Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Thrill of the Grill 5k Race Review & I Met a Marathon Superstar!

So this was a pretty last minute sign up (at least for me).  I registered for this 5k last week as I specifically wanted to run a 5k this past weekend to see where I'm "at".

What intrigued me to actually do THIS race was the fact that my friend Luisa was doing it as well as another frunner from MRTT AND the opportunity to meet one of my running heros, Dean Karnazes!

Frunners Ready To Run!

So Dean was supposed to be at packet pickup, which I thought translated to the actual packet pickup, which was in a tent outside.  When I got there, I asked the volunteers where he was (he was supposed to be there from 3-5pm Friday afternoon.  They looked at each other and had NO idea who I was talking about.  Epic fail.  One volunteer would ask another who would ask another and another.  Not cool.  I didn't have a lot of time to spare, so I decided to leave.  Turns out he was INSIDE the store that was primary race sponsor.  Apparently no one told the volunteers.  I was really disappointed and hoped to at least catch a glimpse of him at the race.

Other than that, packet pick-up was pretty unremarkable.

Race Day

Saturday was just the perfect day to race.  That is all.  It was cool, not humid and there was a little breeze.

There were around 2,500 people at this 5k.  Definitely the largest 5k I've ever done (ok...this was only my third, but it is still a lot!).

One of the proceed recipients was the school district so many schools had plenty of representatives as their school would win extra money if they had the most people register/race.

So I walked from a nearby parking lot to the start to go and meet my friends,

and then I saw this....

OMG.  Dean Karnazes.  Just the most famous ultra marathoner ever.

If you don't know who this extraordinary runner is, just know this...he ran 50 marathons in 50 days in each of the 50 states, the last being in NYC.  He won the Badwater Ultramarathon in 2004.  Badwater is a 135 mile (ALL AT ONCE) race across Death Valley.  In the summer.  In 120 degree heat.  He also ran across the United States in 2011, running 40-50 miles per day, from Disneyland to NYC.  This took him only 75 days.  These feats are just in my friend Alicia's word, "amazeballs".

So how can he do all of this crazy cool stuff? He is able to reduce the build-up of lactic acid in his body and can keep himself under his lactate threshold, converting lactate to energy instead of pain and tiredness.

He also appears to have like 0% body fat.  He is freaking chiseled.

Anyway, I was able to catch him before the race and get a picture with him.

I was seriously stoked and *knew* I was going to have a great race!

As Luisa and I lined up we spotted him again so she could take a picture with him and we were able to chat with him for a few minutes.  We told him all about our thriving MRTT group and he seemed impressed!  He was so genuine and nice.

Luisa rocked this 5k - 2nd place in her AG!!

On to the race...

Because this was only my 3rd 5k, I was really going into it hoping to PR.

Weather & rest were both going for me.

Mile one - KILLED it - 8:08

Mile two - 8:38 - still not bad at all (at least for me!)

Mile three - 9:08 - lost steam on a couple of inclines

Over all I was SUPER happy with my finish (top 10 in age group out of 146, top 300 overall) AND I PR'd!

After the race there was a band and Central Market, the grocery store sponsor, was serving breakfast.

The line looked really long and I had to leave so I decided to forgo the food.  I'm never terribly hungry after running anyway.

Overall this race this race was pretty fun!  Even though it was kind of a bigger 5k, people were pretty good about lining up runners in the front, walkers in the back.  I never felt over crowded.  Dogs were also invited to run/walk so it was super fun to see that too!  I would probably do this race again.

One of my goals this spring and summer was to learn to like 5ks.  I really never thought 3 miles were worth getting up that early for (in my world 20 miles isn't worth getting up for - I'm a night runner). I have to say, I'm kind of hooked!  I am already perusing around for my next short distance race before the summer heat sets in.

My next goal?  Place in the top 3 in age group.

I'm looking forward to broadening my running horizons and work on getting faster!  I might be a runner, but I am definitely not a racer.  I need to work on that!

What are your thoughts on 5ks?

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