Frost 5K Recap: Mike VS. 76 year old Elvis

by

This race was my measuring stick of where I’m at in the first few weeks of running. I’m glad I did it (now), but I didn’t anticipate it being so humbling … and hard.

My first mistake was picking a race on Paul’s birthday. As I was registering, I knew the date was Paul’s birthday, but I assumed that he wouldn’t want to go out and do much for it (the night before the race/birthday, Saturday). With that thinking I thought the danger of drinking too much and being in good shape for the race was clear. I was right in the regard that Paul didn’t want to go out and be crazy, but I forgot that I wanted to celebrate it (IE have an excuse to drink a few).

My original plan was just to have a quiet night at home Saturday, get a good nights rest and run the race by myself in Manassas. Not too much to ask for. Somehow Paul found out about my running schedule (stupid blogging) and wanted in on the race. He lives closer to the race site so common sense prevailed and  it was agreed upon that I’d sleep over Saturday night and do what grown men do at midnight to acknowledge a fellow mans birthday; continue to drink beer and play video games.

Long story short, my second mistake was drinking till almost 4am and getting less than 3 hours sleep for the race. I woke up by myself (which dumbfounded Paul at 7:10am), slightly groggy, and got myself dressed (hooray me!). I skipped an important step of eating or drinking anything. In the car on the way over I did have a 5 hour energy drink/shot. I don’t know if those things need something already in you to work, but mine didn’t do squat.

So the race is at my old gym near my old work. We go inside and I pick up my bib and shirt and Paul, who hasn’t registered yet (25 min to race time), goes to another table and registers with a check he just so happened to find in his wallet. Last week at Safeway, for the first time that I’ve seen in at least 4 years, someone paid for their groceries with a check. Which nowadays I found odd yet infuritiating because, come on, lets keep this line moving and .. oh god, she didn’t even fill in the date or Pay To part yet? I mean, that was a rookie Check Writer move 25 years ago! Is that enough time, 25 years? Would 50 or 65 work? Too late, committed to 25 years. She commented on how no one writes checks anymore at the store and thats when I gave her the ‘oh, come on’ eyes, but I was looking at US Weekly, so I just looked dumb probably. Anyway, Paul paid with a check. Cool story so far, Mike.

As Paul and I were stretching, he spotted an old dude dressed as Elvis. Paul shares a birthday with Elvis and this race day was Paul’s birthday, which also made it Elvis’s birthday, hence an old dude dressed as Elvis. “Thanks for explaining that so thoroughly” said Everyone in earnest. Paul casually remarked we shouldn’t lose to him because we are a couple of radical, handsome, young and fast dudes. “Duh” I said, as I almost touched my toes while I stretched (out of breath, may I add). There were about 500 people in the race, this would be the last we’d see of old Elvis … or so I thought.

Side note: my bib said Heritage 13.1 Half Marathon and Paul’s said something not related to anything. The Starting/Ending finish line arch was from another race. It was like I had planned the whole thing, except for the whole being in Manassas part. Woof.

Despite the name, the Frost 5K had pretty damn good weather. Almost warm enough for a short sleeve shirt, but most opted not to chance it and wore long sleeves and a hat *raises hand*. As the race was about to start, we situated ourselves near the back of the pack, as to not get in the way of actual runners. It felt really great to run with a lot of other runners. I always run alone, but I enjoy running in a big pack. The running community (anywhere) is fantastic. So supportive and positive. Even the people watching (I don’t understand why they do it, but bless them non the less) are great; always cheering and making you feel awesome, providing you with that extra kick till the cheers vanish and you’re left with your own thoughts again.

I’m really happy with the plan to run a lot of races this year. The original idea was to keep myself on pace and to keep motivated. Now I realize that I’m looking forward to the pre-race ‘activities’ more then the actual race. It’s rare to be apart of something that everyone who’s there is really happy to be there and is all smiles and nothing but positive and supporting to everyone; total strangers included. Everyone’s there for the same simple reason. There’s no competitive fire or nature brewing beforehand. Everyone’s just happy to be apart of the event. It’s really cool. I’ve only been to a couple of these things but I haven’t really fully appreciated it yet, for what it is. I still don’t think I have, but I really do look forward to getting absorbed into it this year.

Ok, for the race itself. It was just a little over 3 miles, so not a lot to tell. I didn’t run with my Nike +, so I wasn’t able to tell how fast I was running, so I think I took the first mile too fast. As I was running, I was trying to think of how far we had run. The race took a turn for the worse when I was a little winded (too much beer, no sleep, no anything else) and saw the sign “MILE 1”. When I saw it, I could have sworn we had run 1.25 or maybe 1.4 miles. But only 1? Oh crap. My body was not happy about that. Lucky for us though, the whole course was flat, so there were no hills that would make me weep uncontrollably, which was nice.

I think I was running a bit too fast for my liking, but I thought I was making good time. After burning a couple moms at a turn around the 1.5 mark, I spotted Elvis. Son of a bitch! He’s been ahead of us the whole time, and he’s booking it! Come to think of it, we have the same pace. Son of a bitch! Ok, no more of these shenanigans, I’m passing old Elvis. I’m a radical, handsome, fast and young dude afterall, so long gramps!

The 1.75ish marker had the only water station. Finally, a chance for me to get ready to run this race … eerrrr … continue running this race! As I’ve done at every water station I’ve come across while in a race, I put a quarter of the water on my chest, a quarter in my mouth and half of it up my nose. I hate this. This always puts me in weird convulsion of trying to get the water out by either blasting it out of my nose or smacking my head. Neither works, so I just usually end up running the next .2 miles looking like I have to sneeze while trying to resist the urge to jam a finger up my nostrils and try and swill it out. “This story is dumb and kind of disgusting” said Everyone. Sorry, I’ll get to the old Elvis part.

After I resolve my nose water issue, it becomes apparent one laces has become undone. Shucks. I pull aside and take my time lacing it up (I’m way too tired than I should be, everything I did in the last 10 hours was a mistake. Everything). I get up and hold up a second … Somebody Call My Mama … old Elvis passed me! This injustice will not stand. I get up and aim to sprint right passed him, but it turns out the tank is near empty. I’m going to need to cruise control this muscle car for a bit. But all isn’t too bad, the cheers old Elvis is getting is quite incredible. I liked it a lot … not because I was happy for him but because I was trying to soak in the cheers and take them as my own. Yes he was in front of me and I knew exactly what was happening, but those cheers (for someone else almost 50 years older than me) helped.

Make no mistake, I was not going to lose to him. I stayed within striking distance for the next mile. When the finish line was in sight, I said ‘sorry Elvis, it’s Mikes time to shine’ and used the last .2 miles to dust old man winters. I kept my dignity somewhat in place, but the whole race was humbling non the less. I can’t disrespect races, no matter how short they may seem. Also, I haven’t made as much progress as I thought I may have.

But I can’t complain, I got my bib, got my shirt, beat old Elvis, got a small medal (for participating), got a banana and got some good experience. Next race is a 10K in 34 days. I’ll be more prepared for that race, I hope.

P.S. – Paul lost to old Elvis. Happy birthday to the both of you!

One Response to “Frost 5K Recap: Mike VS. 76 year old Elvis”

  1. Mom Says:

    Pictues are a-mazzzing!!! So proud of you both, just forcing yr celebratory butts out of bed was yr first victory!! You put in the work, passed ol Blue Suede Shoes, splashed some water, paced yr hound dog self, n spanked that finish line!! Must feel great!! Beer, Pauls bday, no sleep, = not priceless. Imagine how great u 2 can be!! U need Green Lantern/super hero get up to run in, n soak up yr own cheers!!! Very proud

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: