Sole Burner Appleton 5K – May 9, 2015 – ARR

On Saturday morning, May 9, 2015 my family and I ran the Appleton Sole Burner run in downtown Appleton, WI. The run is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. We ran as part of my wife’s work team.

Lori and the kids actually did the 5K walk, but they ran/walked to a time of right around 42:00. That is pretty darn good for a 8 and 5 year old that have not run that far before. Also, the course is quite hilly! There is a significant hill right at the end before the finish line.

I started the race in between the 8:00 and 9:00 per mile paces. I figured I would take it easy since I had the half marathon the next weekend. At the start of the race, it was quite crowded. People did not obviously pay attention to the pace times or that we were on the running course because there were walkers in my way left and right.

I started running around the other runners (mostly walkers, but also some slower runners) and tried to get to some breathing room. When I finally looked at my watch I was running around 7:30 pace. I did not want to be running that fast, but at almost a mile in, I figured I might as well go for it.

As I said above, the course is quite hilly. The big hill at the end is pretty tough, but my training on the hills at High Cliff State Park helped carry me up the hills. I did have to hurdle some vomit at the top of the the hill from another runner though!

When all was said and done, I completed the course in 23:27. Not a PR, but given the terrain and traffic early, I was very happy with that! My time was actually good enough to put me in the top 200 finishers, and I was listed in the paper for that. Pretty cool overall and for a great cause!

OSI April Fools 5K – April 3, 2015 – ARR

On a very cool Friday evening, I participated in the OSI April Fool’s 5K Race. This race was one that was on my to do list when I was looking at events for the upcoming year. It seemed like it would be a good fun race and I was right!

At the beginning of the race, we were all standing at what I thought was the starting line in the parking lot of the Orthopedic and Sports Institute. I turned on my headphone (this was the first time I was wearing them in a race) and got ready to start. I couldn’t hear what the race director said and we all started moving down the driveway, and I thought we were starting. I was wrong! 🙂

We stopped at the actual start line on the road and started from there. I had started my watch in the parking lot so I had to quickly reset and restart my watch, but was able to do it. The gun went off and it was on!

I started running and felt pretty good. I was cruising along and suddenly felt like I was maybe going fast. I looked down at my watch and realized I was running around 7:19/mile! That is way faster than I wanted to be going but I felt good. I had been doing intervals around that speed for my half marathon training, so I figured I would just keep pushing and see how it went.

Running the April Fools 5K
Running the April Fools 5K

About halfway through the run, I still felt pretty good. I figured I would push on. I kept going, and just before two miles I could see Appleton North High, the location of the finish line. I figured I am close to the end so I should keep pushing. I didn’t realize at the time I wasn’t even to two miles yet. I kept pushing as hard as I could all the way to the end.

April Fools 5K Finish Line
April Fools 5K Finish Line

I finally got across the finish line and had run a 22:53 5K! I set a new PR! I was so excited. I wanted to be under 27 minutes, but the course is so flat and I was feeling good. I am glad I was able to do so well!

After the run, the snacks and food were great. It is an event I will do again next year if I can. I would suggest it to anyone looking for a good, fast well put on 5K.

FNB Fox Valley St Pat’s 5K ARR – March 15, 2015

This week at the last minute I decided to run the FNB Fox Valley St Pat’s 5K. They also have a 10 mile race, which I was thinking about doing, but I have been fighting a cold all week thanks to my daughter, so I opted to do the shorter race to get more experience with races. So below is my ARR (After Race Report).

There was a costume contest prior to the race event, but I did not go for that. I spent that time going for a warm up jog to get my legs moving. It was a brisk 40 or so degrees out this morning, but luckily it was not too windy. The sun was mostly shining so the weather was actually really good.

About 10 minutes prior to the race the officials ushered us to the starting coral area. In the coral I tried to stand in the sun because the shade got a little cool just standing there. A few minutes after 9:00, when they had the all clear, the race started.

The coral area was wider than the start gate so it was a bit of a cluster to actually get across the start line. Once I did everyone was a bit bunched, but I felt like my pace was good and I was passing  a few of the slower people pretty good. There was a bit of a mishap though where a guy about my age tripped over the metal barrier feet and fell pretty hard. I think he was alright, but I didn’t stay to see.

A little before 1 mile I noticed that my GPS watch had completely turned off. I was trying to see what my pacing was and the screen was black! I kept trying to get it restarted, and finally I was able to get it going about 4 minutes later. I know I lost a bit of time messing with that, but I kind of just said forget it and ran by feel.

Close to the 2 mile mark there was a young volunteer with a timer who said we were at about 16 minutes, so I figured I was doing pretty good timewise. After that is when I finally got my watch working again. I decided to run a bit harder after the 2 mile mark and was passing more people along the way.

Heading toward the finish line.
Heading toward the finish line.

With just about a quarter mile left, the runners doing the 10 mile break off and the 5K runners take a left and head for home. I tried to run as hard as I could for the last quarter mile. Iran across the finish line and saw that the time was around 25 something minutes. I wasn’t really sure what my time was, and with my watch not working correctly I was really in the dark.

I headed to the food table and got a half banana and half a blueberry bagel. I was very sure that I did not finish in the top and especially not in the top of my age group, so I decided to leave.  I headed home and checked the results online to see what my official time was.

35-39 Male Age Group Results - FNB St Pat's 5K
35-39 Male Age Group Results – FNB St Pat’s 5K

I ended up finishing with a time of 25:07.79. I finished 36th overall and somehow 3rd in my age group! I had no idea I would be anywhere close to the top. I think they were awarding trophies for the age group top finishers, so I did not get mine if I was supposed to because I left! It was quite the surprise to see how I did when I checked, but so much of how you finish depends on who is running, and today I did good against the other guys in my age group. This time also set a new 5K PR for me, so that is great as well.

The run overall was a really great experience.  I will do that run again for sure. I had a good time, and the people were all great. Looking forward to it next year.