After a couple of high mileage weeks training for the Drake Well Marathon coming up on August 18th, 2013, I decided to run the Three Fox Vineyard 5k (7/28/2013) in Delaplane, VA. It a rural area with tons of good hills plus you get to have some wine after the race. So a couple of days ago, I got a decent 10 miler in at Manassas Bull Run Battlefield. Right knee was a tad tight and the legs were growing tired. I had no idea if half of the Warrenton cross country team would show up or what. Heather wanted the kids and I to run so I said sure, it sounded like fun and I haven't run a 5k in ages. The race didn't start until 9:30 which is late for a race, at least it is for me. We drove up to Delaplane and got there around 8:30am. Got the BIB, I was #14 and took a quick run around the vineyard to stretch out the legs. So I'm running along and here comes this woman chain smoking on the way to the registration....I stopped and said, "are you shitting me", really? Smoking at a 5k? Response - none, she cowered and quickly put it out. Now I don't care if you smoke but if I see that shit at a race, I am like WTF - I don't need to suffocate on your second hand smoke...However, we do live in VA so I shouldn't of been to surprised. Oh yea, we tooks some pre race pics as we always do:
As I always do, I assessed the preparedness and quality of the "shitters" or port-o-dumps at any of the races I attend. Well, we have a new winner...this port-o-dump takes all awards...just feast your eyes on this puppy:
Ok, the smoking rant and toilet talk is over now. So the race starts on a hill, how appropriate. After a couple of instructions of where to go which didn't really match up with the overall course, we get to the line. (Heather: The instructions were some confused muddle of run up a hill and then turn and follow cones and run up another hill and don't fall over tree roots and then make a few more turns. I had run the race last year so I knew where I was going, but I felt bad for the front runners who didn't have a clue.) It's me and about 10 dudes - eveyone else gets in the back. Gun goes off and we are off...As I said, the 3.18 mile course had you either up or down...flats, not really...at a minimum, you were rolling. At first, I was in 5th place behind some dude who is stacked so I called him Mr. Stacked, Libby (more on her name later), Ryan (some random I met in the parking lot who looked like he could run), and Hoka shoes ( he wore them so that is how I identified him)....so right out of the gate, Libby, who BTW is 12 years old takes a wrong turn...we sort of follow but then catch on she is off the path...BTW, Libby had a sick 5:30/6 min/mile pace going on out of the gate (Heather: I tried to set Zach up on a running date with Libby, but she was a little old for him.) ...I was thinking that there is no way I could keep that pace throughout but I would try...finally, after the wrong turn we are back and head downhill for a small bit before we have to come back up this steep hill...I am still in 5th at this point....I hit mile one at around 7:07...not to bad for a massive incline that had me creeping up the hill like some old man. BTW, that massive incline decreased the pace severely...moving us from a 6 min mile to about a 7...At about 1.25 miles, I passed little Libby - so I ended up knowing her name b/c her dad would be constantly saying "come on Libby, he's right in front of you"..."come on Libby"...well that shit was getting old ...I was thinking, pick on some other old dude...When I passed her, I could here that her breathing was laboring heavy...at age 12, she was doing good but I needed to pick it up....then Mr. Stacked starts to slow...I was thinking "how the hell can steroid man keep this pace on these up and down hills"...well, time was on my side, he bonked hard and came to a screeching halt around mile 2 at which point I passed him. At this point, Hoka man, Ryan, and me were 1,2,3. The last mile was where I could make up some ground but saw that my shoelaces came undone...this while we were going down a big hill mountain thing with tons of rocks and the first thing I told myself, don't twist and ankle...so I catch up to the second place guy and STOP, yes, now you are probably thinking...WTF are you doing...well it only took me a few seconds to tie my shoe but it was quick and he wasn't that far in front of me....However, we were now approaching a big climb which I was unable to make up distance....I didn't calculate this in when I stopped...yea, I f'd up...This stayed the same until the last .25 miles of which I came within 9 seconds of him but wasn't enough to get second and ended up with 3rd place overall in the race with a time of 22:02/7:06 pace.
Nickel and I ran together, and I gave Nickel some motivation before race start. There was some woman who had a kid and had spent 30 minutes before the race bragging about what a good runner her kid was. The kid looked to be about Nickel's age so I used him for motivation. Now I really don't care if your kid is a better runner than mine. In fact there are lots of kids who are better than my kids which is great. What I hate is the non-stop yapping about it before the race. Just shut up and run the race. So Nickel hung with Zman for about the first 1/2 mile and then faded a bit. We ran a 9:50 first mile. We hit a pretty good climb in the second mile that he needed to walk, but he kept pushing on the downhills and shorter climbs. I kept encouraging him to try to close the gap on Zman and widen the gap on the other kid. Nickel thrives on competition so that got him focused and dialed in. As we hit the last loop around the vineyard we saw Zman making the turn toward the finish line. I yelled to him to push it in hard and that he would definitely PR the course. He blew away last year's time and finished in 30:02 earning him first place in the 1-14 age group and 15/43 overall males. He was so excited to have done that well on a cross country course. At that point I noticed that Nickel could beat Zman's time from last year if he pushed it in hard so I let him know. He sprinted the end and finished with a 34:27 which was over 11 minutes better than he did last year. Nickel finished 2nd in the age group and was really excited to have beat Zman's time from last year.
|Kissing the fox post race|