When we got there it was cold, windy and drizzley. The crowd was HUGE! We met up with one of my friends and her kid who was running in the kids race after the 5k, and headed over to the start line. Me and my friend kind of squeezed our way into the corral, a bit back from the front, and struck up a conversation with a dad and his kids. His kids wanted to run the 5k instead of the kids race, and were super excited.
I didn't hear the gun go off, but when the pack started shuffling, I assumed we were starting. It took a long time for us to get to the chip mats, and a while after that even to get enough room to get up to speed. It seemed like every time I'd get some room I'd end up stuck behind someone again after a few steps.
Once we turned the first corner, and headed onto the inter loop, the pack thinned out a bit and I was able to open up my stride a bit. The rest of the first mile felt good. Me and my friend Jen spent it joking about the cold and wet and talking about work (yeah I know weird, but we work together and that's a big chunk of our lives.) Jen is a much faster runner than I am, but she decided to stick with me for the race, which made the race a lot more fun, and kept me pushing myself the whole way.
At the one mile marker they had someone calling out times. He called out 11:20 when we passed him, and I was bummed cause I felt like we were running much faster than that, Jen pointed out that was the clock time, our chip time was most likely faster than that.
There were hills. Hills I was not prepared for. I'd heard the course was "relatively flat." I would say yes, if you compared it to a race like the Firecracker Five Miler i ran, but flat it was not. There was a long uphill right before mile one, and another one shortly after. There were a few rolling hills and at least three steep uphills.
I was really feeling it by the time we hit the water station, and decided to walk through the water stop so I could actually drink some water. I'm sure that affected my time, but I still think it was a good idea.
I felt better after the water stop, until the next uphill. The hills really took it out of me. I think I'm going to have to do a lot more hill repeats in the future. When we passed the mile two marker I was really starting to have to push myself to keep a decent pace. Honestly if Jen hadn't been running with me, I don't think I would have kept myself running at any decent clip at this point.
Right at the end of the run, there was a nasty sharp uphill (it's actually an exit ramp up,) and I really started pushing. I lengthend my stride and as we rounded what I thought was the last corner, poured what I had left into my legs. Then I realized the finish line was juuust a bit past the start and around another curve.
I slowed up a bit, but my lungs decided to crap out on me. I started coughing, and once I start coughing, I'm done. I spent the run down the chute trying to to puke on the course, and just keep my feet moving. I slowed up a lot through the chute, and once I crossed the first chip mat dropped back to a walk. I walked past the photographer, but I did not puke on the course.
The run was cold (although once we got running I was ok), wet (my shoes are soaked), and I was completely unprepared for the hills.
Even with all that, I came away with a PR. 34:47, and 11.21 min/mile average, vs my last 5k time of 36:32 (11:46 min/mile average.)
I really wish I could get my splits to see if what I think slowed me up is true (the walk through the water station, and the last bit through the chute,) but I think it was a solid race.
I'm going to work on adding more hills into my runs (yuck) so next time they don't hit me quite so hard.
|Me on my way to the race, I am not a morning person!|