Thursday, May 2, 2013

What a difference 5 years make... Klompen Classic Redux

Five years ago I completed my first ever 5K race the 15th annual Klompen Classic and finished with an official time of 44:16.

Last night I completed my fifth 5K of the year the 20th annual Klompen Classic and finished with an official time of 34:10.

I took over 10 minutes off my time! Also I improved my PR by 11 seconds. For the 2nd race in a row I ran the whole thing, the whole freaking thing! I didn't set out planning to try to improve my race time, I just wanted to finish it. With only 5 days between races I wasn't sure how well last night would go, plus the conditions from last night where vastly less ideal. The temp just keep dropping and the wind, man that wind. There were parts of the race where I almost bent all the way over to get through it.
Chelsey and I pre-race, we are cold. Mom said I had too much teeth.
This was probably the biggest race I have run so far this year. Over 2400 participants. Because I used to live in Pella I was familiar with the route and already knew it was a pretty flat easy course- just how I like them! This was also the first race this year that had people line up based on their expected pace. This is something bigger races tend to do to avoid having to many walkers or slower paced runners in front of the serious runners. Lots of people where lined up which was nice because we were finally able to share some body heat. There was one runner in front of me who I didn't end up liking very much, I had lined up in front of the 11 min pace. He turned to look at the pace and moved up scoffing that you can walk an 11 minute mile. I assure you mister, it is hard to walk an 11 minute mile. But haters gonna hate. 

We finally got going just after 7 p.m. the course was pretty packed for the first 1/2 mile, Chelsey was really concerned about the amount of people and the possibility of tripping over others. It was hard to get a pace going at first and I kept looking at my watch trying to settle in, usually I go to fast in the beginning  but this time I found I was going to slow, so after a first 1/2 mile I started to push it a little more and passed some people. Lots of citizens of Pella where bundled up and out to cheer us on. It was really nice to see the signs and to have people cheering, even if it wasn't exactly for me. 

I passed the 1 mile marker with no issues, I was feeling pretty good and getting warm finally from the running, the first water station was just a little pass the mile marker, this time it was much smoother than my last experience I didn't have to grab it off a table because the volunteers were handing them out, and there were stations later to throw the cups, I only had to do a little dodging of people in the crowd. Most of the next mile was on brick streets. Brick is a little tricky to run on because it doesn't settle well, and I was concerned about twisting an ankle, on the new brick I was sticking to the side/curb where their was real pavement, but as we progressed that wasn't always there and the street was slopping. This was probably also the easiest mile weather wise, the wind was finally at my back. 
The second water station was not well planned out, people were actually having to wait to have people pour water in cups, although thirsty it wasn't coming close to being worth the wait. So I kept on trucking. 

The last mile was awesome and brutal. My legs and lungs were doing so well, but we had to turn back into the wind, when you are already tired from the race it sucks to be almost doubled over by the wind, it tends to sap the energy level, also we had passed by pizza ranch and the smell of food was both enticing and awful. After the 3 mile marker (which I was surprised to see- lots of races don't mark it because you are so close to the finish line) I tried to push what I had left, I couldn't see the finish line official time, but my watch said I was really close to getting a PR. This is also when a pack of teenagers started surging out of no where, some people where keeping pace but once I could see the clock at the finish line I knew I could get a PR so I started to sprint, I crossed at 34:10 I had taken 11 seconds off my time from Saturday. I heard but did not see my Mom and Dan.

Me crossing the finish line, not a beautiful shot but its my action photo.

After I crossed a said hi to Mom and Dan and grabbed water, banana and an Apple and settled in to wait for Chelsey to cross.

Chelsey at the finish line- she was cold and didn't love the music selection I provided for her.
Chelsey didn't have a working ipod so I brought her my old shuffle, I am able to charge it but no longer update the music on it, so it stuck as an awful reminder of my music tastes from 5 years ago. Needless to say Chelsey thought they sucked, to slow.

Chelsey and I post race, I think we are warmer here than in the first pic

It was a fun race and I am super excited I was able to improve my time again. Thanks for all the supporters but especially to my Mom and Dan who braved the cold to watch.

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