I've had myself worked up all week over this 5k. It's the first road race I've done since last June, since then all I've done is trail races. I was pretty anxious to find out how much I've improved since last summer. My best 5k ever was 23:47 in 2002. Last year's 5k PR was 26:07. My goal was to just beat last year's even if it was just by a small margin.
Laura and her husband, Will, met me at a parking lot just less than a mile away from the start and we all did an easy .65 mile warm up together. We got a chance to preview the last part of the race. One word works best to describe it and that would be hilly. I had driven the first half earlier in the week and knew that part wasn't as hilly but flat is nothing that would be used to describe this course. So the plan is not to go out too fast and save some legs for the last mile but at the same time I want to make sure I don't go too slow either.
This was a big race for our little town, 1,000 runners. Almost every runner that I know was there. It's always fun to get to see other faces I know and chat with my fellow running moms. Getting to meet their husbands and kids is always nice, too. One of my road running partners was there with her hubby. She seemed really excited about the race, she's only done one 5k and a sprint tri, several years back. I was really surprised when she told me she would be there and even more surprised at how pumped up she seemed to be.
We found a spot at the start. The race director made an attempt at seeding everyone by having signs for the paces but it was clear that the people we were around weren't doing a 6 min mile. We decided to stay there even though we are more 8-9 min mile-ish. As we were chatting I looked up to see the runners at the very front all lean forward in the ready, set, go position. Oh, time to go. I didn't even hear a loud speaker announcement or any kind of signal.
Laura and her husband took off. Will was out of sight in no time but I could see Laura. I got stuck behind some other runners as we rounded the first turn, which was less than .05 from the start, talk about a cluster f*#%! I watched as Laura got farther ahead. Crap, either she is starting out too fast or I'm pokey woman. I finally caught up with her before the end of mile 1. I was hoping we would stay together from then on but it didn't take long before I realized she was slipping behind. The first mile was fast only small hills. Mile 2 was a good mix. And mile 3 was 75% hill.
There's really nothing stellar to tell about. I did what I could mentally to make myself keep up my pace. I did take a brief walk break just to get some water at an aid station. Even then I only took a small sip and started running again. The last .25+ mile was a straight shot to the finish up hill so I could see it. I'm so glad I could see it because I needed it to convince my legs to go. I wish I could say I had some kick left in me for the last 0.1 mi but I didn't. I saw Brian holding Emmett up on his shoulders near the finish. I waved and Emmett ignored me but looked like he was having fun. I looked at the clock and was happy to see that I finished in 25:09, almost a minute faster than last year's PR and it was on a tougher course. I have no idea right now where I placed, it's such a big race I'm sure I didn't blow away the competition.
After I was done socializing and hanging out, I walked Brian and Emmett back to their car. Then I started my cool down run back to my car about a mile away. On my way I passed a parking lot where a lot of the runners parked. As I ran by the lot I heard a girl say, "Look at her, she's still going!" It made me chuckle inside and I gave myself a pat on the back for still having the energy and legs to run back to my car.
Avg 8:05 min mile
Mile 1- 7:41
Mile 2- 8:03
Mile 3- 8:26
Mile .1- 0:57
Results are in: 13/123 in Age Group 30-39 (they didn't have overall and overall womens' results)
Some non racing news. Yesterday I won a pair of New Balance 760's from Run Like A Mother! I'm so excited. I never win any cool prizes, but now I have. Sadly this means I've used up all my luck and won't win the skirt, the compression socks, or the lottery.