I could tell you about our 11th President, James K. Polk (although you’d learn more by looking him up on Wikipedia), or I can tell you about how I ran yet another 5k race somewhere between 20:30 and 22:30 (exactly 21:30 today). Either way, if you’re like me, in about 15 seconds both subjects will make you feel like you’ve been attacked by a swarm of tsetse flies.
The good news is that I ran this race 39 seconds faster this year than last year (22:09 last year and 21:30 this year). Oddly though, I was 38 seconds slower in this week’s 5k compared to last week’s 20:52 up in the mountains in Weaverville. I guess it’s just a combination of factors, and if I’m going to be stuck somewhere this is probably a pretty good spot for me at the moment.
I hate to talk bad about a race, but the James K. Polk 5k is kind of a yawner. The only redeeming feature of the race is that it’s pretty close to home and we get to see our running friends from the Charlotte area. I’ve heard that the race has been around for many years (30+) but it doesn’t really have anything to set it apart from any other race. The only change in the race logo was that they replaced 2009 with 2010. Other than that the T-shirt was the same. Age group awards were nice-looking but unusable (as far as I can tell) water bottles. I was kind of amazed that the overall winners received, in addition to their water bottle, a U.S. flag that looked like something from the dollar store. But I digress.
Maybe I’m getting a little weary of running a race every weekend, but I keep telling myself it’s a good way to do some speed work since I have a hard time motivating myself during the week, and I also have to keep reminding myself of how fortunate I’ve been to run a race every week for almost two years with no injuries, and in fact fewer aches and pains than I had before I became a runner.
I’m happy to report that for the past two weeks I’ve run a little over 50 miles per week in my training. I’m hoping to build it up to maybe 55 or 60 as the fall marathon season approaches, and if all goes well I’ll be running three full marathons this fall. Of course I swore I’d never run another full marathon after the disaster at the New Jersey Marathon in May 2009, but I think I’m ready to add a little bit of spice to my running and take on a new challenge, and the three marathons in three months seems like it might be fun to try.
8 – 1-10 Website (Information, results, registration, photo links, etc.) 4 – 1-10 Awards (Quality of medals, trophies, etc.) (1 to 10) 3 – 1-10 Awards Presentation (PA system, winning times, etc.) (1 to 10) 3 – 1-10 Food for Race Participants (1 to 10) 4 – 1-10 T-Shirts (1 to 10 with 5 being average) 4 – 4/6 Part of Race Series (Grand Prix, etc.) (6=Yes and 4=No) 0 – 0/5 Professional Photography (5=Yes and 0=No) 6 – 4/6 Chip Timing (6=Yes and 4=No) 7 – 3/7 Certified Course (by USA Track & Field) (7=Yes and 3=No) 5 – 1-10 Course (1 to 10 with 5 being average) 4 – 1-10 Parking (1 to 10 with 5 being average) 4 – 1-10 Entertainment (1 to 10 with 5 being average) 10 – 0-10 Age Groups (10 if 5-year groups; 0 if 10-year groups) 5 – 0/5 Indoor Shelter from Elements (0 if none; 5 if provided) 4 – 1-10 Bathroom Facilities (Inside bathrooms but no porta potties) 0 – 0-10 Other
TOTAL – 71
Time: 21:30 Pace: 6:55 Age Group: 2 of 6 Overall: 24 of 245