe I can lead you through a sub 18:00.

Kristina said...

I sure hope you stopped at the local llama farm on the way home to take out your frustrations on a defenseless woolly beast.
Congrats on the PR!

joyRuN said...

Damn, that's fast.

Congrats on the PR!

You can have your man card back, even if you were beat by a girl.

Jess said...

A PR is still a PR even if it only is by 8 seconds! Congrats!

Velma said...

It is scary that you know so much about Luke Perry - nice work on the PR.

Adam said...

8 seconds!? I've farted longer than 8 seconds.

I understand how even a PR can be annoying though. I about shat myself when I ran a sub 20:00, so you have me beat by a long shot.

Marathon Maritza said...

I like how you got 3rd in your AG *and* PRed and yet this post is whine, whine whine. DDDUUUUUDDDEEEEEEE, Luke Perry would NOT approve.

theloosemoose said...

Yeah - what Maritza just said!! You know your average reader (lazy, unmotivated slow asses, the lot of us) would KILL to be so fast.

Shake it off. Kick a llama. Do 18:00 the next time. You can do it!!

Mike G said...

1822 seems very fast. I forgot how intense a 5k is until I read this race report - compared to the other longer distances where it's all a bit more relaxed. Nice job though, don't be too hard on yourself, it's probably healthier for your body if you take smaller steps towards that glorious 17:?? mark rather than one big leap.

HEATHER said...

Hey , a PR is a PR no matter how you look at it! Congrats!

Richard said...

So let me get this straight... You are whining like a bitch for running an 18:22 5k...

Stuart said...

That's wicked fast! 8 seconds or not nice job!

Rural Runner E said...

Impressive, very much so.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

It doesn't seem like much, but if i could run each successive 5K 8 secs laster than the previous, I'd be an olympian in just 10 short years or so! LOL

X-Country2 said...

I blame the distance difference. You'd have a hell of a lot more than 8 seconds on the same course as last time.

Irene said...

Was it a chipped run?

Never underestimate the spindly legs of Ms. Oyl.

Still, a PR, nonetheless. :)

Beth said...

Hey, you are getting old. You should be glad to get a PR while you still can! Congrats on a great race.

Ovens2Betsy said...

I'm with Viper and Vanilla (even though my name doesn't start with a "V") -- enough of this mamby-pamby, touchy-feely "oh you should be so proud of your PR." You failed, pure and simple.

(But, um, yeah -- way to go!)

aron said...

CONGRATS on the PR! 8 seconds in a 5k is a long time, PLUS you went further, so thats a nice PR you have on your hands. great job :)

thanks for the advice this morning too... that is exactly why I have my backup lined up in Dec :) *just incase*

The Laminator said...

Dang it! With your spanking new PR, you are now beating me in the 5K by 12 seconds. That's a freakin' eternity in my book.

Kudos to you for showing me why I should ditch marathon training and get back to SOS Nitmos style!

Congrats on your PR! Sorry you got chicked!

sRod said...

Congrats on the PR. Having been in a similar situation, I know exactly how you feel. I'm sure you'll use this "upset" as fuel for the new one.

Irish Cream said...

Hey, that is an AWESOME time and a PR . . . not bad at all, if you ask me! I think you're just saving yourself for the next race; after all, what would you do for the rest of the summer if you got that 18:00 in right off the bat? ;)

Al's CL Reviews said...

Congratulations!