Running a 5K -- 09/12/10

Yesterday brought the NK5K -- North Kingstown 5K -- a (usually) small local race intended to raise money for the various athletic teams at North Kingstown High School.

This year they raised their profile by arranging a tie-in with next Sunday's CVS 5K in Providence and advertising themselves as the "official tune-up 5K" for the CVS race and by offering a "technical" race shirt rather than the usual cotton t-shirt.
(A "technical" shirt is made from a high-tech polyester blend that wicks away moisture rather than becoming damp and soggy the way a cotton shirt becomes.)

Jill wore the new shirt in the race...

Last year they had 309 finishers; this year they had 469 finishers. It would seem that they were successful in increasing the size of their race. They also had a good sized crowd of spectators.

And below you see Jill -- she's either stretching before the race or attempting to push my car over.

A most of you know (having had to read my babbling and complaining time after time) I have been struggling to get back into good physical shape and especially back into running following that extended period of lack of exercise due to problems such as my torn Achilles tendon... and then finally surgery in May to repair the torn tendon (and also to remove a broken piece of bone spur)... and then the hernia repair surgery in July... oh, my goodness, I feel wiped out just thinking about it. LOL.

The good news is that I am gradually getting back into shape. The bad news, of course, is that I still have so far to go... and every day I am a day older than the day before... Ah, but consider the alternative. So I signed up for the race (yes, thinking of it as a tune-up for the CVS 5K) and I showed up and pinned on my number and walked a brisk third of a mile (or so) to warm up my right foot before the race. (When I go for a walk or run I find that I need to walk half a mile or so to warm up my right foot/heel/ankle to reduce the "discomfort" of using it.)

The race starts... in the density of the crowd that is starting, I can only walk for the first couple hundred feet (of course I am far enough back in the crowd that many of the people around me are those who are planning on walking the entire five kilometers) -- which pleases me because it gives my foot a bit more time to warm up -- and then I got into a jogging pace. And on I went along gently winding country roads. There was a crowd of volunteers holding out cups of water at the one mile point and I took a cup of water and walked (perhaps forty feet or so) while I drank it and then picked back up to a jogging pace again... same thing at mile two... into the village of Wickford... then back out into the countryside and the finish line back at the high school. Not exactly world record time... 36:02... which is a pace of 11:36 per mile. Heh! I was just looking at the race results and noticed that there was a guy my age just 18 seconds ahead of me. Gee, I should have pushed it a little bit harder... (What? Competitive? Who? Me?) No, actually, I am so happy just to have been able to finish. (I'll get competitive next year. ** grin **)

Jill had a good run -- finished in 23:24 -- a pace of 7:32 per mile.

When I finished the race and grabbed some water, I went looking for Jill... I finally found her and a friend running laps on the school's track as a cool down.

Pizza was among the foot supplies they were giving to hungry runners. Jill munched a slice on the way back to my car. When we got there she held up a second slice and suggested that I should take a picture of her with her "trophy."

And then she took a picture of me, leaning somewhat tiredly against my car. I passed on the food at the race, but once we got home I had an early lunch and then took a nap...

Today Nancy and I walked over to a school track near us (about 3/4 of a mile). We have gone there a few times recently so that she can work on her running (to get more speed and stamina when playing tennis). She jogged laps of the track while I walked them (my foot would have screamed if I had tried to make it run the day after the race) and then we headed back home.

Gradually getting back into shape... and now I can go into next Sunday's 5K with some confidence that I at least ought to be able to go the distance.

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