Race Report: 2018 Teal Diva 5K

Well, this is probably the worst physical shape I’ve been in for a race in a long time. I may be a little disappointed in my time, but I still did OK.

I probably should mention the reason I’m doing this race for the third time, even though I mentioned it in last year’s Race Report. A family friend named Dolores passed away in 2015 from ovarian cancer. She was funny, honest, and caring, and the world’s a little less interesting without her in it. I was part of a fundraising team formed in her honor, Dolor’s Ovary Achievers. Like last year, I didn’t really raise any money, I just signed up for the race, made a separate donation, and made sure my parents got signed up too. I’d also like to point out that our team raised the most money of any team this year, over $4,000.

The race moved to a new location this year. Instead of being in Mooresville, it was at Freedom Park, which is really cool. One, it’s a lot closer (25-30 minutes, instead of about 50 minutes), and two, I know the course like the back of my hand, since that’s where I go for the majority of my long runs. They also moved it up a couple of weekends. The last two years it was Mother’s Day weekend, this time it was the last weekend in April. Also, this year, the race started at 9:30, which I wasn’t crazy about because it would be warmer, but it was pretty nice for all of the walkers.

They had packet pickup at Charlotte Running Company in Dilworth on Friday. I had to work – I was actually on call – otherwise I would have taken the day off and driven up there to pick up my packets (and my parents’ packets, too, since they were back for another year). Luckily, one of my friends was able to go up there and do packet pickup for everyone. The packet just included a bib and a t-shirt.

They added a race in Charleston, so this year, they actually had to put the city name. It would be nice if they also included at least the year, if not the race date. I was disappointed (but not surprised) that the t-shirt was a cotton/polyester blend. I might still wear it for short easy runs in reasonable weather, but those seem pretty rare.

Fun fact: I’ve never had a local race where the packet pickup is at the Dilworth location of Charlotte Running Company. Thunder Road had an expo each year at the Charlotte Convention Center, the 2016 Turkey Trot and 2015 Charlotte RaceFest had packet pickup at Dick’s Sporting Goods in South Park, and every other race has either been Run For Your Life (where you can usually pick your location – I choose University because it’s close to work) or Charlotte Running Company in Ballantyne, with the world’s worst parking lot.

Another fun fact: 30 is the lowest bib number I’ve ever gotten for a race. I guess I registered early.

Anyway, a bunch of us went out to eat Friday night. I had a calzone and a beer. I found out that my nephews were sick and couldn’t make it this year. My brother-in-law stayed home with them, and only my sister made the trip. I was bummed that I couldn’t see my nephews, because they’re the best. I did get to do Facetime with them a couple of times over the weekend, so that was cool.

I had trouble getting to sleep Friday night, but once I fell asleep, I slept relatively well for the night before a race. I got up, made sure my parents were awake, then showered, used the bathroom, got dressed, ate a couple of Chocolate Chip Clif Bars, drank some water, and brushed my teeth.

I ended up parking in a different spot than I normally do, because I didn’t want my parents to have a really long walk. I still ended up having to drop off Mom, then find a place to park in the street.

We got there just before 8:30. I knew they wanted to do a team picture, but not everybody was there yet, so I checked and made sure I’d have enough time for my warm-up mile. I went out and went south from Freedom Park (the opposite direction from the course), turned around and came back, and completed my 1.01 mile warm up in 11:22, or an 11:17/mile pace. I was back just in time for the team picture.

I then went through my warm-up stretching routine, and waited around for the race to start.

It was in the mid 60s, which was warmer than I’d like, but the humidity was pretty low. The sun was out, but I was able to stay in the shade.

Just before 9:30, we lined up for the race.

Some people came through the arch from the other side, so that’s why you see some people walking away from the start.

Someone said a prayer, and then we were off.

Mile 1: 9:27

Some of the walkers didn’t get the memo to stay back and let the runners go. I had to navigate through a lot of traffic, especially in the first quarter mile. It got better after that, but I know I expended a little more energy than I should have.

Mile 2: 9:48

I was still hanging in there, barely. Since it was a simple out and back, we turned around at the halfway point, 1.55 miles.

Mile 3: 10:24

Ouch. I had nothing left. I did enjoy seeing my family and friends who were walking through here in the other direction, but it wasn’t enough to make me go faster.

Last 0.07: 8:06/mile pace

OK, I did manage to rally at the very end. My Garmin said 3.07 miles, but considering it also said 30:13 (official finishing time was 30:14.1), I think the course was just about the right length, a huge improvement over the past two years.

I was a little bit disappointed that I missed 30 minutes by only a little bit, but I would have been a whole lot more disappointed if I had lost my car key. Luckily, it made it to the finish line too.

I got a bottle of water right after the finish line. It took me a few minutes to find the post race snacks. They had bagels and bananas, and probably a couple of other things that I might remember if I hadn’t waited over two months to write my race recap. (Sorry.)

It was small enough of a race that they only did 10 year age groups, so my last race as a 44 year old wasn’t even halfway through the age group. A few really fast 40 and 41 year old guys showed up (Get off my lawn!), so I had no chance of an age group award, even if I had been in PR shape.

My Mom defended her title as the first place (and only) finisher in the 70+ female age group. Some 73 year old dude swooped in and ran 42:01 (which is pretty impressive for a 73 year old) so my Dad had to settle for second in the 70+ male age group. He did beat a 78 year old by a little over 3 minutes, so there’s that.

Overall, like I said earlier, I was a little disappointed, but considering that it had been just over 3 months since my hernia surgery, I think I showed a lot of progress. And if nothing else, I had fun and helped raise a bunch of money for ovarian cancer research.

Vital Stats

Full Name of Race: Teal Diva 5K
Location: Freedom Park, Charlotte, NC
Date and Time of Race: April 28, 2018, 9:30 AM
Bib Number: 30
Official Finishing Time: 30:14.1 chip time (30:26.2 gun time). 82nd of 338 Overall, 39th of 112 Men, 10th of 29 in Age Group (Male 40-49)