Today my brother and I ran the Color Out Cancer 5K in West Chester, PA. There were lots of ups and downs, so I’ve decided to recap the race with a list of pros and cons. First the biggest pro of the day – I got to run with my brother!
Color Out Cancer 5K – The Cons:
The Course Marking – I had what felt like a fantastic start in today’s race but it was immediately foiled by a complete lack of directions on the course. There was no course map and we had been assured at the start that there were people on the course with signs so we’d all know where to turn. Unfortunately the organizers neglected to mark the very first turn which occurred about 200 meters into the race, so we all went straight, directly into a little neighborhood. We got about a quarter mile in before the road dead-ended. It was clear at that point that we were definitely off course so everyone stopped, turned around, and milled around for a bit before cutting through a random parking lot and eventually getting back on course. Talk about a frustrating way to start a race! (I remember wishing that they’d just bring us all back to the start line and restart the race!)
At another point in the race I was approaching an intersection and had lost sight of the person in front of me. There was a volunteer (and yes, I realize that he was a volunteer, and for that I thank him) standing in the intersection with a giant neon posterboard sign FOLDED IN HALF IN HIS HAND (!!!), making it impossible to actually see the sign. I had no idea where to go and finally had to yell “WHICH WAY??” before he pointed the direction. Not ideal.
The Course in General – As I mentioned, there was no map so I had no idea where we were going. All I knew was that it was two laps because that’s the only actual information they gave us at the start of the race. I was fine with this; I figured I’d get the lay of the land during the first lap and then I’d know where I was in relation to the finish on the second. But the problem is, that first lap seemed to take FOREVER. By the time I passed the start line the race clock showed I had already been racing for 20:30! I realized then that not only was the course terribly marked, apparently this was more like a 5 MILE race! Again, no big deal, and I adjusted by settling down into a little bit of a slower, more comfortable “5 mile” pace. Less than a mile into lap 2 I was shocked to turn a corner and see the finish line ahead… and that’s when I learned that the second lap was a much shorter loop than the first. Which would have been good to know in advance.
My Music – When I start an activity on Runkeeper it usually auto-plays my 5K music. The music didn’t start today. I normally would have just ignored this, but when we all stopped after going off course I tried to fiddle with my phone to get the music going. But my phone was utterly, inexplicably unresponsive. I could open the music app but it wouldn’t let me hit play or even scroll through songs. I got so desperate that I actually asked Siri to help me out (Yes, I was that weirdo commanding my headphones to “Play Safe and Sound!!“) but to no avail. After the finish I eventually had to restart my phone in order to get the music to work. Strange.
The Free Tech Shirt – Not a major con here compared to the other race issues, but the race registration clearly stated that participants would get a ‘sport teck’ shirt. My brother was especially excited about this because it would be his second 5K shirt and his first tech race shirt. The moment I looked in the race bag I knew that he was going to be disappointed. The “tech shirt” was a (very) see-through white polyester shirt with pink writing on it. Not likely to ever get worn in public. Oh well.
Color Out Cancer 5K – The Pros:
Despite the course issues and phone malfunction the race really wasn’t that bad. Here are a few of the things that were great about today’s race!
Running with family! – My brother Billy ran the race with me and his girlfriend Suzanne braved the drizzly, windy weather to cheer us on. Billy did great in the race, coming in 8th overall with a time of 25:35. The best part of the morning happened after the race when the three of us went to the Market Street Grill for breakfast… I had an empanada omelet with chipotle sour cream and pepper jack cheese. YUM!
My Pace (considering the course issues) – The race ended up being around 3.4 miles long. I finished 18th overall in 28:13 which would have been roughly a 25:43 5K. If you factor in the time spent turning around and being lost at the start and that’s actually not too shabby!
The Weather – Wait, didn’t I just say that Suzanne braved wind and rain to watch us run? True, but I think that mid-40s and overcast is pretty great running weather. I was a little cold at the start but warmed up quickly and then felt very comfortable in tights and a long sleeve shirt. Also, it was down-pouring on my drive home so I am very thankful that we did not have to run through that!
My Foot didn’t hurt! – I haven’t mentioned it on the blog, but after my 10 mile run two weeks ago I woke up with intense pain on the outside/bottom of my right foot. It was pretty much identical to the pain I felt when I had Peroneal Tendonitis in my left foot last fall, so I reacted immediately by icing my foot/ankle regularly, taking ibuprofen 3x a day for a week, wearing my compression socks whenever possible, and cutting out running completely in favor of logging miles on the elliptical machine in my garage. Today was the first time I’ve run since my 10 mile run and my foot felt great!!! That’s a huge relief. I’m still being cautious though… when I got home I put on my compression socks, propped my foot up on the couch and iced it. Hopefully it will still feel this good tomorrow!
I get to redeem myself on Thursday, IN LAS VEGAS!!! – Sure, today’s race wasn’t the greatest experience ever, but luckily I only have to wait another 4 days before I get a chance to run even faster! Matt and I will be running in the Security 5K, a race that’s associated with the conference that we’ll be in town for. I’m looking forward to warmer temperatures and dry weather!! 🙂
Miles since last post: 57.2
Days since last post: 14
Avg. Daily Miles since 7/18/13: 4.88
2014 TOTAL MILES: 436.3
• Athlete’s Closet March 5 Mile (3/1/14)
• Athlete’s Closet February 5K (2/1/14)
• Athlete’s Closet January 5K (1/4/14)
• New Year’s Eve 5K at the YMCA (12/31/13)
• Athlete’s Closet December 5K (12/14/13)
• Turkey Trot 5K (11/28/13)
• Let’s Go Streaking! (11/21/13)
• Trinity Presbyterian 5K (11/2/13)
• Oy Vey 5K (10/27/13)
• Fueled Up & Fired Up 5K (10/19/13)
• Run-A-Muck 5K (9/22/13)
• The Challenge Begins: 100 Mile iPad Mini Challenge (7/23/13)