Running on gluten-free carbs…

Pro.Active For Life 5K – Frankfort, KY (May 18, 2012)

Me crossing the finish line of the Pro.Active For Life 5K - Frankfort, Kentucky

Me crossing the finish line of the Pro.Active For Life 5K – Frankfort, Kentucky

Race: Pro.Active For Life 5K

Place: Frankfort, Kentucky

Date: May 18, 2012

Time: 26:58

This…was a tough race.  Not that I haven’t run this exact route in Frankfort in other 5Ks prior to this one.  That wasn’t what made it tough.  What made this race a challenge was that I was coming off of only one day off of running (which was Wednesday night).  On Thursday morning, I put in a hard run, plus some time on the elliptical and stationary bike at the gym.  And prior to that, I had run both Monday and Tuesday…so needless to say, I was operating on very tired legs.

I totally understand now why people take a day off before a race.

That being said, this was a very fun race to participate in.  The Pro.Active For Life 5K is the second race of the Frankfort Trifecta, the three-race series that I am entered to run in.  The first race ran back in March.  And the final one will run a month from now.  This is actually quite a popular race as well.  It even hands out awards for first timers…you know, those who are taking on their very first 5K.  It’s a great motivator and definitely draws a crowd.

Getting to Frankfort was the challenge.  My roommate and I put in a full day at the office, sneaking out 30 minutes before we normally leave.  We stopped off to grab something to eat on the way and hit the road to Frankfort.  The traffic in Louisville was pretty bad, but we got through it and made our way to the state capital.

We parked in our usual parking garage and headed into the historic downtown area.  Packet pick-up was currently going on and I slipped inside the building, past the long line of people registering on race day, to get my number, my t-shirt, and a reusable bag to boot.  Awesome.  I got out of the crowded room and got my number pinned on to the front of my shirt.

It was a hot night and I was already questioning my choice of a t-shirt over a tanktop for the run.  But, there wasn’t any time to change out now.  I had to get stretching because the race would be starting momentarily.  Yes…that is how close we cut it upon arrival.  So, I stretched, and moved about, seeing the crowd assembling on the main street where the races usually start in Frankfort.  My roommate and I headed that way and we noticed that the starting/finishing gate had been moved across the road.  Volunteers were standing around with signs marking pace times.  It was already time to start thinking about running.

Talk about being rushed.

So, I took my spot in the 20-30 minute 5K spot, and immediately got overtaken by young children.  This often happens in races like this, so I attempted to move aside so I could at least get off to a good start and not worry about trampling a child on accident.  This attempt failed, so I just chalked it up to the nature of this sort of race and prepped my Garmin (which I forgot needed some time to find its satellites) and set my iPod.

One of the race officials began making announcements.  However, none of the runners could really make them out.  They were being done to the side and behind most of us, which meant that it never really reached our ears.  Apparently, they were giving instructions about going with the gun.  And since none of us could hear it, when a loud gunshot rang out…everyone jumped.

…and we were off…

I zigged and zagged my way through the crowd as we took off down the roads of Frankfort for the first mile.  I know exactly how this path winds.  I knew that the first mile would be after climbing a steep hill toward the capitol building.  About halfway towards it…that’s the mile marker.  It’s always marked, but I’ve run Frankfort so many times that I just know where it is.  My pace was slower than I normally take it.  It wasn’t that I finally learned to pace myself in the first mile.  I wish I could say it was.  The fact was…it was HOT and I was doing my best just to stay focused on the run and not how much energy the heat was sapping from me.

Up another incline and around the capitol.  This is where we finally get a little downhill momentum.  But it lasts only for a moment.  I was doing my best to keep pace…but it was really, really hard to do that in the heat of the evening.  I mean, the race was running at 6:30 p.m.  It is still quite hot out at 6:30 p.m.  In fact, it was in the mid-80s at this point still.  Mile 2 ticked off and I was now in the final mile of the race.

I took the little inclines with stride, and powered with the downhill portions as much as possible.  I just felt drained because of the relentless sun and the heat coming up from the pavement.  Couple that with the 773 runners sharing the course with you and it’s just a quagmire of heat.  I was doing my best to keep to the shadier areas of the streets.

I knew when I rounded that last corner that I was pretty much done.  The finish line was in sight, but the thought of even turning on the afterburners and fighting for a fast finish was draining.  The heat was just getting me that night.  I think I’ve come to realize that races this summer are going to be a shorts and bra-top affair.  It might help a little with the heat.  I just need to remember to slather on the sunscreen.

The picture from the newspaper of Cathy cheering for me as I finish while holding my sign!

The picture from the newspaper of Cathy cheering for me as I finish while holding my sign!

That being said, I did pour some energy into the final sprint to the finish.  I could hear some runners sneaking up behind me and I was determined not to let one of them pass me.  It worked.  And I crossed the finish line…with no new PR…but happy to be done.  I snagged a very warm bottle of water and moved to the side where my roommate skipped over to congratulate me on another race.  As we were standing around, a reporter from Frankfort’s Capital-Journal newspaper came over and told Cathy she had taken a picture of her and wanted to get her name and some information regarding the sign she was holding.  I swear to God that sign gets her in more pictures and publications than I end up in…and I’m the runner.  Hehehe.

After we parted ways with the reporter, Cathy ducked into the local coffee shop and snagged two cold bottles of water.  We debated sticking around, however, I had another race to run in Indianapolis the following morning, which was already constituting an early wake-up call to make the over 2 hour drive to packet pick-up up there.  So, we bid Frankfort adieu.

And until today…I had no idea how the race went.  No results were posted until early this afternoon.  But as it turns out…despite the hot, hot night, I didn’t do too bad.  My official time was 26:58.  I was the 85/773 finishers overall.  And, it surprised me to find out I finished 2/65 in my age division.  ROCK ON!

Time to get tough and get used to running in the heat.  I have a feeling the more I do it, the less I’ll wilt.


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