« Health & Fitness

Grape Lake 5K

by Michael Louden

It has been a long couple of weeks off since I ran my last race the Allegan Strides for Health where I ran 20:02.  Since then I have had trouble finding time to run in between work.  I like to run six days a week but between the end of the Strides for Health and today's race the Grape Lake 5K I have only ran nine days out of a possible 17 days I wanted to run.

So I had no expectations really for this race since I wasn't sure how I was going to do since I had the "extended" time off.  I also did something I usually don't do during my races and that is listen to music.  I figured I needed a little motivation to keep myself going today.

I got to the race plenty early, picked up my gear for the race and then went for a warm-up run and headed toward the start line where I stretched.  Brandon and I talked a little before the race and he was coming off an injury so he wasn't sure how he was going to do either.  

The Grape Lake 5K is run in conjunction with the Paw Paw Wine and Harvest Festival.  The course is a big loop around Maple Lake.  It starts out on the back roads and then heads for the main road after the first mile mark and the finish line is at the Bronson Hospital in Paw Paw.

When we started the race I felt good.  I was in a big pack of runners near the front and I was right up there with Brandon and Chris.  We started to separate ourselves after the first mile.  I was trailing Chris and Brandon by a few seconds, but was still with a group of runners.  My first mile time was 6:04.  

I could feel the race start to wear on my though because of the lack of training over the last three weeks and my time had slowed significantly by the time we reached mile two as it was a 6:40 mile.  However I was OK with this today because it was my lack of stamina that caused me to slow down.  Otherwise I would have been able to hold my pace because the first mile I ran felt good and not too fast.  

During the third mile though a few runners started to pass me as my time continued to slip.  I was approaching the finish line and had one final burst in me as I sprinted as hard as I could the last 50 meters and passed one of the runners who had just passed me.  I finished with a time of 20:32.

I got a cool towel, got some water, and did a cool down run.  I did receive a medal as I took third in my age group and finished 29th overall.  

It was a good day as I was not disappointed with my time after the time I had off.  Now it is time to ramp up my training as I head into the fall portion of my race schedule with the Peacock Strut next Saturday as I plan on running the 5K and for the first time ever I will run a 10K.  Catch up with me next week as I recap the Peacock Strut.