Saturday, May 5, 2012

Never say never

This morning I ran the ALS Fiesta 5K. I haven't ran a serious 5K in awhile - I've done a couple that I ended up not having to pay for, but I just rolled them in to longer training runs. I'm much better at longer runs. The whole "run until you want to puke for 3.1 miles" thing scares me to death.

I was on a huge fundraising team of over 90 people, which is the best way to run a race, because all sorts of total strangers start cheering like crazy for you as soon as they see your shirt. I went with a huge group of people to the race, including my GORUCK girls Jackie and Colleen. Colleen is training for like 12 more GORUCKs, so she ran with her bricks, and still did a 30 minute 5K! She also ran in a mumu, just for fun.

My previous 5K PR was 24:21. I knew I had no choice but to PR at this race, mainly because I think 5Ks are a rip off, so this would be my only one for another few years. I actually warmed up for about 3/4 of a mile, and warm I was. The team shirt was cotton, it was already 80 degrees and something like 110% humidity, so I was pouring sweat before the race even began.

Public Service Announcement: If your goal is to break 30 minutes in a 5K, I applaud you, that's a wonderful goal. With this goal in mind, the front of the race, 2 rows behind the start line, is not where you line up. 

Despite a little crowding at the beginning and the ungodly heat, I managed to pull out a 22:46. I randomly told some woman at the start that my goal pace was 7:30 (I hadn't even thought about it before she asked me) and my average pace ended up being 7:26. I said the 7:30 out loud, so it counts, and I officially beat my goal. 

After the race I ran a little over a mile for a torturous, shuffling cool down, bringing my total for the day to 5.2 miles.

We went back to Jackie's house and showered. The fundraising team I was on rented out a room at a local Cuban restaurant and hosted a huge party. 

Now, with a half marathon on my schedule for tomorrow, I had no intention of drinking today. However, several things came together and created a perfect storm, forcing me to imbibe.

  1. Colleen offered to drive to the race.
  2. The drinks were free.
  3. I usually hate mimosas and yet these ones were magically delicious. 
  4. It was before noon, which means any drinking you do doesn't actually count.
Half marathon or not, if I had turned down free mimosas when my car was safely at home, I would have had no choice but to punch myself in the face. They hit me pretty hard too. FYI - a buffet at a Cuban restaurant is not ideal for a non-meat eater like myself. Fruit, cottage cheese, and mimosas turned out to be my lunch. 

Beware - the following pictures WILL make you want to quit your job and move to Baltimore immediately. Our guest room is ready.

A huge event in Baltimore is the Kinetic Sculpture Race. Teams work for months, or even years, to create sculptures that are able to travel both on land and in water. 

The banana split

This one played the Mario Bros theme song!

Baltimore legend Fifi. She resides in a museum when not competing.
Colleen and I went to Patterson Park to watch as the sculptures took turns attempting to gain speed and get through a section of deep mud. 

The costumes are no small part of this event. Even spectators dress up. 

Tell me you wouldn't want to watch this heated competition in person. 

My half ironman next week is actually also called the Kinetic race, so when I tell people I'm training for it, they think I mean I'm spending weekends in someone's garage duct taping random items to a bicycle.

Anyone who has endured long enough to still be reading this post might be wondering what the title is all about. Once again, I'm going to do something I swore I'd never do. I think I need to call this past year the year of "never say never".

Kara is notorious for peer pressuring people into signing up for races. She teamed up with Jessica and somehow managed to convince me to enter the JFK 50 lottery. The lottery opened on May 1st, and it's totally old school, you have to mail in your application with a check, proof of a qualifying race, and a SASE (self addressed stamped envelope). The turnaround for all that was shockingly quick, and this arrived in the mail yesterday.

November 17th, I'll once again be attempting the 50 mile distance. I'm really excited to have it actually be 50 miles this time.

I know this is a really played out question, but I'm really curious - what's everyone's favorite race distance? Mine is the marathon for sure!

Do you think it's wrong to turn down free liquor? It should be illegal.


  1. 1. not sure. Probably the half since I'm not quite up to marathon conditioning yet.
    2. SO WRONG. I would pour a little out for those who turn it down, but since that would be wasteful AND they cannot be considered friends by turning down free liquor, I will not.
    3. Kara has yet to pressure me into a race. I'm going to sit back and enjoy that one.
    4. Congrats on the JFK 50!
    5. I'm pretty sure it's one of Christian's life goals to enter the Kinetic Sculpture race.

    1. You do realize that you are goading her my leaving this comment right? She will now have no choice but to set her sights on you.

    2. shit.

      Actually, I'm ok with that. I need to get back into shape once my foot heals, and try not to re-fracture it. And I could probably benefit from some external motivation.

  2. congrats on the PR and on getting into JFK 50!!!

    my favorite distance is most definitely the marathon. least favorite? 5K!

  3. I'll be there tomorrow. Get the guest room ready!

    Also running in a mumu? I bet that felt awesome.

  4. Ok, I'm sold. I'm moving to Baltimore. Although, I had a cow moo in my face this morning. That's southern MD gold right there.

    I'm so freaking proud of your 5K time. I can't wait to try and beat it next year :)

    You're going to love the JFK 50, you should make Jessica run it with you. She's a good pacer.

    1. I had a homeless dude expose himself this morning when I was running an errand. Now you all want to move to New York. (I know that Emily will actually be more inclined after this comment.)

  5. Congrats on your 5k PR!

    How did I not know you are a non-meat eater? Cuban is tough. They usually have one veggie item on the menu.

    I am beyond excited about you getting into JFK. The 50th anniversary too! I have marked my calendar. That is the only piece of communication you will get from JFK race management. Very old school.I just remembered that I thought you were running JFK last year until a week before the race. Ha!

  6. That is so amazing that you got a 5K PR today, right after GORUCK, the day before a half-marathon, and a week before a are crazy strong, fast, and resilient !!!

    If I wasn't over 50 and a guy, I'd want to grow up to be just like you.

    Just. Absolutely. Amazing.

  7. I would have to say that the half marathon is my favorite race distance and oddly the 5 mile. I have yet to do a marathon so I can't say as to whether I will love it or hate it.

    Congrats on getting accepted into the JFK 50 miler again this year!

  8. The 55-miler is my favorite :)

    Or maybe the 400meter. (The last straightaway feels like you fell off a cliff and there is no oxygen, but it's short.)

    Congrats on getting into JFK!!

  9. Congrats on a 5k PR! I have a 5k coming up and I'm kind of dreading it. You are crazy for another 50 miler, but I love it! Kara can be intimidating, huh? ;)

    If I'm not driving, then it's pretty hard to turn down free booze. Especially on a pseudo-holiday like Cinco de Mayo.

  10. Big congrats on that 5k PR! That is awesome. That kinetic sculpture race (I want to call it a parade) looks really fun. Congrats on being crazy enough to run 50 miles AGAIN! ...or ONLY 50 miles this time :)

  11. Congrats on your new PR!! You rock!

    And saying no to free booze should be illegal. Thanks to this belief, I'm refusing to leave the couch today. Rehearsal dinner and wedding with open bars are great in theory...but now I need a nap.

    Also, Kara is a genius. I'd never met her and she talked me into a race!

  12. Congratulations on an awesome PR!! WTG!

    Free booze and you pass it up? You should be caned!

    Oh goody - stories about 50K training coming soon! I can't wait!

  13. Congrats on your 5K PR. I'm convinced I hate 5Ks. Exciting on JFK! And, I love the fact that they could convince you to sign up! I sent in my application but haven't gotten anything back yet...and I live 25 min. from Hagerstown. :(

  14. My favorite distance is the half marathon, mostly because it doesn't require me to train and the entire rest of my day isn't spent sleeping on the couch and trying not to die.

    Awesome job on your PR, especially in an awful cotton shirt.

    I think 5ks are the worst because there are so many people that just have no idea what is going on. At my last one, the people in front of me turned around and asked if I was planning on running the race.

  15. I kind of want to do the JFK 50 after hearing about, but I'm no where near the point where I could actually consider it. I'll be excited to cheer you through another "never say never" event!

  16. Congrats on a new 5K PR and getting into the JFK 50! As soon as I started reading that part all I was thinking about was that this race will actually be the distance it's supposed to so I'm glad you commented about that too. 5K's really are the worst with people not lining up where they should be.


Thanks for commenting! Comments make me probably more happy than they should.