Steve, Cathy, and Nicholas -- Nick and Steve labor on Labor Day weekend (created 2011-09-05, updated 2011-11-03)

It was a busy weekend for Nick and Steve. We did a 13 mile bike ride on Sunday and ran in a 5K race on Monday. Here are some maps and some information about our athletic efforts.

Map of 13 mile bike ride

The bike ride started in our neighborhood (I started the GPS app about a quarter of a mile into the ride). We rode north on the sidewalk along Nall Avenue until we got to iLan Park, walking our bikes across the intersections at 143rd, 135th, and 127th Streets.

Then we took a nice bike/walking path from iLan Park to Tomahawk Park and further north all the way to the Indian Creek Trail just past College Boulevard. I thought it was a heavenly ride. It was level and shady, and the scenery of trees and creeks was gorgeous.

But Nicholas thought it was boring. He said it was his turn to choose the route and he wanted to see some buildings. So we went out in the sun along College Boulevard and then Tomahawk Creek Parkway and finally to the Town Center Plaza. We had an early dinner at Ingredient. So far it was about 8.5 miles.

We decided to take Nall straight back to our neighborhood. At 135th Street, I announced that we had gone 12 miles. "Is that all" Nicholas exclaimed. He started heading down 135th Street trying to lengthen out our bike ride a bit more. I balked--my upper thighs were aching from all the hills and I would be lucky to get home in one piece. So he did a short loop through the parking lot at CVS pharmacy and met me back at the sidewalk on Nall. When we got back to our house, it was a bit over two hours of riding (I put the GPS app on pause while we were in Ingredient).

In college, I would routinely do 25-30 mile bike rides on a three speed, but in my fifth decade of life, I'm not in as good a shape. I was hoping that running and biking would use a different set of muscles, as all my biking muscles were shot. Nick and I had done some other bike rides in the past, but they were typically 3-5 miles. This one was 13.2 miles total.

Map of 5K run

I had signed myself and Nicholas up for the Leawood Labor Day 5K run. This was our second timed race--we had gone Running With the Cows back in May. This 5K took us from the heart of Leawood Park out to Tomahawk Parkway down to about the American Academy for Family Practice and then back again.

With my blessing, Nick ran ahead of me. I'm much too slow a runner for him. He has a brand new cell phone and that way we could keep in touch in an emergency and find each other easily at the end of the race.

Nicke was out of my sight within a minute. I did see him, though, around the half mile marker. He kept on dropping his phone he said and wanted me to carry it. He probably lost about 3 minutes running back to find me. I grudgingly accepted his phone (I'm often Nicholas's pack mule) and he ran ahead again. I told him that I'd give him the phone back when he passed me on the return leg.

I did the first mile in about 14 minutes, a pace that is much too fast for me, but I was swept up in the early surge of runners at the start of the race and forgot to slow down to my normal pace. I reached the two mile marker at 27 minutes. My original goal was to finish the race in under 50 minutes (I had set such a pace two weeks ago), but I did the math and realized that a 40 minute 5K was in striking distance. I felt pretty good, so I stepped up the pace. I passed a few people in the last leg of the race and finished just under 41 minutes.

I was 23 out of 23 in my age bracket and 218 out of 225 overall, but I'm not competing against others. There was a 59 year old man who finished in 19 minutes. My body is not capable of running a 19 minute 5K. It probably never has been in that good a shape, and it certainly never will be in that good a shape. But if I complete a 5K run without stopping to walk, I consider that a major victory. I had never done any serious running before January of this year, so I'm very happy with my progress.

Nicholas finished in 35 minutes and was seventh in his age bracket, but that was 13 years and under and he's only nine. If you look at nine and under, he was third, but he claims that at least one kid cut across early. By any standard, 35 minutes is pretty good for a nine year old and without the telephone exchanges, he might have had a much better finish.

When Nick and I were walking back to the car, he said he wanted to run another 5K race. I said "Today?" and he shouted "Yeah!" Sorry, Nick, but I am recuperating and won't run again until Wednesday. We'll find another race to run in the fall, I suppose, and I want to finish around the 40 minute mark again. Eventually, I want to run a 5K in under 30 minutes, but I am in no rush to get to this milestone.

[Update: the official results are here. Steve finished 409 out of 447. Nick was actually fourth among male runners 9 years and under.]

What now?

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Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. This page was written by Steve Simon and was last modified on 2010-11-03.