Sunday, October 15, 2006

Oktoberfest 5K race report

So first up, Pippin did not win top dog. You know the old saying about "winners never cheat and cheaters never win" - well, cheaters do win and so one fugly cocker spaniel (EWWW!) will be representing Nashville for 2007. Sorry Nashville, we did our best. I really find that breed to be wretched and totally psychotic. There were 2 of them in our old neighborhood that were seriously demented and were Dazed often, and kicked a couple of times when they tried to bite us while running. But Pippin has moved on. He had fun at Dog Day even though we really thought it was a bore this year. It was $10 for us to get in and have one hour of wandering around aimlessly. There weren't a lot of activities for the dogs this year, mostly some pretty hokey booths. There were some cute dogs there, we saw 5 or 6 other Bostons, and a whole lot of dogs the size of horses. Pippin did get to meet local news2 person Steph who has left him comments before, so he was all about that. And then he got lots of loving from all the people out walking in the 'hood yesterday afternoon and got cameraphone snapped by one more person. (Seriously, every time we're out in the yard I have a least one person ask if they can snap his photo. It's so weird, he's crossing the internet superhighway all the time!! I wonder how many people have him on their phones?????) It's really his personality that gets him so much attention. He's the "corner guard" on our block. He sits in one corner of our white picket fence and escorts each person walking by all the way around the edge of our yard just leaping and running with excitement until they can't help but lean over the fence and give him some loving.

So anyway, the Oktoberfest 5K. We ended up stopping and getting our Tshirts and numbers Friday night. It was such a nice night we decided to walk around their neighborhood for a little while. The race runs through Historic Germantown, right across the river from where we live, and also adjacent to downtown. We just love old houses, so we saw an older guy leaving his home and asked him some q's about their neighborhood. The homes in their neighborhood range from 1850's-1920's, the homes in our neighborhood are from the 1890's-1930's. His particular home was built in 1911 and it totally cracked me up when I thought to myself "Oh, it's not that old! Our house was already 20!"! HA! My perspective on homes has changed so much in the past few months. As soon as we got home our neighbor + friends were heading out to an antique auction so we switched gears and tagged along. We had a late dinner and probably didn't get nearly enough sleep. Oh well.

Saturday morning was CRISP. Mid-40s crisp. We had found the box labeled "Winter running clothes" so we snagged some long sleeves gear from it and decided on long sleeve tech shirts and shorts. I ended up wearing my gloves because my hands freeze. We made it to the race sight with half an hour to spare, warmed up, and stood in the sun to talk to our other corporate teammates. The cold snap that came through this week really had everyone so off guard. That first chilly run is such a strange beast. We lined up where we thought we should be but of course once the gun went off we were hemmed in behind a ton of people slower than us. (The prerace annoucements said there were 900 runners.) We weaved around and at one point I saw Brent right in front of me! I never saw when I passed him because I was having a seriously tough time getting around these people. I really, really hate that. The cold air in my lungs was also such a shock that I felt like I was struggling. I saw around 5.3 I was at .75 of a mile, so I realized then that I was pushing hard. This course is not flat, but not of the hills are severe. Just enough to be annoying! We weaved through the historic old homes, and then through some industrial portions before heading back towards where we started. We had an amazing view of the state capital and downtown skyline. I just love the downtown skyline (of any city, really) and I always loved racing downtown because living in the suburbs we rarely got to see it. Yesterday I reminded myself how happy I was to get to see the skyline all the time, every day, and how lucky I was to get to run through downtown all the time now!! And how I hope I never take it for granted. We turned and ran past the fountains at the Farmers Market and I chuckled to myself that for ONCE I had no desire to stop and run through the fountains (unless they had been turned into a hot tub!) We curved around and finally we got to run smack through the Farmers Market. Totally my fave part of any race course, all year. I LOVE IT! We literally run right through the middle of the building (which was BLAZING hot yesterday) and all the shoppers and merchants have to stand to the side. Of course I waved big and hammed it up. Then it's just a couple of short hills and we're finally headed towards the uphill finish. Once I saw the finish line I realized I just might have a PR at hand so I pushed HARD. I knew I had slowed down some of the course of the race, but I saw a couple of my teammates just ahead so I pushed as hard as I could. I cross the finish line at 24:16 (official) a new PR by 14 seconds., avg pace of 7:50/mile. I'll take it!

My dream goal had been to break 24, but that will come next year. Going into 2006 my 5K time was 25:50, set at last year's Oktoberfest so I have had a large improvement over a short distance this year. I was still standing off to the side catching my breath and trying to find my fave chip cutter when Brent showed up! He had finished FIVE seconds behind me. He had seen me for a lot of the race. I think I'm going to have to start watching out for him now!!! We circled up with our teammates and we all had really similar times. One guy was just over 23 mins, two of us had exactly 24:16, and Brent and another guy were within 2 seconds of each other. Our other teammate was a bit slower but this was his first race since high school so hopefully he'll keep running. Three of us went and got in the free beer line and then stood around enjoying the sights. (Notice Brent's excellent use of the Fuel Belt!) The third guy had to leave but stopped to check the results. We had just started looking for the rest of the team when he came over telling me (SO EXCITEDLY) that I had 3rd in my age group. WHAT?!?! Seriously, this is a huge race and one of my ultimate running goals (SO cheesy) was to place at this race and get one of the winner's beer mugs. I did not get my hopes up (Ok, I did) but I really did not want those results pages to change!!

FINALLY they did the awards! Corporate results first.....and our team got first in our division!! SWEET! Medals for everyone on the team and we were all stoked to take down some of the other companies. Then......individual awards. And I got SECOND!! The top person in my age group was one of the top 3 overall so I moved up and got SECOND!! CRAZINESS! When the results came out online later yesterday I couldn't believe it. There were EIGHTY SEVEN people in my division and I got SECOND!! I was faster than 85 other 25-29 year olds. Truly insane. I was also the 27th female finisher!! 162 overall, but the 27th chick!!! Crazy!! My teammates were so thrilled for me, it felt great. Since they're all guys and it sucks to be a guy they weren't able to place (Brent was 25th in his division, so crazy).

We said our good-byes and walked around the festival for a bit. We ran into a friend we haven't seen in a long, long time. He used to run quite a bit, before we were runners. He once ran from his house to our house - 2.5 miles - and we thought he was NUTS. Isn't it funny how times change? Anyway, this was his first race (maybe even run) in ages and he finished in 39 minutes. It felt really, REALLY weird to be on the other side. We decided we need to get together for a run, or anything really, soon. It's so nice to "run" into people. He did hold my winners mug and I had fleeting thoughts of throwing his children in the river if he accidentally dropped it. Seriously, I have coveted that mug for a long, long time. It's in a place of honor on our fireplace right now.

Well, I am CRAVING a grape soda so I think it's time for a walk to the market or something. More pics from dog day, of my KICK ASS Halloween decorations, and a discussion of why I am so sick of hilly long runs later!

Hope you have all had a GREAT weekend!



At 6:07 PM, Blogger redlib said...

Damn fugly cocker spaniels!
But most excellent work on the run, and an entertaining report as per your usual! Nice.

At 7:01 PM, Blogger Danny said...

-sorry about pippin. he's a superstar anyway.

-congrats on another PR!

-congrats to Brent! That's gotta be a huge PR too!

-love the pic of brent with fuel belt and beer mugs!

At 8:25 PM, Blogger Hilda said...

Brent looks so thin, I remember him in other photos, bigger. You guys are working out hard, congratulations on your PR!

Hope Pippin makes it for the next time...rn

At 11:53 PM, Blogger Darrell said...

Awww, bummer for Pippin. I hope he takes the high road and the loss with dignity.

This was a great report and so exciting about the AG award.

Thanks for the invite. I'll make it to TN eventually. Likely Country Music, but the Flying Monkey sounds interesting. I can't wait to read all about it.

At 2:19 AM, Blogger Jack said...

Sorry for Pippin, it's just not right somehow...

Congratulations on your PR and placing 2nd! The smile on your face says it all!!

At 2:26 AM, Blogger Jack said...

You are right about guys having a harder time placing. With my 10K race on Sunday I came in 2 seconds after a lady in my running club, she placed 3rd in her class (W40) and I placed 42nd in mine (M45). She would have only needed to run about 1-1/2 minutes faster to get first place, I would need to cut over 11 minutes. So Brent has a lot of work ahead of him!

At 3:57 AM, Blogger Neese said...

excellent report, and congrats on a smokin PR! :)

At 5:56 AM, Blogger mouse said...

now that's an award you can USE! great job on the PR, guys!

At 6:22 AM, Blogger Kurt in Boston said...

Great job on the 5K PR and the age-group placing! (And condolences to Pippin.)

At 6:50 AM, Blogger Mia Goddess said...

Right on! If Brent puts that beer into his fuel belt, as he should, he'll free his hands to carry around all of your prizes and awards. That would be my dream job, to walk around after your races, juggling your beer mugs, medals, and event tshirts.

Cocker spaniels are overbred, crazy, addlepated animals. Pippin should be thankful he is not forced to represent them, as a species, which he would have to do if he had been appointed King Pup, due to anti-discrimination laws.

At 10:17 AM, Blogger Cliff said...

wooohoo..congrst on a 2nd place....

U must be estactic..

Ha...i saw the pic of Brent with his fuel belt...hilarious.

At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Steph said...

Pippin was the cutest dog there! Those judges only had their eyes on the dogs in glitter costumes! Trinity understands his pain.
It was nice to meet the fam!

At 11:32 PM, Blogger Firefly's Running said...

Poor Pippen! :( Bummer!

Congrads on the race!!

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Anne said...

Even if Pippin didn't win [we tried! we tried!], he's got a mom that's a Top Dog in the world of Nashville 5ks. Congrats on the PR.

At 11:32 AM, Blogger jeanne said...

congratulations!!! second place!!! It's only a matter of time before you get FIRST PLACE!


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