The Chances

How a 250+ Pound Couch Potato Got Healthy

Sunday, November 23, 2008

2008 Davis Turkey Trot 10k

Anyone who's been running for a length of time can tell you, there are good days running, and there are bad days running. Sometimes it seems the world is yours and you could run for hours, days, weeks, etc... then others, you're ready to quit after 5 minutes and couldn't tell anyone why for your life. There are also good races and bad races.

Saying that, you might expect me to tell you all about a bad race. Your expectations also might be wrong.

Yesterday was the 2008 Davis Turkey Trot. There were quite a few different races, including a 5k stroller run, the regular 5k, a 10k, plus kids' events. I ran in the 10k.

Before I go further, though, congratulations are in order for Tim Schafer, my coworker who registered for the 5k event. He's only been running for a month, maybe a month and a half, and this was his first race. He performed tremendously, surprising me, and especially surprising himself, averaging an 8:21/mi pace, and finishing with a 25:55 chip time. Way to go, Tim!

We got up early Saturday morning, and started feeding the kids breakfast at 5am. It's a good thing we were up early, too, because as we found out on the way, the fog was thick the entire way. It's been a long time since I drove Highway 113 through Woodland, and had forgotten how bad it can get this time of year. It's only 45 miles to Davis, but the going was slow. Even once we got into town, it was hard seeing street signs. Once parked, though, we were able to follow folks to the destination.

The 5k was set to start at 8:20, so we made our way towards the starting line. I tried to find Tim, but wasn't very successful. Once that race started, we had a look around before I changed into my running clothes. I was already wearing them, of course, but had outer layers to remove and running shoes to put on. Those would be the new Brooks Adrenaline GTS 8's I bought a few days ago. Call me crazy, but today was the first time I wore them.

I pinned bib #1904 onto my shorts, different from the past, when I've pinned the number to my shirt. This made a huge difference to me, because I wasn't constantly smacking it as I ran. I also packed two gels into the baby-pocket of my running shorts, and shivered while waiting for the race to begin. I ate one of the gels and got a drink from a drinking fountain.

Rather than a starting gun or horn, they started the race with a countdown from ten. 3... 2... 1..., and we were off! I realized quickly that I had picked a place too far back in the pack. It took maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile to finally settle in on a decent pace, but I lucked out a few times with a dirt path that ran next to the street that gave me (and quite a few others) a chance to make up some time.

At Mile 1 I glanced down at my time, and surprisingly, the 1-mile mark was right on track with the Garmin: 8:18! I was doing better than I expected.

At Mile 2 was the first water stop. I usually run with a water bottle in my hand, but because of the water stops I chose not to, so it was a welcome sight. I grabbed the water, folded the cup with gusto, and downed it, making sure to thank the volunteers as I passed. The GPS read an 8:05 pace.

Just past the water station, the course turned onto an asphalt path. This immediately caused a bottleneck, moving all of us to a surface about 1/3 the width we had been running on so far. The surface, while asphalt, was a lot softer than the street, and had it been maintained well, would have been perfect. Unfortunately, it was cracked and upturned quite a bit, and I ended up twisting my ankle! I thought for sure it would slow me down or even make me have to stop, but after a quarter mile I was able to get back on track.

At Mile 3, I started thinking about the end. Halfway there, I told myself, seeing 8:10 for pace. But could I keep it up?

Mile 4, I made a bee-line for the water station. The day before the race, it was announced that the "official hydration" method of the race would be Cytomax. Woo! I love that stuff, we used backpacking at Mt. Whitney last year, and it kept me going pretty well. As I approached, I heard some screaming, "Gatorade! Gator... uh, whoops... Cytomax! Cytomax!" I went straight for him and the cup, but ended up splashing it all over my arm, my shirt, the Garmin. At least I got what my dad used to call a "swaller" into my mouth. 8:09 pace.

Mile 5, I was starting to feel the fact that I was running consistently faster than I normally do during training. As the path led over the freeway, the final aid station was in view, and again I went towards it. Water this time, but in styrofoam cups! I did my best, but ended up with some water coming out my nose, and I came very close to throwing it all up! I consider myself lucky that I didn't. 8:11 pace.

Glancing down at 5.18 miles or so, I remember mentally pushing myself to keep my pace. This guy passed me, and as he did, I decided to use him as my pacer. Thank goodness he was there, because I probably would have slowed down otherwise. Maybe not, I suppose there were plenty of people to keep up with. There were weird sculptures of dogs along the path here. One was a dog riding a tricycle, another was a dog chasing a turkey on top of a giant mushroom.

The path went over the freeway, and as we got to the other side and into another park, there was the marker for Mile 6. Keep going, the volunteers started chanting, only six blocks to go! I sped up as much as I could at this point, although I'm sure it was a feeble attempt. I concentrated on not looking like I was in pain for the photographers, but we'll see how that went. 8:06.

Then all at once, I had crossed the finish line. The final .22 miles ended up at a 7:22 pace. I stopped the Garmin, with a final time: 50:27.29! Check out these splits:

Mile 1: 8:16.72
Mile 2: 8:04.83
Mile 3: 8:08.62
Mile 4: 8:06.12
Mile 5: 8:08.64
Mile 6: 8:04.99
.22 mi: 1:37.97 (7:25/mi)

Needless to say, I was happy. I found my wife and kids, and Joy said to me, "You running!" Liberal kisses and hugs were exchanged, while my wife told me all about how much fun they had doing crafts at the kids' fair.

I made my way over to the food and couldn't believe how famished I was! I ended up having a bagel, a banana, an apple, an orange slice, and a mini bran muffin.

At the booth for a local gym, they had a sign showing how many calories are burned while running at different paces. I ended up having a discussion with the guy there, talking about paces and how many calories I usually burn (I average about 125 calories per mile typically). Then I noticed that they had a body fat device, the same model I had used when I picked my wife up at Curves about 6 months ago.

So I had the guy read mine: 13.6%! For good measure, I had him read it again: 13.4%. This is good news! My previous low was 18%.

We made our way back to the starting line for Gregory, who's 6 years old, to run his 1-mile race. I took some pictures of him at the starting line, but ended up overexposing the end. He was far from first place, but had a blast nonetheless. I had Jenny (4) and Joy (3) signed up for the 1/4-mile and 200 yard dash respectively, but Joy wanted to run with her sister. So they both ended up running 1/4 mile, while my wife "ran" with them. Note the quotes: my wife was going joy-speed, which wasn't much faster than Joy's toddler-walk. Jenny smoked both of them and the announcer at the mike told everyone she was skipping to the finish line.

When it was over, we ate at Baker's Square. I had an omelette, my wife had a turkey wrap, while all 3 kids ate corn dog bites. On the way home, everyone but me slept the hour back home.

Stats copied from the results page:

Overall: 316 out of 1142
Men: 237 out of 532
M 35-39: 33 out of 73
Age/Grade: 55.59% Place: 478
Finish: 50:23 Pace: 8:07
Tag Time: 50:23
Gun Time: 51:05

791 calories burned.

And if you made it this far, thank you very much!


Carly said...

Great job on the race! I think it is so cool that your kiddos ran their own race too.

MarathonRandy said...

Way to go on the race, I like your pace and dream of getting there someday...heck...I'll settle for anything under 10...or for now just a pace that is under 11 min/mi...way to go!!!

rodney said...

Nice job. Sounds like you had a fine day. Not such a bad day over here either. Happy trails!

Pat said...

nice strong consistant pace. Good job on the run. sounds like the kids had a blast too.

Marcy said...

Whoot!! A most excellent job!! Way to kill that baby ;-)

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Great job with the 10k. You kept a really consistent pace and finished strong. Awesome!

Darrell said...

Fun for the whole family! Congrats on a really great finish surge there.

BTW, sorry I'm not MrThirteen. I'm not even on twitter.