I ran the Appleton 5K in Ipswich, Mass today. It was foggy out, but that only made the farm’s many fields seem greener. There were horses running in their pastures, teasing us with their major stamina. Different than the races I’ve run so far, this one had a Family Fun Day mixed in, so there was a bouncy castle, a clown, face paints, hot dogs, and …
When the gun went off, we ran a little bit of road, but then hooked a quick right up a farm trail. It was a fairly fast group at the head of the pack, and I started dead last. I moved past 20 people and then found my perfect spot. Running past cows was funny, because they crowded the fence and followed, thinking that maybe I’d feed them (?). I found a guy running about my pace, who seemed nice, and we ran together.
Imagine my surprise at the second mile when the girl said, “17 minutes.” We both said, “What?” He did some quick math and told me we were doing 8 and 1/2s. I said, “no way.” But my heart rate monitor seemed to agree. So when we saw the next official a while off in the distance, the guy I was running with asked where the water station was. The official said, “500 yards, at the finish.” So we both picked up the pace a bit, partly excited, but definitely confused. Things seemed to be much faster/shorter than we were expecting.
He said to me as we got within sight of the finish, “How much you got?” I said, “What?” “How much you got?” “Oh, I’ll boot it up.” We ran like the flash. We kicked into the closest approximation of a sprint I’ve ever done. I was screaming into the finish, but neither of us believed the clock. It said 28:59 when my foot hit the white line. What? That’s six minutes off the 5K I did at the end of May.
Turned out, the race was really only 2.8 miles. There was a mistake on the path measurement somewhere. So hey whatever. I still was kicking sphincter. And it was a *great* run. Kat and my daughter were a great cheering section, and Katrina looked ready to cry, she was so happy with the results. Me? I felt like keeling over for 60 seconds, but recovered right afterwards.
Here’s two snaps:
That’s me and the guy I ran with, crossing the line.
Here’s my daughter, feeding me, and lending me her stroller.
What a great day!