Wow. I’m so out of the blog loop right now. It’s not that I don’t love you all. Right now I’m a slave to the horribleness that is teething. Poor Peanut. She’s in obvious pain and we’re doing everything we can to keep her comfortable. I’m really hoping we don’t run out of our 1/2 bottle of non-recalled Tylenol because there’s STILL nothing on the store shelves
So, back to race stuff. For some reason I was really nervous Friday night. It’s not like this was my first or last 5k. I think I was just putting a lot of pressure on myself to improve my time. My sister-in-law’s plan to run her first 10k might have been part of my nerves. I knew how nervous she was and I think I felt nervous for her, too. Luckily, I got some decent sleep Friday night and woke up feeling refreshed and ready to run.
The race was slated to start at 9 AM and we got to the parking lot at about 8:15. There wasn’t another soul in sight. We rechecked our info sheet and confirmed that we were in the right spot. Finally, at about 8:30, a couple more cars showed up and people began unloading the clock and setting up registration tables. They gave the call to line up a little after 9. The race wasn’t very well publicized so there were only about 20 people total. 7 were running the 10k, 4 were walking and the rest of us were doing the 5k. That vicious old worry lingered in the back of my head. “I’m going to be last.” I kept repeating positive thoughts and told myself that I was only racing myself.
When the clock started, the pack took off. We had to run on the road with no closures for the first 1/4 mile or so. There was a pretty steady stream of traffic so everyone hugged the shoulder and stayed single-file. Most of that distance was up a fairly steep hill so my legs were burning early on. Once we got up the hill, we crossed the street (they did have someone flagging traffic there) and onto the bike path. I’ve run on that part of the path a few times, but always going the other direction so that helped to make the course feel somewhat new and different. By then the pack had already thinned out considerably and most of the frontrunners were out of sight.
I settled into what I thought was a fairly steady, decent pace that pushed myself a little, but that I knew I could maintain for the long haul. Right before we crossed the bridge over the highway, I saw a chalk line painted on the ground that said “1 mile.” When I looked down at my watch, it read 9:38. NINE THIRTY EIGHT! That may seem slow to most of you, but when you average a 12-minute mile that’s enough to make you jump for joy AND scare the pee outta you. My first thought was, “Man, I’m cruising and I feel GREAT!” My second thought was for my sister-in-law. She was well out of my sight which meant she was way under my 9:38. Knowing she’s usually around a 10-minute-mile, I wanted to scream ahead to her to slow down or else she was going to either a) explode or b) never make it 6 miles. I slowed down just a teensy bit because I got scared that I wouldn’t even make it 3 miles at a pace like that. In hindsight, I should have listened to my body and ignored the clock.
False alarm anyway. A little further up the path there was a sign staked in the ground that said “Mile 1.” Since it had the Junior Achievement logo, I figured that had to be the right one. I looked down at my watch then and it said 13:08. No wonder I felt like the run felt easy. I was super slow. I picked my pace back up a bit and settled into a quicker rhythm. Still feeling good, I decided to push as hard as I could for the turnaround.
There was a water station at the 5k turnaround, manned by two absolutely adorable old men. They didn’t really understand the “grab and go” water concept. They were patting everyone on the back and cheering out words of encouragement as they handed out water. If they’d had it their way, I’m sure we all would have stopped for a chat, a cup of coffee and a game of backgammon. I needed a drink and I felt too guilty to throw my cup on the ground and make them pick it up so I slowed up, took a few swigs of water, threw my cup in the garbage can and then took back off for the finish.
I was at a little over 18:00 when I turned back for home. Frustrated, I decided that I needed to push. My playlist was rockin’ and my body felt good so I just went with it. That worked well. Before I knew it I was back at the 1 mile marker and making good time. I didn’t speed up or slow down, but was just excited that a good time (for me) was in my future if I could keep up that pace. For the most part, I did. I tried to use the steep downhill back into the park to gain some time, but my legs were jelly and I had to hold myself back a little bit to keep from tripping instead of just letting myself coast. I picked it up a teensy bit when I saw the start/finish line, but I didn’t have much in my tank left to give. There was no “official” time because they stopped keeping track after the first two males & females crossed the line. By my watch, I finished in 35:24. That’s 52 seconds faster than my best post-baby time and 1:09 faster than the 5k I ran earlier in May. (NOTE: There was no race recap on the blog for the second race because yea, it was just that bad.)
I grabbed some water and stretched while I waited for my sister-in-law to cross the line. The guy who won the 10k did it in about 3 minutes longer than it took me to run the 5k. That’s amazing! Most of the 10kers train together and are members of a local running club. They came back into the park in a group of five and sprinted it out to the finish, laughing the whole time as they competed against their friends. My sister-in-law came in a little later at 59:38. Her goal was to finish in under an hour so she was really proud of herself. I was proud of her, too!
We had someone take our picture after the race. I really need to start taking pre-race photos for blog purposes because ‘after’ photos are just not so flattering. LOL
So, there you have it. I’m off to do some blog reading and then a trip to the store later for dog food. I really don’t feel like going anywhere today, but we’re completely out and the Macy-pup has to eat! Hopefully I’ll squeeze a run in today too, but that all depends on Peanut and her willingness to ride in the stroller.
What are you up to this Hump Day? Any fun plans looking ahead to the weekend?