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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Spartyka Wounded Warior 5K!

Today I ran the Spartyka Wounded Warrior 5K in El Paso. There are 7 of these races held nationwide, and they are hoping to increase that to the mid 20's next year, and then to one in each state the year after that. The purpose of the fund raiser is to support our armed forces who have been severely injured during the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The day was a beautiful sunny 62 degrees, and more than 400 folks turned out to do this event. Shortly after I got out of the car, I saw two of my nemeses jogging together. One just turned 60 like me, the other is 61. They don't do a lot of races (thank God), as they are 21 and 23 minute 5K runners. Therefore, as I was warming up, I was looking for anyone who looked my age. There were many, but only one that scared me. The race was USTAF certified so I knew that my time would be a great gauge for plotting training paces and projecting race times at other distances. The race ran flat for a half mile, went downhill for a mile, and then returns. I locked on my target from the beginning, and was about 10 feet behind him at the turn around. At the top of the hill with a half mile to go, I had cut that to about 5 feet, so I decided to try and run a really hard half and either beat him or die. I had two gears left, and pushed out .35 about as hard as I could tolerate, and then sprinted brainlessly for .15 to the clock. I ended up beating him by 17 seconds. Felt like puking at the finish, but instead just did a mile cool down. My time was 26:06, for an 8:24 pace, 6 seconds a mile under what I had been estimating from my training. That projects me out for a 54:13 10K, and a 2:00:39 half marathon. Would need to do a lot more longer runs to approach that last one. Anyway, I was pleased with my time, my 3rd place out of 10 folks finish, and being able to support a good cause. I have another 5K scheduled in two weeks, then will look for a 5 miler or 10K, and who knows, maybe even a half in the spring!

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