Not Plans A, B, or C – More Like Plan B-1/2 – The Man Run 10K

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Well the day I’ve been dreading looking forward to has arrived and has now passed. August 22, the big day, my first 10K: The Man Run. Presented by The University of Tennessee Medical Center, The Man Run 10K, 5K, and 1/2 mile walk raises awareness for prostate cancer, honors prostate cancer survivors and those that have passed from it, and 100% of the procedes benefit prostate cancer research and outreach + educational programs in East Tennessee.

While I’ve been running with this event in mind, I’ve not been keeping up the distance like I should have. I was even having pretty serious doubts in the week leading up to today but I was already registered, already committed, much too late to back out now. So with nowhere to hide, I figured I should set up some goals for the race inspired by this list made by Mind Body Work Travel. My list looked something like this:

  • Plan A: Finish at or below 01:10:00
  • Plan B: Finish without walking
  • Plan C: Don’t pass out and fall in the river

So I was up bright and early (5:15) this morning for some poop-inducing coffee and a peanut butter and banana bagel with a bit of Powerade, was dressed and out the door by 6:30 on our way to UT Medical Center. When we got there the first thing I noticed was the hill I was having to drive up to the first parking lot was on our route – a route I didn’t realize had any hills – and this one was bad. Luckily it was right off the bat – less than a 10th of mile from the start – there can’t be any more hills like this, right?

If you spend any time reading articles on running websites one of the items on race preparedness lists is to drive by and scope out the course beforehand so there are no surprises. Well, after reading my previous paragraph I figure you’ve already assumed I didn’t do this and you’re correct. Also: My assumption there wouldn’t be any more similar hills was incorrect. There were 3-4 more of them. Suffice it to say that I spent a lot of my time murmuring dirty words under my breath when I’d look into the distance and see other 10K runners ahead of me running…up.

Overall the course was pretty nice. Using Google’s Aerial view I was a bit apprehensive about what appeared to be sort-of skinny paths we were going to have to not only run on, but pass others on as there were 3 U-turns on our course. After the initial hill we wound our way back down a hill and ran parallel to a golf course by the river, which was nice, and then back up around a park setting near the hospital and winding back around the backside of the hospital where we finished the other 3 sides before making our way toward the finish. Didn’t really have any trouble with skinny paths and passing people and in fact, had very little trouble passing others as I spent most of my time in a comfortable area between people just a little faster than me and people just a little slower than me. Sure, I passed a few folks and a few more passed me, but for the most part I was alone throughout the race.

When we got to what I think was the 3rd hill during mile 4 I crapped out. I got halfway up and just couldn’t make myself finish it so I scaled the remainder at a steady walk. I was now left with Plan A or Plan C.

When I hit the 5-Mile mark I checked my time on Runtastic and began repeating my remaining time until my goal finish time aloud thinking it would somehow motivate me. A lot of the last 1-1/2 miles was downhill and a blessing. 12 minutes left – keep running, keep moving – 8 minutes left – quit thinking about how much it hurts, you’re almost there…With 4 minutes until goal time I looked up and saw where the finish was but realized I was not 4 minutes away from it. There was no way I was making the 01:10:00 time I was hoping for. I guess Plan C is where it’s at and I had already passed the river so I was prepared to call it success.

Until I looked ahead and saw a man and a woman wearing white bibs indicating they were part of the 5K. They were merely walking but were also pushing a stroller. Suddenly I made up Plan B-1/2: Finish before the 5K walkers with the stroller. And so I did.

I crossed the finish with a chip time of 01:12:43, which is obviously not what I wanted but it’s not far from it. I’m disappointed but I’m not mad or anything. It was my first 10K, I had nothing to compare it to, and I’m obviously not racing anyone but myself! I was ready to hit the ground when I finished but seeing my lovely wife, Aunt B, and one of my Title Trainers at the finish I felt pretty awesome – I had finished my first 10K – this time last year I had diabetes! It feels good to accomplish this and it feels even better to have the cheerleaders I have:

My favorite cheerleader @memory4cf

A post shared by justintfirefly (@justintfirefly) on

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So that’s under the ol’ belt and I guess it’s time to reveal the new 2015-only table. We’re fast approaching our 350 mile goal for the year!

2015 Running
Time Period Total Distance
Runtastic Runs (1/1-4/15) 56.51 Miles
5k-to-10k (4/15-6/21) 87.52 Miles
Runtastic Runs (6/23-Present) 68.02 Miles
Total Yearly Miles: 212.05

Miles Left Until 2015 Goal (350 Miles): 137.95

2015 Race Times

Race Time
Calhoun’s New Year’s Day 5k 2015 No official time
Zen Evo Chocolate Lover’s Valentine’s 5K 2015 33:10
Barley’s St. Patrick’s Day 5k 2015 34:34
Covenant Health 5k 2015 33:39
Pilot Fireball Moonlite Classic 5k 33:05
The Man Run 10K 01:12:43

One last thing: I re-vamped my running playlist to be all hip-hop with the likes of N.W.A., Street Sweeper Social Club, Public Enemy, Kurtis Blow, Naughty By Nature, Wu-Tang Clan, Yelawolf, Tyler The Creator, Dan Le Sac Vs. Scroobius Pip, Three Loco, and Quarashi to name a few. I’d like to thank Die Antwoord for getting me through those last couple of miles with this jam:

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8 thoughts on “Not Plans A, B, or C – More Like Plan B-1/2 – The Man Run 10K

  1. Thanks for a great read! And I’m very glad I inspired you :P I find it so helpful to have multiple goals, one of which is usually something along the lines of ‘Don’t die’. Congrats on making it round! My first 10k was absolutely horrific, it took me about 2 years before I fancied doing another one…

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    • Thanks! This was a pretty fun race even if it took a bigger toll on me than I thought it would. The bad part is my intention was to cut back the mileage after this race but after finishing I’ve done nothing but try to determine how much training I need to hit half-marathon distance……..

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      • Do you have a half marathon in mind? I actually started racing 10Ks as a way to calculate an estimated half marathon time using an online calculator- I think Macmillan have one. I’ve also heard the Hal Higdon plans are good, although I personally like not following a strict training plan :)

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  2. Actually, yes! Even though I’ve done both Couch-to-5k and 5k-to-10k programs, I also prefer not having much of a plan. So in a compromise I decided to make my own that builds me up to half-marathon distance but it does so SLOWLY. I don’t want to do it immediately and when I do participate in one I want to be sure I don’t “just finish” but do well, too, you know? With that said, the biggest Marathon/Half-Marathon in our area is the first week of April next year and the plan I’ve made for myself starts me just a little below where I’m at now and builds me up every two weeks until I’m at the correct distance. My hope is I’ll be there and be there comfortably and if it works, I should be more than ready by the end of February next year. That allows me one more good long run in March and then two weeks of 50% distance, one week of 25% distance, and then RACE. I don’t know if I’m going to go through with it just yet but I’ve been toying with going ahead and registering so it’s there forcing me to get out there and move!

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