2013: RunningChunk.com 5k

Yet another of those events — organized by dear friends, Josh and Nancy — that I had managed to find an excuse for its previous editions but was eagerly looking forward to participate in 2013 for more than one reason: opportunity to not make an excuse, (a short-ish) run for fun with many a colleagues, familiarity with the course (as a result of my affiliation to Lake Linden Wild Goose Chase), and the finish line being mere steps away from the Lakes Lounge / American Legion Post 90.

Still recovering from the past weekend’s Porcupine Mountains Trail Half Marathon, the only training I did was carb loading, in multiple phases, that included a home cooked meal (pearled couscous) on Wednesday night, pesto pasta for lunch with good colleagues in Pilgrim River Steak House on Thursday, the customary lunch at Rodeo Mexican Kitchen with members of team /var/run (Nancy, Josh and Amy) on Friday, a few beverages in Keweenaw Brewing Company (that I should have avoided) & home cooked meal with friends (Mariana, Andrew, Liisa, Matt and Kurt) on Friday night and breakfast in Suomi Home Bakery & Restaurant on Saturday (that I should have had a bit sooner).

The event started off shortly after 11:30 am and I was rather surprised to be near the lead of the pack — as opposed to my usual back of the pack — at a healthy (and surprising) 9:30 min/mile pace. That only lasted about a mile and half before side stitches kicked in (reminding me of the supplements I forgot to take earlier in the morning), and rest of it was a roller-coaster of a ride as the graph below indicates. All said and done, 33:34 for a 5k was a long shot from my PR (27:36 in the same course way back in 2009) but a good 1:20 min/mile faster than I have run all of this year.

3.1 miles in 33:34 @ 5.6 mph, 10:43 minutes/mile
Splits: 9:28, 11:08, 11:59, 9:22

Timing was a courtesy of Josh‘s atomic/nuclear clock. And barring the first 1.5 miles, I consistently maintained an inconsistent pace as indicated by the speed, elevation and heart rate spectrum below (thanks to Garmin Forerunner 405CX and WP GPX Maps plugin for WordPress) to finish in the coveted #12 spot. The official and complete results are here. Hopefully, training regimen for the upcoming Madison Half Marathon will include just as many training runs as the number of carb loading sessions. Post-race festivities included couple cold beverages in Lakes Lounge, running around the said location with Steve’s 30 lbs sand bag, lunch at The Fitz with Kristin and Heather, dinner at The Fitz (yes, again and yes, twice in one day) with Mariana, Andrew, Liisa and Matt.

Thanks be to

the rejections and opportunities life has brought my way, event folks (organizers, sponsors, volunteers, timers, law enforcement officials, photographers, fellow participants and spectators), and the family of good friends in and outside of my community for all the unexpected, undeserved and unrewarded acts of constant encouragement as well as offerings of constructive criticism to improve myself as an athlete and a person. I am eternally grateful to all those who let me train with them, who shared their invaluable tips with me, who helped keep my mind, body and soul in good health, who helped me stay the course during the training cycle, who continued to teach me the value of work-life balance, and who cheered me on from home or along the course.

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