Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lone Tree 5K Recap

Why this has taken me this long to recap, I have no idea...laziness?

Whatever. Deal.

On July 4th, we woke up ready to attempt to conquer the Lone Tree 5K. This race is my nemesis and a race that I have been determined to crack 30:00 in since I have done it. Why? Because it's in the neighborhood I run in over the course of the year. It's also a beast. You gain nearly 300' of elevation over the course of a mile. *eek!* It's a race that I have wanted to beat into submission for awhile.

Problem is, it's in July. July in Colorado = hot. July in Colorado = lots of sun. Lots of sun and heat = bad run times for me. Also factor in that my running training didn't go as well as it should have in June and you have the perfect storm for me not cracking 30:00 in my nemesis 5K.

Well...we woke up on July 4th to a pretty special treat. It was cloudy. And it was "cold". By cold, I mean about 60 degrees. 60 degrees and clouds = hoorayness for running! Humid, yes, it was...but I could deal with that. The best part of the race? They flipped it around this year! Meaning instead of running the first mile up brutal Lone Tree Parkway, we would run the last mile down it. The first 1.6 or so of the course would be uphill, but a lot more gradual then that brutal .9 or so that Lone Tree Parkway is.

We walked down to the park to get our stuff and then walked back. All the while, I kept thinking and saying that a sub-30 minute 5K was in our future, while T was a little more skeptical of this. We got back and quick wolfed down some breakfast, changed into our running stuff, and walked back to the park with T's mom and her dad, who was planning on run/walking the thing in his continued quest to lose weight (he's lost like 80 lbs).

Down there, we met up with T's brother Stefan and girlfriend Nicole, who were both doing the event, as well as Nicole's mom. We did a few fun stretches with these really giddy women who were leading this calisthenics group. After that, we headed to the start line. I reminded T that I was going to stick with her the first mile, as she would set a great pace that would allow us to have some energy in the two miles after.

The gun (siren) went off and off we went. T set a great pace that made it easy to fall into a groove. We took it slow, letting people pass us for the most part. I had a couple rabbits early on that I was determined to pick off, but was content to hold off for a bit.

When we hit the first mile, I checked the pace and saw 10:06. Great, I thought. We're in fine shape to crack 30:00. During the next half mile, we continued to wind uphill but I was feeling good. When we reached the top of the hill and looked down Lone Tree Parkway, I knew 30:00 was in our grasp. I asked T if we could pick it up and she agreed.

Running down Lone Tree Parkway, I was feeling jubilation (and sweat rolling down my back). I knew by mile 2 that the only way we weren't cracking 30:00 was if some sort of act of God happened. T was struggling a bit, so we dialed it back, but I wasn't worried.

We came to a point in the course where you level off, then turn around and head back towards the park and finish line. At this point, I didn't want to take any chances, so I asked T if I could take off and she said yes. I picked it up slightly and had one more rabbit to mow down. As I came around the corner, I passed her and took off for the finish line. I hit the timing mat and stopped my watch and was relieved. 29:19! I did it! I quickly turned and looked for T, who was roaring in. She crossed and we got in line for our shirts, knowing we had achieved what was previously unachievable.

I can officially retire from that race, but I won't. :-)

A great massage was waiting for me and some delicious other goodies. I was very proud of both of us.

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