UMKC Regalia Run 5K 2018 ~ race recap

About what you’d expect from someone who hadn’t run a step in 11 months and was running poorly in the six months prior to that.

So I ran the UMKC Regalia Run 5K again this year. I’ve participated it every year since its inception six years ago, and I’d decided that whatever else I might do/not do in my running life, I would continue to participate in this. It’s only due to that vow that I signed up; I haven’t found whatever spark or motivation I once had for running. I want to, and I’d taken up bike riding in the hope that it would segue into running again, but so far that hasn’t happened.

Anyway, on with the gruesome details. As I said, I hadn’t trained for this one single bit, and that certainly showed in my performance. We arrived at the University early and did our customary sitting around. In past years it has been colder, and last year it was raining, but this year was favorable: the temps were in the 60s, and while the sky was overcast, there was no threat of rain. Shortly before the race started, the start/finish arch collapsed, which some might have taken as a sign of things to come. It seems that the fan that kept the arch inflated had died. Not to worry, though, for the outfit running the event had a back-up fan installed quickly. (A random man in the crowd turned to me and said he was amazed that anyone would have thought to have a back-up fan, but I guess this has happened before.)

If you’ve read my past accounts of this race (except for last year when I didn’t post one out of disgust with myself), you know that both the start and the finish are uphill. That’s evil, of course, but it’s also tradition now. There was the usual speechifying before the start, most of which was inaudible due to poor technology. (Tech is not my thing, of course, but this hasn’t been a problem in the past.) Eventually they got to the countdown, and then we were off.

I had told myself not to expect anything, good or bad, in my performance. If by some miracle I could run long, I would. And if I needed to walk, I would. Before the first quarter mile, I was already walking. It was clear that no miracle was going to befall me this day. The run/walk strategy is what I relied on for the duration of the run. I ran as much of the downhill stretches as I could, thinking that I merely had to throw one foot in front of the other and just let gravity do the hard work, but even that wasn’t something I could sustain. I managed to run past my wife, who was stationed in her usual place about a half mile after the start. And I kept challenging myself to run to this or that point I identified on the course ahead of me. I even ran up parts of some of the long hills. But to be honest, I probably walked half of the 3.1 miles. It was not my best 5K, and I’m too intimidated to look in my records to see if it might actually be my worst 5K.

It would be easy to take discouragement from this. When I ran the KC Half Marathon in October of last year (also not documented here), I did so poorly that I asked myself why I was even doing these things at all if that was all the better I could do. I found myself asking this same question during the 5K, but I shouted it down. I knew I hadn’t trained. I knew to expect a poor performance. The fact that I’d entered at all was a contradiction of my negative mindset.

My hope is that this run will be a turning point, that I’ll lace up and get some training in now. Notably, I did not wear my running watch to the race. I think part of the reason I lost my enthusiasm for running was that I was overanalyzing my performance. Rather than just getting out and grabbing some miles for exercise and training, I was obsessing over my times and pace and distance. All I could learn from that was that I wasn’t running as I had in my youth (four whole years earlier, that is). So when I crossed the finish line at this 5K — running! uphill! — I had no idea what my time was, whether it was close to respectable or further evidence that I should quit. (And I didn’t learn my time until I got home and looked it up online.)

But some points:

  • Had I finished only four minutes faster, I would have gotten third in my age group, which I had done once before at this race.
  • Had I finished a little over six minutes faster, I would have beaten my time for the race from last year.
  • I had finished in the top two-thirds of all runners of the 5K. There were nearly 40 finishers behind me.
  • Had I trained at all for this, I am sure I could have turned in a better performance, both in terms of finish time and the physical exhaustion I felt, which strongly suggests to me that I’m not without hope (at least in terms of running).
  • No complaints.* No throbbing knees or screaming ankles. Even my hips, commonly the least enthusiastic member of the team, bitched not. My quads were a bit angry, but a brief (brief because it hurt!) session with the foam roller helped enuf that I was able to get on my bike later that day for a dozen miles. It was only at the end of the day that I took two ibuprofen.

I could say that I have nothing on my racing dance card, but that’s not quite right. In fact, I am signed up for a one mile run, a 5K, a 10K, a half marathon, and a full marathon. All within a few days of each other. And all at Disney World in January. My offspring decided that the best way to honor my personal odometer turning over a significant number this year was to take the whole family (10 adults and six children, who will all be under 4 years old) to Disney World for a week. I’m not going to run in all of those events, but I’m thinking of doing the 5K and then the half marathon, which was always my favorite distance for a race.

*Okay, one complaint, but not from my poor body. When I finished, there were only three cartons of chocolate milk left — for everyone! This race has been bad about having chocolate milk. I think in the six years I’ve run this, only one time did they have copious amounts of chocolate milk.

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2 Comments on “UMKC Regalia Run 5K 2018 ~ race recap”

  1. I also hope this is a return to running more. I think I’m kind of the same when it comes to not wanting to over analyze things. In August, I tracked writing word counts, instead of the usual, “Write more days than not each week,” rule. When running or hiking, it’s more, “Run X miles or go for an hour walk.”

    I only know a couple people with involved productivity systems for whom it all works — most people seem to spend more time refining their systems than actually getting much done.

    Perhaps there were too many lists to track at the UMKC Regalia Run, when they needed only one person with a 1-item list: “Ensure plenty of chocolate milk!”

  2. markparis Says:

    I don’t know. It’s been years since I could run further than across the street, and then only if a truck is about to hit me, so I’m not the best person to comment on running or a lack of enthusiasm for it. I can say that I still dream about running, and in those dreams I am fast and my knees don’t hurt. And I go for miles. At this point, I guess I have to think that any running is better than no running. But, there is no question that biking is easier on the joints.

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