The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated. — Mark Twain

The rumors of my falling way, way behind on my print project however… I am NEVER going to finish that thing in time… so sanity break.

I ran the Big10k… well, the 5k associated with the Big 10k this weekend, anyway… See?

Big10k 5k medallion

I’m nor sure about this whole medallion for a 5k thing, but it’s pretty nifty, so I’m going to keep it.  Some of you may recall last year I was registered to run the 10k, but had managed to tear up my knee the previous weekend in the Chicago Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon.  That kinda sucked, but I was surprised how much that injury hit my psyche.  I was scared to run the 5k.  I kept trying to think of good reasons not to go to Chicago right up until I was climbing into the car.

Well… I shouldn’t say scared… I should say conflicted.  On the one hand, I was eager to get to the race, I had something to prove to Chicago.  On the other hand, I was sure I would fail and have to be sagged back in for failing to run fast enough.  It seems crazy is my thing at times…  I have run a few 5ks before, and I have never been sagged, but there you have it.

They put us in the corrals about 40 minutes prior to the start, and I lined up at the 11 minute per mile banner… which is too fast, but I was looking to buy myself a few extra minutes.  I was nervous, but eventually, the energy of the crowd draws you in, and the excitement starts.  I had no idea how it was going to turn out, but I was ready to go!  How ready?  Look at the heart rate chart:

HR is 150-170 the entire run!

Normally on these things, I fall between 130 and 140bpm and hope to hit 160 at least once.  Here, the entire run yo-yo’s between 150 and 170… I even go above 170 a bit, when I’m going flat out through the final quarter mile or so.  Glad to see the ticker can pound that hard!  Also, can you spot the point where I went into a tunnel?  The GPS lost satellites and I kind of jumped from one distance to the next.  Go figure.

So, success.  Time was still slower than I like, but it’s been that sort of year.  Also, if you’re driving to Chicago to run.  For God’s sake have some breakfast.  Leaving at oh-God-early, got the better of my brain and I arrived at the run without anything to eat… and the Big10k folk provided… water… no bagels or bananas… oops… I didn’t really notice until my first running steps when the following conversation occurred:

Quads – Uhm, dude… you didn’t eat.  We’re running on empty.

Brain – I know, I know, but you’re supposed to be burning fat for energy, right?

Quads – yeah… that takes about 20 minutes to kick in…

Brain – really?  20 minutes…

Quads – Yep.  Would you like to collapse now or wait until the crowd thins out a bit?

Brain – Oh just suck it up and run.  It’s only three miles…

Quads – Fine… but you just wait until tonight.  I’ll be spelling revenge C-R-A-M-P-S!!!!

So yeah… eat something.  It was weird though… the legs just felt… empty, but you blink, breath and keep running and it all works itself out…

And it was a LOT of fun… 13,000 Big 10 students, alumni and fans running in the two events.  Huge tailgate afterwards with music, games, food and fun.  Lots of energy and school rivalry, but I do have one question.

Where were all my Boilermakers at?!?!

There were, of course, a good number of runners, but nothing compared to the other schools.  Illinois had the largest turnout, of course, but Michigan State was easily the most visible.  That’s right, Boilers, you let yourself be outdone by Little Brother!!!!  What the heck was that?!?  And IU… come on, let’s see more of you next time.

Look, I realize it’s a bit of a drive, but it’s summer… it’s the time for road trips!  Get an email list or Google group going right now, and let’s show them what the state of Indiana has to offer next year!! I know I will be there…

PS – the Big Ten Network has been showing the Big10k all week (some days it’s every other show).  The sharp-eyed will be able to spot Laurie, Brittany and I post run…