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Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I apologize for the late entry, but this race was particularly damaging to many parts of my ego, manhood, and life in general.
This past Saturday was the Hog Wild Five-Mile Run.
Having spent the last couple of months running 5K's and the occasional 4-mile race, I spent the week before this race running a few more miles than normal and doing a hill workout instead of a speed workout.
The race was in Dothan, Alabama about an hour and a half from Crestview, Florida (you know where I live and you never visit).
I showed up to the race confident that I would complete the race in 37 minutes or better. Before I left for Dothan, I went to the Dothan Runners website to get a description of the race. I remember it saying something like, "a challenging course with rolling hills" to which I responded, "Nonsense! I live on a hill - I'm a climber dammit!"
Well, while we were standing at the starting line (I was doing the leg kicking thing that all runners do for some purpose - I do it becuase I think it looks cool), this man approaches me and says, "Have you ever run this race before?" "No." I replied. "In fact, this is my first race here and my first five-mile race ever." "Congratulations," he replied. He then inquired about my 5k time to which I proudly replied, "I can do a low 22, high 21." "Hmm, you will do this in 39 minutes." "No way pops," I arrogantly retorted."I am covering this thing in 37 minutes or less." He then took the time to warn me that the first three miles were easy and that the course was really a bitch, but I continued to reassure him that a 37 minute five-mile time was in my near future. And then the race began.....
As we sprinted out of the parking lot, I realized that the pace was rather slow, so I took it upon myself to run with the leaders and, I got to tell you, it felt great. I felt so proud of myself. Running with the leaders, pushing the pace, and, unknowingly, making myself a huge target. In this race, they called out the splits at each mile. Ladies and gentleman, I am proud to say that my splits were 7, 7, 7, 10, 8. If you know anythng about road races then you understand the possibility of the 10-minute mile. If not then you will understand that the entire fourth mile was up hill! Completely and totally up hill! There were times in the fourth mile that I wanted to cry tears of what I hoped were saline, but knew would be blood. At the end of the race, I was in blinding pain, literal blinding pain - I could not see. In my entire running life, that has only happened once before at the East-West Championships my senior year in high school. My coach told me I had to place tenth or better or we would lose. I placed tenth and we still lost to Wilson (AKA the bastards), but I digress.
After the race ended, I wandered around for what felt like hours, but was probably hours. I looked at the race results and out of 250 participants, I placed 4th in my age group and 51th overall. Realizing that I was still alive and able to change out of my sweaty clothes, I looked at my free sweatshirt only to discover that this was the five-mile championship for the Southern Region of the Road Runners Club of America - I am almost positive, nope, actually positive that I did not qualify for the national championships. Next year, I run a 37 come hell, high water, or blindness (again).
As for the man who predicted my time at the start of the race - he was dead on - I finished the race in 39:46. I spent the next day sore, drunk and fantastically happy. Until the next race... some 5k, somewhere, sometime.


  1. Mrs. B said...

    That sounds fun...

    1:02 PM  

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