Sleep deprivation is usually not conducive to great racing...or much of anything else. After a couple of weeks of challenging work hours - and limited training - that's my fault - I debated between doing the Runway 5K - a 5K on the tarmac at the Charlotte Airport. Cool - right - or these two races...seeing as 10K's in Charlotte are SO rare to find - I decided these were the events to do. Besides - it was essentially in my backyard and if all went well - I could add two more to the list...
I woke up about 30 minutes later than I wanted to - rush to the race and register. It was a gray misty morning couldn't Misty Mountain Hop http://s0.ilike.com/play#Led+Zeppelin:Misty+Mountain+Hop:29826:m11842763 out of my head on the drive over there....at least it wasn't Paula Abdul again - so there's that.
Ran into Mike and Megan Tolley - Mike works with me at BAC...so he's had the same work fun I've had - but he's a really good runner- so this'll be a piece of cake for him. Also ran into Dave Leonard a friend (now) but also the recruiter who helped me get to Charlotte and BAC...
10K line up - see a few folks in Halloween costumes - I decided I was one of the following: Lex Luthor, Dr. Evil, Lenin, Bruce Willis, Vin Diesel, or just some bald guy who was out for a little run. The women wearing the wings were in for a lot of fun with those things bouncing around on their backs...I thought to myself...
Down hill start - which is always nice - but usually winds up being faster (for me) than it should be...and as I cross mile 1 just under 7 minutes...I realize yeah - time to ease up on the gas a bit...good course and not too hilly. Around mile 5 my hip starts acting up - probably more of a overall fatigue thing - or lack of training recently thing - but it's not bad. My new Karhu's feel AWESOME...nothing like a new pair of running shoes...seriously - they're the best. I glance at my watch and start thinking...how is that possible? I'm going to go over 50 minutes?closer to 60? I'd have to do 6minute miles for the next 2 miles to break 50...and then - me - someone who works in a finance role, works with numbers all day every day remembers....its 6 MILES so that would be only ONE more mile - knucklehead
As we turn it towards the race finish - I start to pick it up again - as we had a downhill start - we also have a downhill finish double super duper bonus...no qualms about a downhill finish...
Cross the line and I've got about 30 minutes between races. It starts to rain - nice - nothing like being sweaty and slightly chilled and getting rained on in 50/60 degree weather...I get to catch up with Mike and Megan - Mike crushed it - as expected in 45...and was heading out. Megan took some pics of us - which once I get them, I will post them to the blog....she actually had a funny idea for us for a costume - seeing as we're working on filing the 10-Q next week - she thought we should have worn a "10" on one shirt and a "Q" on the other... of course seeing as Mike was so far ahead of me - it would have been a lost joke...maybe next year.
Head out to line up for the 5K - As we're lining up - the pace leader comes up and makes us make a path - as there are still a few runners out on the course for the 10K - and they're coming in...so we make a path and as they come through - they get hearty cheers and clapping from those of us lining up...one woman had a look on her face like "what in god's name are you idiots doing in the road?"
As they pass - we regroup and get ready. Same start - downhill and I know mile 2 is a climb - pretty much one mile up a gradual - sometimes steep-ish hill - so at least I know - "Know Thine Enemies" which is always helpful. Many more costumes this time - a cat, a bee, the Flintstones family, a zombie or two - at least I think they were zombies...maybe just really tired.
Make it to mile 2 - and no math needed this time - I know we're in the home stretch. I get a couple "Go Team" cheers from folks as I pass them - with the 40 in 40 shirt I designed (available in the lobby during intermission) I made sure that the 40 in 40 challenge was detailed on the back...for this very purpose - genius. The best way to get the word out about what LLS and TnT are doing is through these types of events. I wish I could do more - and I try...but I can't do it alone.
Head in to the finish and pick it up - a young man was out there with his trainer - and he was slowing down heading in to the finish - I yell over to him - up over this eensty little hill and it's all downhill to the finish...turn to my right and there is a young woman to my side - big smile from her and she's like - I'm hanging with you to the finish...she starts to pick it up - I respond in kind...hey - whatever it takes to get there.
As I think back on the races - there were so many folks out there - doing the 10K and 5K probably a few hundred - all shapes and sizes, all ages and abilities - as with any race really - but it was kind of moving for some reason today - they're all out there doing this for their own reasons - fitness, fun, possibly their own personal challenge...who knows.
Today's races are dedicated Wendy O'Donnell, the sister of Barbara Entwistle, a woman I work with at BAC. She told me about her sister the other day. The prevalence of blood cancers is frightening. It effects so many more people -oftentimes - folks we know - and yet - their strength, their battles and challenges are unknown to us. Here is some information Barbara shared with me.
Wendy O'Donnell lived at Sloan Kettering, fighting her battle for a year. She was diagnosed and died from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Barbara told me that honoring her here with one of my races would be the greatest thing. Her son would be so proud as well as the whole family. "It was the worst year and best year of my life. We met so many wonderful people. It was very hard going back to "reality" after that."
I hope I did make them proud - and I am honored to honor her with these events. The impact to families is far greater than any of us who have not had a battle such as this to deal with can imagine. I ran for her - in her memory - and did so proudly myself.
End of the day - good races - two more down - 13 to go.
Next up -Dowd Half Marathon - next Saturday.
Oh - and as a side note - when I was running at a 5:56 pace (clearly downhill) and my heart rate hit 190 beats per minute...I realized (despite the heart rate) it would be a good day...