Thursday, July 05, 2012

The Fourth 'H'

During the summer months, runners often note that this or that race was subject to the Three H's: Hills, Heat and Humidity. The Medina Twin Sizzler 10K has them in spades, as it was especially hot and humid for this edition. I would like to add a fourth H to the mix: Humility.

The Sizzler is held on the 4th of July every year, and the entire Medina town square is buzzing with activity. Besides the 10K, there's a 5K, a 1-mile kids run, a walk, and various bicycle races. Just about everyone from the MCRR, and it seems, everyone from Medina is there.

You probably believe that I'm done talking about Four H's, and am ready to begin some long and boring description of my race(s). You would be almost right. But first there's at least one more instance of Four H's,

As I was getting out of my car to pick up my 5K and 10K bibs and shirt, a gentleman approached and asked me about the wording on my shirt. The front has the MCRR logo, and the back says, "Hinckley Hills, Serious Runners Only." I explained who the MCRR is, and that we run the hills in Hinckley almost every Sunday. I naturally tried to recruit him. He said he'd look us up. He was with a younger looking woman, and he said his name is Dennis.

After the 5K but before the 10K, I bumped into Tom Bieniosek, who happened to be talking with Dennis, whom, I'd met just 45 minutes before. It turns out that Dennis also has the last name of Horvath. The young woman was his daughter, and his wife was there as well. So there we were, four Horvaths, or another instance of Four H's.

On to the races. I haven't done very many of these 5K/10K type things of late. There's a bunch of reasons, not the least of which is my plethora of injuries along with the resulting lack of fitness, over the past year or so. Now that I'm beginning to feel better, even though I've still lost so much speed and strength, I have to begin again somewhere. And the Sizzler was the ticket; you just gotta do the Sizz.

After saying hello to gobs of my MCRR buddies before the start of the 5K, we were off. Everyone screams down that first hill, and then pays for it next mile and a half. Not me. I took it fairly easy for the first mile, and then tried to pick it up for the second. Well, that didn't quite go as planned, as both miles were a couple seconds over seven minutes.

Did I mention the heat? The 5K start was at 7:45am, so it wasn't too terrible yet. There was plenty of shade along the way. The humidity made it tough however. And of course, the humility.

I tried to pick it up some more for the third mile, and I think I actually succeeded this time. It's mostly downhill, with the final uphill at the end. My time was 21:02 on my watch.

That really isn't too terribly awful. It's better than last year (when I was still hurting from Mohican), but a minute slower than 2010.

For those that run the 5K in the 20 Minute range, there is a wait of nearly an hour before the start of the 10K. Some people hang around and talk, and take in refreshments during this time. My plan was to keep running, albeit easily, in order to stay loose and also get in some extra mileage. Well, that didn't quite go as planned, as I did jog a bit, but mostly talked with people such as the aforementioned Tom and Dennis, among others.

Now that the 9am 10K start was rolling around, the temperature was getting up there. In my mind, I could see the mercury shooting up to the top of the thermometer, and then exploding out the top. Or, as someone in FaceBook recently said, someone set the thermostat to 'hell'.

The 10K features more hills and less shade than the 5K. What's not to like? My plan for this one was to take it easy, and just run a steady pace. Well, that didn't quite go as planned. My mile times varied by as much as 20 seconds, but I think this was mostly due to the hills. I mostly averaged about 7:30 per mile.

And did I mention the heat? Oh yeah, I guess I did.

I came in at something like 47:15 on my watch. That's fearfully slow for the Dan of a couple years ago, but once again better than last year. No matter how you slice it, this 10K is always a tough one.

I took third in my age group for each race. The awards always seem to take forever, but it's a good time to kibbutz even further with friends.

The next day Joe Herbert informed me that my photo had appeared in the Medina Gazette. It's actually quite telling.

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