Saturday, January 31, 2009

5K and 1K Race Report or Running with Large Furry Animals

This morning, Buddy and I got up at 5 am and got our running gear on and headed out the door for downtown to go register for the Rockets Run. This year featured a new Kid's 1K and everyone who participated got tickets to see the Houston Rockets play either Golden State on Saturday night or the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday. Buddy had a ham sandwich and I had my banana and berry smoothie as we headed out the door. Since our start times were not until 7:30 and 8:00 am, I was sure that we would not have stomach issues.

Once downtown and parked in the Toyota Center parking garage, we headed out to the registration tables. Because we waited until the day of the event to register, we only had a choice between L and XL shirts. I found out later that there were plenty of kids shirts but somehow the gal at the table was still asleep on that one when we registered. Once we got our stuff, we headed back to the car to drop off clothing and it hit me like a freight train that I needed to find a bathroom,,,right then...right away! We were wandering (I had a funny walk going on) all around the outside of the Toyota Center and unfortunately, I did not find them in time. Oh well, shit happens and I had a spare pair of clean running shorts in the car, so all was good. At least I had cleared out the pipes before the run. I took a picture of Buddy by the Start Line and then we waited around. It was 51 but breezy so it felt colder. We found a doorway to wait in that was protected from the wind and all of a sudden we realized that we were about to be mauled by a bunch of animals...large, furry animals.
Lions, and Tigers, and Bears...and a whole lot of other critters.
Here is Buddy with Shasta, the University of Houston Cougar.
and here he is with Cha Cha the frog from The Rainforest Cafe.
No limbs were lost posing with Sharkey from the Downtown Aquarium.
Here is Buddy staying warm with Aero the Huskey from the Houston Aeros Hockey Team.
I had no idea that the University of Phoenix had a Phoenix mascot...who knew?
A kookie octopus from the Downtown Aquarium. Buddy thought that he was the perfect size to take over for this job is an opening came up.
And the star of the show, Clutch. Clutch was no slouch and he and all the other mascots ran or walked the entire 1K with the kids. Dang it must have been hot in those suites.
Here are all the kids at the start. And they are off!

I ran down towards the finish line for the Kid's 1K and waited for Buddy to come tearing down the street. There were some pretty fast kids out there finishing the 1K in just under 4 minutes. Some of the parents were not being team players and were trying to get under the rope and on the course to take pictures. That kind of peeved me off. So after a couple of groups of kids came flying over the finish line I saw the person I was looking for...
Buddy came across the finish line at 5:15. Not bad! That is right around my pace. This kid is going to give me a run for my money here soon.Here is Buddy with his finisher's medal.

After that it was time for Mom to run. I was cold and ready to get going. I was able to actually braid my hair this morning. In this growing out process I have been using the running hat to keep my hair from flying into my eyes. It is now long enough to stay in those French Braids. I had on my very loud and bright Newton running flats. The first time I ran in them last October, they jacked up my right calf so bad that I was sore for days. The last couple of runs after giving them a second go have been great. No pain and suffering have come along with the second try. I had not run a 5K in a while so I was kind of interested to see what my mile splits would be after a marathon two weeks ago and some time to rest with easy runs since then. There were 2000 people running the 5K and I got to the start area early as you can see in the photo...and I was able to be up near the front for the start. I lifted weights on Friday and had been doing some dumbbell chops and I had felt that I had popped a rib out of place in my back on the right side just under the shoulder blade. This is somewhat reoccuring issue when I have other issues going on and I knew that it would lead to a nasty side stitch just up and under my front right ribs. Because the rib is out of place the diaphram ends up working differently and the harder the intensity, the sooner the onset of that side stitch. I had this happen a lot last spring about this time of the year when I was doing speed work on the track. I just wondered when it was going to show up during the race. Once we took off, I felt like I was getting passed by every teenager and every person who was wearing their red cotton t-shirt they got in their race packet. I was working and feeling strong, but because everyone was passing me, I felt slow. I hate that feeling. I could hold my own with a few people and some speedsters that raced past me would end up walking around mile 2 to 2 and a half. The course had time clocks at each mile which was nice. Here are the splits as best I can remember them:

Mile 1-- 7:24 (HFS!!! That is smoking fast for me. And I was feeling good.)

Mile 2--15:16 or 7:54 (Now I could feel the work. I noticed that my breathing was a bit heavy.)

Around the 2 1/2 mile mark the side stitch hit and it was super duper painful. I was getting warm and pulled the gloves off. Each breath was like a knife to my ribs and I just needed to hold on. I could really feel myself slowing down. I pulled to the side to let the faster people pass as we ran around the back of the Toyota Center and I saw plenty of people that I had passed earlier pass me up. UGH!!! I wanted to walk so bad because of the pain but I forced myself on since I knew I was almost done. We went into the parking garage and down the ramps that the delivery trucks take into the stadium. Running downhill was a little easier, but it still hurt. I saw the 3 mile time clock...

Mile 3--23:45 or 8:29 (DANG IT!!!)

As we ran onto the center court I saw Clutch and the time clock for my finish

Finish Time (Un Official)--24:15 WHOO HOO!!! a PR!!! I just wonder what my time would have been without that lovely side stitch?

I found my TNT buddy Ulises who was in the Marathon group that I coached last year and soon after that we found Erich and Jarntip from last year's TNT tri team. We all seemed to have good races and after grabbing some water and a seat in the stands to recover, we decided to head out to the finisher's party and find my kid at the section where they had all the inflatable obstacle courses and the basketball toss. When I get a look at the official finishing times I want to take a look at where I finished in my age group. It seemed that I was not that far off from the 3rd place finisher's time in my age group and I would be curious to see how I really did. All of us got ticket to the Tuesday night Rockets game against the Chicago Bulls. We are all going to coordinate meeting up so that we can pick up our tickets at Will Call at the same time so we can all sit together. Stay tuned for pictures from the game.

Here is one last parting shot of Buddy with the Texas Southern University Tiger. He had been too tired to run. I guess someone had him by his tail.
Sorry for any typos, but the spell checker is not working.

Later Gators,



Jen said...

Love the pics...very cute!

I always wanted to do a TNT Century...the one near Lake Tahoe I think?? Have you ever done that one? But, I always felt that I may not be able to raise the funds. What do you think about it? Any ideas? Then, I also have thought about a marathon with them. Email me if you have suggestions.

Greyt Times said...

Great post! Love all of the furry animals! :)

And a 'w00t w00t' for the comeback of the Newtons! I'm still in love with mine. Maybe we'll have matching shoes in Coz!

The Lazy Triathlete said...

Sounds like a great run. Great job having buddy with you. This is the kind of inspiration that parents pass on to their kids.

BreeWee said...

LIZ! You and Buddy did awesome, I can not believe the pee story, actually I can, happens to me too, but you crack me up that you posted it! ha ha, love the funny honesty...

Nice job chica!

Speed Racer said...

Congratulations on your PR!!! I think that if your side had been alright, then you DEFINITELY would have broken 24 minutes... and then some. Awesome race! And I think Buddy's already got me beat. (Hangs head in shame).

All those mascots remind me of that CSI episode about the people with the big plush suit fetish...

Benson said...

Now that looks like tons of fun.
Those mascots are great.

Nice job you two and good job getting a PR.

Jeff said...

51 and breezy, how did you stand the cold??? ;)

I look at Buddy's number and just want to yell "Who Do We Appreciate!"

Looks like you had a blast.

Steve Stenzel said...

Wait... wait... so you shit your pants?!? Am I reading that right?!? HAHAHA!! Good times! I want to race with you!! ;)

Great photos of Buddy with the furries!!

And congrats on the PR!!! (even if you had a stupid side stitch - I HATE those!!)

Well done!!

TNTcoach Ken said...

Okay, lesson learned always keep an extra pair of shorts in my bag! Way to PR Crash & Burn!

Rainmaker said...

OMG - this is hilarious. Even more so because yesterday my GF saw a big furry mascot while on her early morning long run. The big furry purple bear was just wandering down some random street. She's gotta see ths post!

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