I’m happy to announce that yesterday’s race was awesome. Sure, it was hot, but it had cooled down some from the daytime high of 92, and there was a breeze coming in off the river. The event was well-organized and ran smoothly. Chris and I lined up towards the back end of the giant 1300 + pack of runners, because we had no clue what to expect from ourselves. We waited during all the announcements – which drove me nuts, just start the race! – and then the gun was off. We were so far back that we actually stood around and slowly walked to the start line for a good minute and a half. Thankfully, the race supplied handy pacing chips that we had in our shoes so that we got our real time. I bounced all the way to the start – I was so excited.
Here are my stats:
Overall time: 29:43.30; mile pace: 9:33
My goal was to hit 10 minute miles, so I was happy to see that I came a little under my goal pace. Also, my own “secret” goal (it was in my head, but I didn’t want to say it out loud) was to run 30 minutes or under, so I’m happy I was able to make it under my goal. Sure, it’s a long cry from my pre-injury pre-twenty high school cross country days, but this is a new me and it feels great to be running. Let’s call this my new-me PR.
I felt great during the first mile. I was smiling like an idiot, because I was finally running a race. If you’ve been reading for a while, you may remember that back in January, I was in physical therapy and my doctor said that I may never be able to run outside. Now, I was running a 5k!!! I smiled my way through the first mile, and made myself keep a slower pace. I really wanted to run faster, but I am not used to pacing and still unsure of the distance, so I held back. Mile 1 came and went and the only snafu was when I almost drowned when taking a sip of water at the hydration stop. Instead of gulping it like a normal person, I snorted it through my nose and had a fun little time sputtering along as I ran.
Mile 2 was harder on me. The route at this point was directly in the sun, and I could feel myself overheating. I was unable to speed up like I had planned, and I even slowed down some, but I kept on going. After passing Mile 2, there was an open fire hydrant to run through (cold water = life saver). The water was just what I needed to get back my energy. With only one mile left and feeling refreshed, I ran my fastest mile during Mile 3. It was great to come around the last turn and hear people cheering. I ran the last straight away fast and finished with a smile on my face.
Overall, the 5k was a great experience. It was the best outside run for my knees yet, and the heat didn’t bother me that much. The biggest take away for me to work on is understanding my pacing. I finished with more to give, which is wonderful in a way, but it also means that I can go faster next time. I hope to run another race in late August/early September, and in the meanwhile I’m going to start working on pacing.
I wasn’t the only one who finished the 5k last night. Chris also achieved our goal of running the entire race! I was so proud of him – he’s not a runner and is picking it up for the first time. We started together, but got separated from the get-go, so I was so excited to see him at the finish line. Go baby go!
My friends Lauren, Michelle, and Frank also ran (the real-runner friends I mentioned), and they were rock stars. Lauren and Michelle both placed in our age group! I was super proud of them. Personally, I was just so happy we all got to run a race together (instead of me cheering on the sidelines like me knees are prone to make me do).
Happy happy day!