The Reverse Danathalon

Yes, I know it is getting pretty bad when I name a multisport event after myself…  I was frantically texting people Friday night to see who I could get to ride our bikes out to the Scholastic Challenge 5k, run the race then ride back.  Jason had planned on going out with the family to the race and taking pictures.  But was game for the ride back (he was bringing his bike out with him).  By 9:00 I was able to get a confirmation from Neff.  And about a half hour later, I got a text from Eric, saying he was in.  I really had my doubts when he had texted me earlier saying he was on the homebrew.

This is how the day played out:

I met up with Neff at 6 in the morn.  He was not wearing a backpack.  That meant no running shoes.  We wandered over to Eric’s house and then headed out to the lake.  It was exactly 15 miles to the Beach House.  We needed to make it there before 7:00 so Eric could register for the race.  I had registered at the Running Center on Friday.

On the way out Eric started negotiating.  Asking me if I was going for 19:00.  I had told him I was just  going to have fun and do under 20:00.  I didn’t want any pressure.  Then Eric said that he would pace me.  I really hesitated at this.  I did not want to run that hard, but how often do you get someone offering to pace you.  Me, never!  I must have been drunk, because I took him up on the offer.

Scholastic Challenge 2009

I felt kind of bad, because Neff didn’t bring his running shoes.  He had some lame excuse.  Anyhow, you can see we left him there guarding our bike with his life.  And there he would sit for the next 2 hours, dreaming about getting back on his bike.

Eric and I went out for a warm up.  My legs did not feel all that great.  But then again, they never do.  We lined up towards the front, which was not close enough.  As always there was the 10 or so people that have never run a race before in their life, standing in the front row, ready to get trampled.

The race started and we zigged and we zagged to get in a rhythm.  The couse has way too many turns for a 5k.  We came through mile 1 at 6:03, a little fast.  I was running on the back of Eric’s right shoulder.  I was maxed.  I saw Jason taking pictures.  He yelled at Eric to make me hurt.  Eric replied with a chuckle, “he already is.” I told him Thanks!

Scholastic Challenge 2009

Mile 2 heads over the bridge and around a traffic triangle.  At that point we could see the leaders already heading back in.  Matter a fact you could see everyone ahead and behind you at this traffic triangle.

Eric was constantly trying to keep me on pace, pointing down at his right shoe.  He was a constant motivator.  I felt like I couldn’t let him down.  There were so many times I just wanted to drop off his heals.

We made it through mile two right at a 6:10 pace.  This last 1.1 mile was going to be tough.  We had to head back over the bridge with a slight but very noticeable incline.  I started to  fade, but Eric was not going to loose me that easy.  He kept yelling at me to pick it up, push it up the climb.  We headed down and towards the false finish.  People are yelling and cheering, but it wasn’t enough.  I had slowed down and fell off my pace.

We rounded the last corner, and it seemed like an eternity to the finish.  I tried my hardest, but coming up to the clock I could only read, 19:18, 19:19, 19:20….  and there it stopped.  19:20 may have not been a PR for me, but this is and will be my best 5k this year. I would find out later that I got 2nd in my 35-39 age group.  A big thanks to Eric for pushing me so hard!

Scholastic Challenge 2009

Looking back, I really did give it my all.  I don’t think a Sub-Nineteen is my my deck of cards.  Maybe, just maybe if I really trained for it, I might be able to do it.  But I really don’t have the desire or focus for that right now.  Which brings us to T2.

After the race, we stuck around for the little kids race, both my kids and Jason’s kids ran the race.  They all got ribbons and a treat.

We then saddled back up, and pried Neff off of the log.  Now there was 4.  We headed back into Chatham and took the trail into town.  We dropped off Neff and Eric at the Wabash Trail.  Jason and I continued on trying to get in a few more miles.

Scholastic Challenge 2009

We headed out towards Loami and took Farmingdale Road back to Old Salem.  My legs were shot.  I totaled another 35 miles after the 5k.

The Reverse Danathalon was complete.