|Michael & me being interviewed on live TV by Karli Ritter from|
WDAF FOX4 in Kansas City, MO after the race
Kansas City, MO
Official Time: 19:29
Average Pace: 6:17
Finish: Overall 23rd out of 1,873
40-44 AG 3rd Place out of 77
Average HR: 185 bpm
Calories Burned: 433
Elevation Gain: 138 ft
Total Distance Ran: 3.12 miles
Temperature: 60 degrees
Wind: 15 SSE
Like almost everyone else in the blog world, Michael and I ran a 5K on Thanksgiving Day in Kansas City. This year we decided at the last minute to run the Ward Parkway Thanksgiving Day 5K in KC, MO. Michael had done some research online and found out this race was voted the #1 Thanksgiving Day race in our area and it didn't disappoint.
|Medal for 3rd Place 40-44 Age Group|
Check it out ... Tukey's throwin' up RAWKFIST!!!
My headache finally went away, but there was still quite a bit of time to kill before the 9am start, so I got online and checked out last year's race results. Earlier in the week when Michael signed us up, I had planned on running a nice easy pace and not really going full speed. But she text'd me and told me I should "try" because the age group winners got a cool medal with a turkey on it. I couldn't have cared less about the medal, but I think she secretly wanted it, so I told her I would try to run it fast and get her one.
I figured for a nice casual holiday 5K, I wouldn't have to go too hard to finish top three in my age group. And once I found last year's results, they didn't look too intimidating. Yes, I had just ran a fairly quick 10K about four days before, but I thought I could probably get a medal without killing it. Boy was I wrong!
|Easy little lady, you'll get some pumpkin pie soon|
The race was only about 15 minutes from our house, just like the race we ran on Saturday at the North Face Endurance Challenge. Local races are just so awesome. It takes so much logistically out of the pre-race activities and really helps you focus on the race since it's in a familiar environment.
|An ugly troll with two cute girls - my wife Michael, and Karli Ritter,|
Meteorologist from WDAF TV FOX4 Kansas City
Once we got to the race site at Ward Parkway Shopping Center in Kansas City, Missouri, Michael and I traded in our race shirts we got the day before for a couple of larger sizes, found the port-o-poties, and relaxed in the car for a few minutes. After that I began my 30 minute warm up before the race.
As I slowly jogged around the perimeter of the shopping center parking lot, I noticed a WDAF TV - FOX4 Kansas City news truck with one of those tall broadcasting antennas that climbed about 100 ft in the air. Fox4 is pretty much the only local news channel Michael and I watch every day before work. As I ran a little closer, I saw Karli Ritter, the morning Meteorologist and one of our favorites at he station. She always talks promotes upcoming races during the broadcast, so I knew she was a runner ... and like a total stalker, I stopped by to meet her and told her that my wife and I watched everyday. As expected, she was incredibly nice, and really cool! We also talked briefly about how much we miss Don Harmon, the original morning weather guy, who passed away about a year ago. I then jogged back over to our car where Michael was still hanging out and told her, "Hey, Karli Ritter's over there!" After that I continued my warm ups, but Michael then went over and met Karli as well.
|Pretty cool Thanksgiving Day 5K shirts with turkey's on the front throwing up a RAWKFIST!!!|
When the gun sounded most of the runners started in pretty much a dead sprint. The first mile was a gradual 85 foot decline straight down hill. It was so awesome! I felt light, fast, and effortless. But I slowed myself down as I kept an eye the pace, which had increased to about 5:40/mile. While it felt nice and smooth, I knew I couldn't hold it for the rest of the race when we headed back up hill. The wind was pretty brisk at about 15 mph out of the South, but it really didn't seem like much of a factor, plus, it would be at our backs on the back half of the race. I ran the first mile in a very easy, very comfortable 6:03, and felt really strong.
I'm always amused at how fast some people start in 5K's. It seems like most of the younger crowd always goes out way too fast. They will always blaze by me during the first half mile or so, but then ... as always ... they peter-out around 1.5 miles. It's so hard not to spout off something smart aleck as I pass, with them huffing and puffing trying to keep a fraction of the pace the bolted from the gates with. Tortoise and the hare my friend, tortoise and the hare.
As we hit the turn around point just after the first mile, sure enough, I started picking off runners one by one. I had ran this portion of the course in the Rock The Parkway Half Marathon earlier this year, and I knew we were in for about a 1.5 mile climb back to where we began the race. It wasn't a huge incline, about 50 ft or so, but I knew running it at 5K pace would be a little tough. I intentionally slowed my pace a little, plotting for a strong finish. Plus, I wasn't really trying to kill it - I just wanted Michael's Turkey Medal - ha.
|Michael getting her results from a Pilgrim on Thanksgiving|
As I continued to pass runners, I could tell that most were struggling with the climb. And as we made our way back near where the race would end, I was one of them who was starting to struggle. There was a water stop at Mile 2 that I didn't use, but I noticed a 2 Mile Split clock set up on the other side of the street that showed I was at 12:17. I still had a PR in reach if I ran this last mile under 6:00, and then finished strong. I ran Mile 2 at 6:15, but I was really starting to feel it.
In every 5K I'd ran until today, I had maintained my pace, or picked up speed each mile - today I was going in the opposite direction. I had backed off on the second mile a little, hoping to save a little energy for a strong finish, but I knew that as I began the 100 ft of incline on Mile 3, I was likely just gonna be holding on until the end. My gut was churning. My legs were wobbly and lifeless. And I actually did something I'd sworn to myself I wouldn't do - I glanced down at my heart rate ... it was 194!!! When I'm really pushing it, and I mean pushing it, it's around 188. BUT IT WAS FRIGGIN' 194! I kinda freaked me out a little, but I tried to keep pace.
|Michael, me, and a turkey before the race|
As we neared the top of the hill, I could see the turn around to go back to the finish line. It couldn't come quick enough - I was dying! I remember thinking to myself, "I'm getting too old for this!" We made the turn and gradually started down a decline - it felt amazing! But as we headed back South again, the wind really seemed to be a factor. I used the downhill to catch my breath a little, but I was pretty spent as we neared the 3 mile mark. With the uphill and tired legs, my pace slipped a little during Mile 3 to 6:30.
With only a tenth of mile left, I emptied the tank, which I soon found out was pretty near empty already. I had passed the guy who was my age, but soon found out that he had more kick left than I did, as he passed me during the final 150 meters, which I could never make up. I glanced over my shoulder and didn't see anyone immediately behind me, and finished with a 19:29 - not a bad run considering my conditioning and the relatively difficult course.
|Gorgeous girl with a big-eared dork ready for Thanksgiving dinner|
We're on the air with Jim & Michael!!!
But maybe the coolest thing happened after that. As we made our way to round up some water and post race snacks, we saw our friend Karli Ritter getting ready to do a live shot from the race on the morning news. We asked her if when she was done, she'd mind letting us take a picture with her. She said, "Well I'll trade you a picture for an interview!" Awesome, we were gonna be on live TV on the news ... just like witnesses to a crime, or a wreck or something ... so freaking cool!
Karli talked in her ear piece to the directors back at the studio while I visited with her husband Chris, who seemed like a pretty cool guy. After that, the studio threw it back to her and we were on. She made small talk with Michael and me before interviewing a bunch of folks next to us who were wearing matching turkey hats and shirts.
Man ... we were stars! Interviewed on the morning news ... just for running a 5K! Awesome! Michael's phone immediately began blowing up with text's ... "What the heck were you doing on the news?" "I just saw you guys on news!" etc. It was pretty cool. A couple of younger kids asked us for autographs on the way to the car, but we snubbed them - ha! We're way too important for that ... sarcasm!
|Psssst ... Poppy just about made his heart explode today in a race!|
Later that evening, my son Gage stopped by with our grandson Ryder. He's the coolest, and he's getting so big! (Man, I just sounded like every other proud grandparent in the world) We hung out for a while, but they still had a few more rounds to make. Holidays can be so tough on young couples with obligations to visit all of the families that are spread out in different locations. We didn't get to spend much time with them, but I know they're busy - plus I think we're all having our Thanksgiving on Sunday.
All in all it was good race, and a great day! After looking at my race pictures, I can tell its time to start hitting the total body workouts again ... a little too much loose skin and lard flying around. But other than that, everything went well. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
... be great today!