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.