02 April 2011

April Fool's 5K

At the job that pays the bills, we’re having a “Biggest Loser” challenge. I and 3 of my fluffy work friends all agreed to be on a team – Team Positively Negative. The goal of this challenge is to encourage healthy habits while partaking in good-natured competition. It’s a twelve week program that will be wrapping up at the end of April. There are prizes for male and female with most percentage of weight loss plus prizes for the team that accumulates the most “bonus points” (points awarded a team for engaging in physical activities outside of the individual’s regular routine). While I know I won’t be the winner for the female with the most percentage of weight lost, I am extremely competitive in the arena of the bonus points but there’s a team in front of us that we just haven’t been able to catch and it’s starting to really tick me off. You see, on scheduled bonus point days, extra points are awarded to teams who have all four team members engage in the activity together, as a team. While Team Skinny-R-Us has been able to get their team together after hours, my team has only been able to do team stuff during our lunch break at work. We’ve gotten quite creative, however. For “Go Dancing” day, we did a dance off to the X-Box. On “Play Basketball, Vollyball or Dodgeball”, we brought in a ball and played “pole ball” (we didn’t have a basket) and for “Take an Aerobics Class” we got a DVD and sweated our buns off in a conference room -like I said creative, but not enough effort. My half marathons and 5k’s help and Marlea goes skiing and swimming and all sorts of other stuff but at only 5 points per individual activity, it’s not enough to beat Team Skinny-R-Us at 25 points per team activity. It’s frustrating but nonetheless, I keep after the prize – and perhaps we’re just scaring Team Skinny-R-Us enough to keep them moving. Or maybe, if dreams really do come true, they’ll slow down in their team accumulation and we’ll be able to whoosh right by them.

Today was Central High School’s April Fool’s 5k. It was a special day – we were offered 5 extra points per individual to do the race and Marlea and I weren’t going to miss out on it. For this little 5k race, I’d get 10 points for my team – I just couldn’t pass it up. My half marathons and triathlon were only giving me 5 points each and this one was gonna give me 10??? You betcha, I’m all over it! Besides, I have been unsuccessful in finding a half marathon to do in April so I need something to fill the void. It’s amazing how addicted I’ve become to the whole race thing. It’s a sickness, really, which should be addressed sooner rather than later. But being the procrastinator that I am, I’ll address it later.

Anywhoo…

I am hoping to get a personal best in this 5k. The last 5k I did, it was attached to a triathlon and I did that in 48:35 and the Turkey Trot was 46:08 so I wanted to do better. This was another small race held out at the Botanical Gardens and river front trail. The start was a chalk line and the finish was another chalk like with someone standing at it, writing down numbers and the time as displayed on the big chronograph. Small - maybe 100 participants. But good support, good food and a beautiful course. We started off and I just walked. I was feeling pretty good so I started to shuffle. But only for 2 light posts and then I would walk for two light posts (there were light posts evenly along the first half of the route). I did that for as long as there were light posts. I’m not very good at judging distance but I think I did that for about a mile, give or take. Then we turned on to the river front trail and I concentrated on gradually building up my walking pace. I was steadily passing people and I knew I wasn’t in the back. I liked this feeling, this feeling of not being the last and not waddling along like some pregnant elephant. I could get used to not being last. I also had to hurry because I had to be to work at 12 and if I was going to get to shower before going to work, I couldn’t dawdle. The day was perfect – lightly cloudy with a coolish breeze and not one single rain cloud in the sky. It felt good to be out in shirt and shorts and not wish I had brought my arm sleeves or my $8.00 throw-away (which I never threw away) jacket. It was just gorgeous. And before I knew it, I was on the last half a mile and then I was at the finish. And yes, it was a personal best for me and boy could I tell – face all flushed, out of breath, calves tightening up. It felt good.

The race organizers had the standard for us at the finish – bagels, juice, fruit and water – plus they had scrambled eggs. I’ve never been at a race where you got fed scrambled eggs! Then the thought came to me – I was in the middle of the pack, possibly even closer to the middle front of the pack – perhaps I was so impressed with the food because there WAS FOOD available. I mean, all the other races I’ve done, by the time I’ve gotten through, something was always out – whether it be Gatorade, chocolate milk, fruit or bagels. But not this time. This time there was plenty for me to choose from. Yes, this not being last thing is pretty good: I might just have to do it again.

Marlea and I each got 10 points for today's 5k. I'm hoping Team Skinny-R-Us did not make it.


Official time 5k time – 38:48 (a new personal best)