Tales from 9 Runs: Run 5: Omigod, I Won!

Lance Eaton before a race.
Before the Race!
 I totally did.  I managed to be any other runner out there...who happened to be male...in his 30s...weighing about 230-240...and wearing Vibrams.  No one else in this category beat me.  I'm not making this stuff up.  Ok, so there wasn't anyone else in this category of the race.  But that's no my fault.  Clearly, they were all afraid that I brought my A game.  

I apologize for the title of this post and the paragraph above.  I found it amusing and figured I would waste the idea of me winning in this post which someone might perceive as realistic or possible (though it's not), rather than on the big race in September.


Lance Eaton's time on a 7 mile race.
Timing was about 15-20
seconds off
Additionally, the gag at the top speaks to a needed mentality that took me a while to attain and I know many other neophyte runners have.  It's called a race and it's a race where I'm likely to come in at less than the 50% mark.  For many, this is overwhelming and if you have the kind of running history that I do--coming in last or near to last is humiliating and disheartening.  But I've found myself more and more comfortable with running in these events and not worrying about the rest.  There's no reason to compare myself with others because very few people actually compare to me.  As I said above, there is no one to measure myself well against as a heavy-set male in his 30s wearing barefoot-type shoes.  I checked; there was none.  So I'm racing with myself...and doing pretty damn well.  Now, if I can only beat my shadow.

Today's Race

Lance Eaton after a 7 mile race.
And done!
Today's race was the Seacoast Seven in Gloucester.  A 7 Mile run through slightly hilly terrain of Gloucester.  It was a good run.  A solid run for me.  My goal for the race was a high water mark of 60 minutes.  My low water mark was 65 minutes.  I came in at 1:05 and a few seconds (My watch reads differently for distance, largely because I started it about 15 seconds late).  A personal best for this distance (particularly with hills), I was content with the timing.  I paced with a person of similar speed and we jockeyed back and for for much of the race.  That was certainly helpful and motivating.

I found the hills to not be as fearsome as I usually contend.  With the Vibrams, uphill is actually pretty good.  I would stray from saying "easy", but my step is lighter because the weight is positioned on the back foot.  This often means I pick up pace going up hill where it drags for others.  But downhill is problematic. Now  there's more weight coming down with each step and if I'm not careful and deliberate with my stepping, I can seriously jostle my joints and feet.  I have no actual information, but I would imagine a fair share of barefoot or Vibram runners  injure themselves here.  However, these were rolling hills, not steep hills.  Only rarely did I feel the decline was troubling to my running.


Lance Eaton's shirt and number for a race.
My token race shirt
What I could have done better?  Fuel.  I ate when I got up at 6:00AM but didn't really give myself sufficient fuel with the run at 9:00AM.  A banana, a peach, and a handful of peanuts.  I had planned to make toast with my sourdough walnut bread (it's purple, yummy, and from A & J Bakery), but forgot when I woke up this morning.  There probably should have been a bit more in my body for a race 3 hours later.  I also didn't bring any gels with me, so I had no pick-up during the run.  Since it was sunny and hilly, I think these would have helped a bit.

In moving forward, I'm pretty well on track, methinks.  This week I will do a 10-11 mile run and continue to maintain regular runs throughout the week.  I have to say, it's still surreal for me to think, "Yeah, I gotta do some short 5-mile runs this week."  That's just a crazy statement for me to utter.  Anywho, I think the other major component is to add more hills.  My current route only has one substantial hill and I think I'm going to need more as I've been informed that the 25K Around the Cape has a lot of hills.  But otherwise, I think I'm going to be able to do this. That's pretty awesome.
Lance Eaton's race numbers thus far.
My growing numbers

Ok, one grip about today's race.  The post-food grub:  Dunkin Donuts and clam chowder.  Nevermind that I'm a vegetarian so the chowder is useless, but really?  No energizing or replenishing food?  I don't mean to be indignant, but I would think there would be something more than those two options.  Ok, I'm done.





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