Travel, Racing, Life

ACSM- Denver

In between adventures with my dad and friends was the real reason I made the trip to Colorado in the first place: the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Annual Meeting. While the meetings and presentations are exciting for me, they don't make great reading material for you! :P So I'll get to the really important stuff...cinnamon rolls and running!

But first I have to throw in a little quip about the presentation I had: I presented on a research study I did that assessed children's physical activity and sedentary behavior using a cell phone app and a new survey method called Experienced Sampling Methodology. Now I don't want to brag, but this presentation was awarded the Outstanding PhD Student Presentation Award at the Midwest region ACSM meeting. Wellll, I may have been a little overconfident and didn't brush up on the material as much as I should have before this presentation. Apparently, I said "brain fart" during the presentation because I was blanking on some of the results...yeah, not good. This was not one of my better presentations, but I was happy to have it finished on the first day of the meeting so I was free to enjoy the rest of my time in Denver.

This is the second time I've been to Denver for the ACSM meeting and the city is definitely one of my favorites. Everything is within walking distance and there are a lot of great places to eat! Especially cinnamon rolls :D 

Now you may remember from my post last year that there is a 5k "fun" run at the ACSM meeting every year. Well, last year I came up just short and finished 2nd. I swear, one of these years I'm going to get the win. But would that be this year??

It turns out that I was the top returning runner from last year and ACSM Todd (a guy named Todd who sets up the 5k every year) gave me bib #2 which was pretty cool. None of the other top 7 from last year were returning which I was perfectly okay with. That put a little extra pressure on me, though.

I wanted to start off conservatively because I still hadn't felt great at altitude. I noticed a couple guys from Duqesne in Iowa who were wearing track/CC singlets and thought they might be tough to beat. They started a bit behind, though, and they didn't really factor in the race at all. The guy I met before the race, Ryan, started off pretty fast. He said he wanted to run around 17 and maybe even set a PR (16:40 was his previous). I told him that probably wasn't a good idea, but he decided to go for it anyway. I let him go and just settled in behind him.

I ended up catching Ryan before the first mile and took over the lead. There were a couple guys sitting right behind me (Lee, who I met last year at the race, and Simon) which I was fine with. I was confident that I was the fastest one and could easily outkick either of them if it came down to that. I put a bit of a gap between Simon so it was just down to Lee and me. Last year, he said he only ran 6:00 pace so I was just waiting for him to drop off, but he stuck right with me. I pushed it a bit and put a small gap between the two of us just after 2 miles. At mile 2.5, ACSM Todd, who was on the lead bike, tried to hop the curb and it was like a slow motion crash where his front wheel hit the curb and he went over his handlebars. I didn't know which way to go and asked him which way (as I took off to the left). He told me it was to the right so I had to stop and turn around. ACSM Todd was okay since it was such a slow fall, otherwise, I likely would have stopped and helped him. Since I knew he was okay, I continued on. Simon had overtaken Lee for 2nd place and looked like he was closing the gap between us. After the race, Simon told me that when he saw ACSM Todd wipe out and saw me take the wrong turn that Simon thought he might be able to catch me. I kept peeking over my shoulder to make sure that wasn't going to happen, though, and crossed the line #1! Finally, I was able to get the elusive victory at the ACSM 5k in 16:28. That might seem like a slow time, but it was only 40 seconds off my time from last year and we were at altitude. Before the race, I thought I would run about 30 seconds per mile slower than I normally do. I surprised myself and was able to run 5:20, 5:30, and 5:21 for the mile splits.

After a great time in Denver, it was off to Boulder for some fun with friends! That's the second half of my Out West Trip and you can check that out here.