Monday, May 16, 2011

5k Weekend, by Marc Hirschfield

Editor's note:  This article was originally posted on "My So-Called Jogging Life".

Since I hurt myself at Disney I haven’t been able to run 2 days in a row.  Trying to take it easy and give myself time to recover in between runs.  But last weekend there were 2 back to back races for 2 good causes.  And since they were only 5K’s I figured I’d give it a shot.  Plus, there’s also the fact that 1)  I’ve been feeling like I haven’t been pushing hard enough in my runs the last few months, like I haven’t really wanted to move into the pain of pushing.  Plus 2)  I just wanted to see how my knee was going to be.  So I signed up for both the Ourboys 5K (for Batten’s Disease) and the Falafel 5K (for Jewish Family Services-got to support my boys)

Our Boys 5K
In the list of horrible, brutal diseases, Battens’ Disease has to rank pretty high up there.  The disease affects children, not when they are born, but at some point a few years down the road.  The disease leads to blindness, dementia, a variety of other problems and is generally fatal.  I can honestly say that before about 2 weeks ago I had never even heard of it.  In the last couple of weeks I’ve gotten quite an education.  Fellow DART-er Jeff McGonnell was serving as race director for the race, and word spread through the DART blog page ( about this great cause, so I decided to head out there.  Luckily, Julia had a sleepover the night before, so both Jo and I got to go.

Jo ready to go
Race Director Jeff McGonnell ready
Tim Richter ready to run, and Dave Munger ready to keep me from dying of hydration at mile 2
Chad Randolph ready to rock
We stopped by Chad Randolph’s house to pick him up and then headed out to Concord.  The race took place at a school in the middle of a residential area, with the actual course starting and ending at the school and winding it’s way through the residential area.  At the start we met up with DART-ers Tim Richter who was also running, and Dave Munger and David Moore who were volunteering.  Nice turn out for DART.   As I said, I felt that I hadn’t been pushing hard enough recently, so I decided to go a bit harder.  After a nice and emotional sendoff from Chris Hawkins, whos’ sons both have Batten’s disease, we were off.  The only flaw in my strategy of going fast, was that I forgot that I’d be running with Jo, so we did wind up talking (at least I did, no surprise there) quite a bit, so I was a bit winded.  I’ve also noticed recently that with both running and biking it definitely takes a little bit of time for me to warm up.  I probably should’ve spent a little more time doing that, but you do what you can.  After the first mile, there was water, but I decided it was too early and I skipped it.  We made it through the first mile in 9:06, which isn’t necessarily fast, but considering how little I had been able to do since the marathon, it was great.  The second mile was a little slower at 9:23, as it felt a little hillier and I started getting thirst.  I kept looking at my garmin to see how soon the 2 mile mark was and hoping there would be water, since I was really thirsty.  We got to the 2 mile mark and thankfully Dave was there with water.  It felt awesome.  With that, we headed back towards the school, and it seemed a bit more downhill, and did the third mile in 8:58, my first sub 9:00 mile of 2011.  We put on a little kick at the end and ended in 27:58.  While Jo seemed to be barely making any effort (probably a heck of a lot easier than the marathon she had just done the week before), I was a bit tired.  But it was good.  Got to cool off, and then see Tim get his 3rd overall and Chad get his 9th overall.   A fun time.

Time and pace for ourboys 5k
Tim, Chad, and Jeff comparing notes
To keep awareness up and to raise money Jeff will be doing the “24 hours of loopy” in Davidson from Saturday June, 4th at 11 and ending 24 hours later.  Jeff will be running around the green in Davidson for 24 hours.  Please come out and support him in any way you can.  The website for this event is   A great cause, and Jeff could certainly use some support during the long night hours.

Falafel 5K
Once I heard that there was also a 5K on Sunday at our temple, I started to think about doubling up.  After feeling pretty good Saturday, I decided to get up early and head down to Charlotte.  Even though it was mothers day, Julia had a dance competition out in Concord, so she and Jo had to be up and out early anyways.  I figured that a Sunday race in Charlotte on Mothers day might not have a lot of turnout, and I thought I should go support my people, plus it was for Jewish Family Services, another good cause.  After getting there early, as usual, I signed up and got my shirt and number.

Packet pick up
The shirt was interesting as it had more info than I’ve ever seen on a race shirt before, including the start time and address.

DART shirt ready

The race would start from behind Temple Israel, head out on Providence and then wind it’s way through some of the developments behind the community, before coming back into shalom park and ending in front of the peace/butterfly statue.  Again, I wanted to try and go a bit harder today.  The race started off immediately heading up a hill, so I was winded from the start.  But right after that it was a nice long downhill.  I tried to go with the “falling downhill” method of running, and saving up some energy.  My overall goal was to try and come in around the same time as Saturday, if not a little faster.  The courses were definitely different. While ourboys had hills that weren’t that steep, but were long stretches of uphill, the falafel had more sharp ups and downs.  I made it through the first mile in 9:01 which wasn’t bad.  Though to avoid my dehydration like Saturday, I decided to drink at the 1 mile mark.  The only problem was there was no water to be had!  Once I got to the 1.5 mile mark, there was finally water.  There was only one water stop on the course, and it was right after a bit of an uphill.  I made it through the second mile in 8:58, which made me feel like I could beat the day before’s time.  The third mile had a pretty big downhill on Providence, but then a pretty big uphill back into Shalom park.  I felt winded even on the downhill.  So the uphill was even tougher.  I was moving along, but had to take a 5 second breather to start breathing again before turning into the temple.  This is where my only complaint about the course happened.  In addition to the 5K there was a fun run which started after the 5K.  They sent both run’s out in opposite directions, but both came back in the same way as well.  So the last .4 mile both groups were on the same course.  So coming back in I had to weave to avoid a bunch of young kids.  A bit tough.  At that point I was moving, but really running out of gas.  Somewhere between the 3 mile mark and the finish at 3.1, a woman came flying by me.  Normally, I’d try to chase her down, but this time I had nothing.  I could only watch her go by.  I did the third mile in 8:40, and wound up crossing the line in 27:19 a 30 second improvement over the previous day.  
No caption needed

Peace sculpture near the finish line

Falafel 5K pace/elevation
While I wished I was faster, I was pretty happy with that result.

I hung around for a few minutes to see other people finish and cheer them on.  They even did indeed have Falafel, but I (barely) avoided it, since I know how fattening it is.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with my weekend of running.

-Marc Hirschfield

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