Normally, I am a long-distance-or-no-distance kind of runner. I’ve always considered running slow and steady extremely more enjoyable that running fast and in pain. While I may not be a complete 5k convert, I will admit that I had more fun that I expected to last night.
It may have a little something to do with this:
Yes. That my friends is a PR and it tastes sooo good! I haven’t had a PR run in any distance since October 2010. But let’s back up a bit….
The race was scheduled to start at 7:15 (not like 7:00 like I foolishly thought). My good friend KRSTFR offered to come and pick me up at my house just after 5, so that we would get there in plenty of time to park, and meet up for our group picture at 6:30. I got all my gear together and started getting ready while Little G was down for his afternoon nap.
Our company had about 350+ participants, so I went with my brightest shorts so I could stand out at least a little :).
Surprisingly we didn’t run into too much traffic on the way downtown. Luckily KRSTFR has done this race three years in a row so he has the whole thing down to a science. We parked in a garage and started out to find our crew.
Apparently this was the 20th year of this race and it was bananas. There were so many people! We eventually found our tent and immediately started taking pictures with friends.
My friend who is 39 weeks pregnant and looking FABULOUS!
photo by Dave Mari
Then they gathered us together for a group photo. Here’s what it looked like from my perspective:
Then our CEO said a word of prayer for the race.
photo by Dave Mari
There was some group stretching.
photo by Dave Mari
And it was time to head to corals.
Here’s where I had a hard time both following rules and paying attention. You see, people are allowed to project their finish time and get a special wristband that lets them start in the first coral. Somehow I ended up with one, even though I didn’t enter in a fast time. However, by the time race day came, I was actually pretty thankful I would be in the first coral because I had decided that I wanted to push for a PR and see how things went.
Well….it got very confusing. There were lots of people and fences…I ended up just following the largest group of people. And thats when I realized that I was boxed in, not with the seeded runners, but in a coral of everyone else. I wan’t sure what to do.
Remember how I thought the race started at 7? Yea, this is where it came back to bite me. I though the race would be starting very soon, so I figured that I’d just wait in the coral and try to get ahead of the slower people as soon as I could. So I just waited. And waited. By the time I figured out that the race wasn’t going to start until 7:15, there was actually I line down the side of the coral for people waiting and hoping to get into the seeded area. I just gave up, put in my headphones and waited.
After what seemed like forever (that’s what I get for not paying attention) and a LOT of talking from different people. They sang the national anthem and we were OFF!
Mile 1: 7:20
This was my fastest mile mainly because I was determined to get out in front of the non-runners. It was really tricky because the street here was all cobblestones and very uneven. I spent most of my time looking down and trying to not trip. There was lots of weaving around. I remember thinking about an article I read YEARS ago about how in a 5k it’s OK to go out “too fast” because the race just isn’t long enough to hold back. I kept thinking about just getting out it front and running a strong first mile.
Somewhere along the way I past a friend that is training for a marathon, said hello, and kept trucking.
Mile 2: 7:36
I knew I was slowing down a little during this mile. I kept checking my Garmin cause I wanted to keep my pace under 8. For whatever reason my strategy became, run even during mile 2, so that I have something to give at the end. Half way through the mile, I saw my CEO running ahead of me. That may have caused me to speed up some. He and I often discuss running and I figured that if I caught up I could chat for a few minutes to keep my mind off the pain. Just before my Garmin beeped the 2nd mile I got to him and checked in. He then said, “Don’t wait for me, keep going!”
Mile 3: 7:36
I knew I was getting tired. My breathing was pretty heavy and I started obsessively checking my watch to make sure that I wasn’t just standing still. It helped to know that there were people that knew be just over my shoulder, that gave me the gumption to keep forging ahead.
About half way through this mile, I caught a glimpse of an acquaintance at work. You know, the person you always say hi to, but don’t necessarily go to lunch with? Anyway I decided right then that I would pass him before the end.
I kept wondering when/if I should push it. I knew that I had saved just a little for the end and I started wondering, can I sprint for half a mile? A quarter mile? A tenth? I turned the last corner and saw that the finish line was RIGHT there!
Last 0.12 mile: 0:46
I totally chicked* him at the end! (*to chick* is when a female runner passes a male runner in a race)
By then I was curious if there were any other ladies from our team that had finished before me. I started scanning the crowd walking through the finishers chute to see if I saw any of our shirts.
We had been instructed to go right to our tent and report our time, so I headed over. I didn’t see any girls standing around and when I reported my finishing time of 23:18 the team captain had to start the list for the girls! Say WHA?!?! Now…I was by no means the fastest girl on the course…just the fastest from our company.
I’ll admit…I am super happy with the race. I had so much fun! I loved being with all of my work people in a completely different environment. It was a decent course without too many distractions. And I’ll admit, shaving a minute and twenty-two seconds off my 5k PR didn’t hurt. Well, I mean, it hurt. But all 5k’s hurt, right?
The night ended with fireworks to celebrate 20 years of hosting the Corporate 5k.