Popcorn Panic 2014

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Selfies with OrvilleIf you remember some old school tv commercials where the Orville Redenbacher is actually in his popcorn commercials he tells you that he is from Valparaiso, Indiana. I lived in Valpo for 6ish years and hands down one of my favorite weekends of the year is when the entire downtown shuts down for a day dedicated to Orville. The Popcorn Festival.

Every single year I do the Popcorn Panic walk with a friend. You have the option of a 5k walk or a 5 mile run. Every single year I say “some day I’ll stop being lazy and train to run this.”

I finally did it!

We truly could not have had better weather today. For the last few weeks our humidity has ranged from 90%-98% & Thursday we had our official “hottest day of the year” coming in at just over 90 degrees.

I really didn’t pay attention to the course map. I learned log ago that there are times where I’d rather just not know what’s ahead. In this case it was probably good because going into it I didn’t realize the first 2.5 miles are up hill. In turn that meant the second 2.5 miles were down hill (until the last quarter mile which somehow was back up hill).

Popcorn Panic 2014My official time wound up being 42:21. One of the current trends around here is that everyone goes with the gun time. I started my watch immediately after crossing the start line and stopped it immediately after the finish. As I passed each mile marker I was almost exactly a minute behind the numbers they were calling out.

To be honest I didn’t know they went off of gun time for official time until I saw the results. I was a little bummed because a large group of walkers were towards the front and they had a very narrow start line.

If this is the case for future years I really think they need to go back to the “starting walkers 5 minutes later” situation they used to do. There was a lot of walkers who started way in front of the runners and there was no room to move forward until we got through the start line. In years past I’ve been a walker so I never really paid attention to my final time!

Somewhere around mile 3 my knee started acting up again. I told myself to keep pushing through it and by the end of the race I didn’t have any pain. Part of me is wondering if it is all related to hills. That seems to be when it starts to act up!

In the end I got 14th/55 in my age group. I was really happy with it! It is a fairly large race so while it felt good to finish it, it also felt good to completely crush my goal of 45 minutes. My average pace wound up being 8:16 a mile, WAY better than the 8:30 a mile I had set as a goal!

Popcorn Festival 2014There was a lot to do after the race so I hung around and stretched for a bit (and stocked up on Cliff bars!). Awards were still another 45 minutes away so I decided to head out and figure out which streets were still open!

Did you race today?

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