« Health & Fitness

Ready or Not 5K. I was ready.

by Michael Louden

It was a beautiful day Saturday morning.  A little foggy at first, but that had burned off my the time the start of the race at 8:00 am.  I grabbed my racing bib and shirt that came with my registration.  I really liked the shirts for The Ready or Not 5K this year.  They were technical tees this year and bright orange with the name of the race on the front of the shirt and all of the sponsors on the back.  I will defiantly wear this shirt for my next race.

I started to stretch about a half-an-hour before the race and then went for a warm-up jog.  I met some of my fellow runners from the Kalamazoo Area Runners and my friend Lars and we chatted about our goals for our race and how everything has been going since we last talked.

We all lined up at the start line a couple of minutes before the race.  I lined up a couple of rows behind all of the Otsego high school runners since most of them are a little faster than me.  The horn sounded and we were off.

I got off to a slow start the first 200 meters and then turned on the jets and tried to catch the pack in front of me, but I fell a little short and they started to pull away from me as we approached the mile mark.  I hadn't raced in a couple of weeks and I could feel it as I became somewhat winded.  My first mile time was 6:10 so it was a good time.  

The second mile was a struggle to run and I did my best to keep the runners that were in front in sight.  I focused on that to keep my mind off me being tired.  I hadn't had a really good week of running.  I was unable to finish my interval workout because I became really tired and winded after eight 400m intervals.  Then my easy runs felt hard even though I was running easy times.

I had caught my second wind by the last mile and I was using the energy I had left in me to push myself to the end and to keep my legs kicking.  With about a half mile to go in the race one of the high school runners tripped and fell about 50m in front of me.  I started to slow down to help him up, but his friend had helped him up and we all continued to the end.  

I crossed the line with a time of 20:24 another good time for me and I finished 2nd in my age group.  My friend Lars was not too far behind me with a time of 20:58.  He broke his goal of 21 min, got his best time ever, and he finished 3rd in his age group.  Lars told me he kept an eye on my bright neon green shirt I had worn that day.  I'm glad I could help out.

Steve Long always does a good job putting on this event to help support the Otsego Running Club.  His son even finished second in his age group which was a great thrill for him.  I cannot wait to run this event again next year.