What Moves You 5K was my first 5K for June. The race takes place in Exeter, NH which is about 53 miles from my house!
I swore off these long drives for short races years ago. But I signed up for the Will Run for Beer series and this was the fifth race that I needed to complete my series and get my jacket. What a guy will do for a jacket!
Moving Down the Highway
I woke up around 6AM like I usually do. The house was warm and the windows were light. It felt like summer. I planned to leave around 7AM, but left the house around 6:30.
I find that if I putter around the house time slips away and I end up hustling to get where I need to be.
My bag was packed and I topped off my water bottle.
After I got onto 93 North I set cruise control for 65 mph and tried to relax. There wasn’t any traffic and I had plenty of time. I brought some CDs with me so I wouldn’t have to keep looking for good music on the radio.
When I pulled into the garage at Exeter Hospital, the crew was still getting their instructions. I was parked on the top deck before the volunteers emerged from the stairwell.
It felt hot already. I checked my gear and had some water before heading off to get my bib and shirt.
There were plenty of volunteers and few runners yet. I quickly got my bib and shirt and used the facilities.
I headed back to my car to pin on my bib and do my final race prep.
Running What Moves You 5K
Around 8:20 I started my stretching routine. It was hot! Around 8:30 I left the garage and did some light jogging to warm up. I followed the race route out to Portsmouth Ave and ran past the shopping plaza where the race started.
Then I headed for the shade, did some more stretching and sat down.
Around 8:50 they had us line up. The area right behind the starting line had few runners. The announcer told the faster runners to fill in the front and for everyone to move up. No one really seemed to pay attention.
I was about 20 feet back from the line and could have walked up another 10 feet easily. It was hot and I think most people wanted to take it easy. I finished my drink and put the bottle on the side walk. No barrels of any kind were in sight.
They played The National Anthem and we were off.
The crowd wasn’t too bad as we turned onto Alumni Drive. There were definitely some fast people here. When we tuned onto Portsmouth Ave they had one side of the road blocked off for us.
We were in full sun and I saw 80° on a bank clock right after we got onto Portsmouth Ave. It felt warmer than that. Having those last few drinks just before the start made me confident that I wouldn’t stroke out.
Looking up I could see the police car and lead runners about a quarter mile ahead of me. The running lane had dropped down to the breakdown lane and the crowd had thinned out. I also noticed my running buddy Brian Sarro up ahead.
Brian usually finishes ahead of me and I wondered if I could catch him in this heat. As we turned onto Holland Way, Brian was still ahead of me.
We were near Rt 101, which is a busy road, but there were woods and swamp on either side of the road. There were some homes and businesses, but it was almost like running in the country.
As we approached the 1 mile sign I had a moment of doubt. This was the hottest race I’ve run since last summer, my running miles are still low and I’m still carrying my holiday gift with me. It wasn’t so much a question of did I want this. I was actually concerned about my ability to do it.
I was damp with sweat and was giving at least a 90% effort. I knew that there was water before mile two, but this felt like extreme conditions. Was this even safe to do?
My watch chimed 7:36 right at the One Mile sign. I don’t think that has ever happened before. The time was very good and it boosted my confidence. If I could keep the rest of my miles under an 8:00 pace, I might be able to hit a 24 minute 5K.
With that, I was all in. We were on a bit of a decline, so I picked up the pace and started looking for shade and that water stop!
I saw a rugged young guy in front of me. He had on a t-shirt, compression shorts, shorts, compression socks and gym socks. I was probably 30 years older than him, but I knew the sun was going to melt him down.
He was soaked through with sweat just like me, but I was dressed for the conditions. It probably took half a mile, but I passed him and was having some cold water when he crossed the finish line.
We made a sharp right onto Rt 27. There were red cones marking our running lane on the side of the road. The lane was pretty narrow and I was worried I would trip over a cone while trying to make the turn!
As we approached Mile Two I could see the water stop. Brian was still ahead of me and I didn’t think I was going to catch him. I saw Brian grab a cup and right behind him I grabbed a cup.
Brian started walking through the water stop while he drank. He seemed okay and was at a support station. So I knew he would be alright. I really expected him to catch up with me.
I tossed water down my throat between breathes. I got most of it down the hatch and even managed to get my crumpled cup into the trash! I was feeling pretty good.
Finishing What Moves You 5K
We were on the home stretch. I had lost sight of the lead runners and their police escort soon after the first mile. Oh well, I wasn’t going to win this one!
Mile Two came in at 8:03. I was slowing down too quickly and was running slower than I thought. 24 minutes seemed out of question at this point.
With only 1.2 miles to go, I decided to press on and see how close I could get.
I began to recognize some buildings as we ran back into town, and I thought we were too close to the finish to get in a full 5K.
They had us take a few turns and looped us behind the hospital on Alumni Drive. We made our final turn and I finished strong in front of the parking garage.
Mile Three came in at 7:49 and the last 0.12 mile came in at 6:43. My watch and the timing company both had me at 24:19! So close to my goal!
I exchanged first bumps with a few runners that finished with me and gulped down a 500ml bottle of ice cold water. It tasted so good!
I saw Brian and Lisa Hentschel finish and headed for the snack tables. I skipped the bananas and yogurt as they didn’t seem like they would agree with my stomach. I managed two CLIFF bars and a Hint water.
I walked up four flights of stairs to drop my loot off at my car and then walked down four flights of stairs for a beer and a bite to eat.
On the way over to Margarita’s I found a spot to lay down and put my feet up. Lately I’ve been trying to elevate my feet for five minutes after a run. It’s supposed to help drain the junk out of your legs after a run. Apparently your heart only pumps out and does not actually pull the blood out of your lower extremities.
I think it’s too soon to tell, but my knees seem to bother me less. But my knees could be improving do to yoga and the gym.
What Moves You Apre Party
The North Shore contingent of the Melrose Running Club was there. Brain Sarro, Derek and Lisa Hentschel, Brian’s nephew and his wife and Dan and his wife. Sorry, but I’m really bad with names.
Derek had secured a seat on the covered patio with two tables. I redeemed my one beer ticket and got a breakfast burrito. The beer was cold, the burrito tasty and the conversation lively.
I had a long 50+ mile drive home. So after I fished my apre race meal I said good bye to all and headed for the door.
That race was a taste of things to come.
Run well my friends!