Micron FABulous 5k – 2016

I don’t like to spend $25-$30 to run a 5k. It just isn’t worth it to me anymore since the distance is short and I have plenty of t-shirts. I’m not saying I’ll never pay to run a 5k again, but I can’t remember the last time I did.

Fortunately, there are two 5k’s I’ve ran in for the past couple years that are free or at least really cheap! One is the BYU alumni 5k that takes place in June. The other is the 5k my company puts on: the Micron FABulous 5k. (A semiconductor factory is usually referred to as a “fab”.) I like to run 5k’s since they are an opportunity to work on speed and racing without needing days for recovery.

On Saturday, April 9th, Cyndi, my three oldest children, and I headed out to Micron to run in the 5k. We left the two youngest with grandma. It was a good event and we had an enjoyable time.

We arrived about 15 minutes before race time, which was just right. We signed in and I did a little warm-up. Unfortunately, they decided to start the 5k about 15 minutes late. This actually turned out to be ok since I wanted to jog around and warm up a bit more. Cyndi, Paisley, and I lined up for the 5k, while the two younger kids, Cosette and Fielding, played in the volleyball sand.

Last year I placed 2nd in the 5k, but this year I didn’t see the 1st place guy anywhere. I did see Markus Geiger, who won the Race to Robie Creek in 2013 and 2014, and was in the lead in 2015 before some complications led to his DNF with only a couple miles to go. I knew Geiger could beat me if he wanted to. Of course, there really aren’t any perks to winning the Micron FABulous 5k — no ribbon, medal, or anything like that. It’s still fun to compete though 🙂

I lined up near the front and spoke with a couple other runners there. This 5k is limited to Micron employees and their families. There were probably 150 people lined up for the fun run. They had modified the course this year due to some construction. Instead of a loop it was an out-and-back. There was a biker that would lead the runners.

After a 10 second countdown (without any speech or anything) the runners were off. I took the lead and tried to hold back my nerves a bit. Once I was about a quarter mile out and feeling comfortable, I looked at my watch and was pleased to see a ~5:20 pace. It amazes me what a little competition can do for my pace! Usually I’m all alone in the morning and sustaining even a 5:50 pace for a 1 mile interval is very difficult. Sustaining 5:30 turned out to be just right for me in this 5k.

I was worried I might slow down, but after the first half mile, then the first mile, I was trucking along just fine. There was another runner pretty close to me for the first ~1 mile, but after that he fell back a bit. The turn-around measured more like 1.65 miles on my watch. At that point I saw that I had a good 50 yard lead or so. Geiger was a few places back and obviously wasn’t going full speed.

I was happy to pass Cyndi on the way back and then Paisley. I tried to give Paisley some encouraging words. I think she runs to make her parents happy, but I’m not sure she enjoys it much (yet!).

I slowed down a bit around 2 miles as I was starting to feel some burn, but I tried to keep it going. I started to really want the finish line to come up faster, and then I took a peek behind me to see how my lead was holding up. At ~2.5 miles I saw that Geiger was in 2nd. I decided I had more gas in the tank, so I picked the pace back up. If Geiger let me have the lead for this long I didn’t want to give it up in the last half mile!

He didn’t press too hard and I was able to hold on for the final stretch and win the race! The kids had started gathering up for the kids run and they cheered as I crossed the finish line. I can’t remember the last time I won a race. This was a small one, but it was still fun to win!

After a brief walk I headed back out to find Paisley. I saw Cyndi coming in and cheered her on. Paisley was about a mile back still. I found her and we walked and jogged for her last mile in. She was doing ok, just not enjoying it terribly. She was happy to finish and did a good job running hard in the last stretch.

While I was out with Paisley, Cyndi was able to do the 1 mile kids run with Cosette and Fielding. We had brought Fielding’s bike for him to ride, and he informed me that he was the 1st bike to cross the finish. I think he was the only bike but I thought that was really funny.

One great thing about the Micron FABulous 5k, is they have a bunch of goodies at the end: bananas, peanuts, granola bars, water bottles, chapstick, etc. My kids really enjoyed that part and loved their prizes and the blue ribbons they were awarded.

While everyone was snacking, I went and introduced myself to Geiger, who I had never spoken with before. It was nice to talk with him and meet him. He mentioned he isn’t doing the Race to Robie Creek the following Saturday as he hasn’t quite had the time to train that he wanted.

The 5k course was long, but I figure my 5k time was about 17:20. That exceeded my expectations, and really amazed me that I’m approaching the times I got in high school. I don’t have the speed I had in high school, but my endurance is way better. This makes me wonder if I can break a 5 minute mile. I’m hoping I have an opportunity to try in August with the local cross country team.

Just like last year, my 5k time also gives me a confidence boost for Robie on Saturday. I’m hopeful the competition-induced adrenaline enables me to hit my target time and have a good half marathon.

BYU Alumni Cougar 5k Fun Run and Freshman Send-off

Each year the local Brigham Young University alumni group puts on a nice 5k fun run in town. The premise is a “freshman send-off” to congratulate freshman that will be starting at BYU. Over 200 freshman from the Treasure Valley are going to BYU this year, and about 10 of them were at this event. This year’s event happened to fall the week after I ran the Newport Marathon. After a week of rest, I decided it would be nice to break out the running shoes again. Besides that, the fun run makes for a great (and cheap) family event, so it was a good opportunity to get the kids out running.

How cheap? Well, the fun run was actually free. They charged $5/person and $20/family for breakfast of blue pancakes, sausage, and fruit. When you have a family of seven, that’s a pretty good deal. Most local 5k’s are $15-$30, although those often come with a t-shirt (unlike this BYU fun run).

Our children really enjoy doing fun runs. In the past I’ve made the mistake of pushing some of the kids a little to hard, so I try to just tell them to do their best. We are genuinely proud of them when they put in a good effort finish a 1 mile or a 5k. They love nothing more than getting a ribbon, medal, or t-shirt, but they also get great satisfaction out of finishing a race.

On our way to the BYU Alumni Freshman Send-off 5k; kids are excited!

This particular 5k starts at a church and does a ~1 mile loop around Rocky Mountain High School and then an out and back to finish the 5k. I planned on doing the 5k and Cyndi and the kids planned on doing the 1 mile loop. (Cyndi just had a baby and hurt her foot a few weeks ago, so she’s not quite back to running yet.) Cyndi’s mom, sister, and niece and nephew were also in town to join us.

The family is ready to run (or ride)!

The 5k started with the typical barrage of kids sprinting out front. Paisley, our 8-year-old, went with them and I followed close behind. After a couple hundred yards the excitement had subsided along with the kids’ pace. There was some confusion about the course, and since I had run it a couple times before, I took the lead. Some younger guys, probably recent high school grads, stayed close behind me and let me guide the way.

My knee hurt quite a bit about a quarter mile into the race, but after another quarter mile the pain went away and I was happy about that. We looped around the high school and began the out and back. I noticed my calves were burning much more than usual, and I attributed this to the previous week’s marathon.

Once we hit the turn-around the young guy behind me made his move and passed me. Racers were pretty spread out after him, so I figured I could at least take second. I tried to keep with him but my legs were screaming more than usual and he was moving pretty fast, so he slowly expanded his lead until he won by about 50 yards.

On the way back I passed Paisley, who had mistakenly missed the turn to finish after just 1 mile and was now well into the 5k course. She was just realizing this and was starting to tear up, so I told her she was doing great and to work hard but that it was ok to walk if she needed to. Later on I came up on Fielding, age 4, who was on his little bike and was just following the crowd. He was happy and chugging along like 3 miles on a bike was no big deal for a 4-year-old.

I finished in 18:30, which I was completely satisfied with. That may be my post high school 5k PR depending on whether my watch was correct (I think it was). In any case it was really close.

After the finish I doubled back so I could jog/walk with Paisley. I saw Cyndi and the other kids and family finishing up the 1 mile loop as I made my way back out. Cosette, age 6, was apparently a bit more tired than the last run and hitched a ride in the stroller for a portion of the mile.

A little while later Cyndi came by in the van, worried about where Paisley and Fielding were. I told her I had seen them earlier and was making my way back to find them, but she was still worried.

I found them about 0.75 miles later. Cyndi had also found them and was loading them in the van. They had already hit the turn-around so I asked if they just wanted to finish with me and they excitedly obliged. So Paisley, Fielding on his bike, and I made our way back to the finish line. Paisley alternated between jogging and walking and Fielding kept up a pretty good tempo on his bike as long as he didn’t get distracted by rocks or bugs. It’s amazing how little an 8-year-old can regulate her pace! She would be exuberant one moment and exhausted the next. Overall she did really well and finished in under 40 minutes.

(Below is the cool-down portion when I finished with Paisley and Fielding)

It was a great day for a run. Everyone had a good time and we ate a delicious breakfast afterwards. I’m glad we could have another truly fun run with the kids. I hope they all grow up to be runners!