‘Twas a beautiful February day! A great day for a 5K.
This was Murray’s first year to host the nationwide event. I always expect a fair amount of disorganization with an inaugural event, but that proved not to be the case with this race.
I got to the park yesterday morning with just enough time to pick up my race packet, get my bib on, stretch a little bit, and walk to the starting area. I was glad for the good timing to minimize the waiting-around-in-the-cold time. It was a pretty nippy 31 degrees with a cold wind.
The race was supposed to start at 9:00. At 9:00 they called the runners to the start line, and then we stood there for 6 minutes through the “We’d like to thank…” speech. At 9:06, they blew the air horn (a step up from the verbal “GO!” from my last race!) and we went!
It didn’t take me long to realize I had forgotten to do something. I forgot to change the pace alerts on my Garmin. I had it set to alert me at anything slower than an 11 min/mile or anything faster than a 9 min/mile. Dangit. I had to listen to 3.15 miles of Garmin telling me to slow down. Ugh. I’m sure my fellows racers loved me too. But I wasn’t about to stop and fix it.
The first 0.75 miles or so were all out in the open, and the sun had fully melted all of the ice and snow that we’ve gotten over the past week. Then we hit the tree-lined residential areas, and there were some pretty tricky spots to maneuver there. I lost a few seconds side-stepping around and tip-toeing across some lingering ice patches. It made it impossible to run the tangents in some places, leading to an extra 0.05 mile over the course.
Mile 1 – 8:42
I wasn’t sure what to expect with regard to the terrain of the course, but there were no real surprises. Just some minor hills. Mile 2 was the most difficult and felt like my slowest (which turned out not to be true). The majority of it was a looooooong, gradual uphill. There was one short, steep part but then it leveled off to a lower more manageable grade. It was a good thing there were so many volunteers pointing us in the right directions. We were turning here and there and I had no idea where we were anymore. I was beginning to think they were taking us all snipe hunting.
Mile 2 – 8:59
We finally turned a corner and I saw familiar scenery. The last part of the race was a retrace of the first part leading back into the park. I was still feeling pretty strong, and it was really looking like I was going to hit my goal of 28:00.
Mile 3 – 9:16 (I’m surprised by this. I guess I was losing more steam than I thought. I really felt like I picked it up some over mile 2.)
I kept pushing and in the last stretch I noticed that a girl that I had passed earlier in the race was trying to chick me! Aw, hell naw!!! It was a two-man race to the finish. I had no idea who crossed first, but I heard the guy at the finish line yell “Purple, blue!” to the girl taking the tags off our bibs. I was wearing the purple shirt, and she was wearing blue. I got her! HA! Garmin showed my fastest time during that last 0.15 to be 5:45. Yeah. I don’t run that fast.
Stupid me, I didn’t even look at the clock as I was crossing the line, and I forgot to stop my Garmin (AGAIN!) until after I’d gotten water and decided that my lungs were NOT going to come flying out of my nose. I asked the girl that crossed with me if she noticed the time, and she said the last number she saw was 27:59.88. I was thrilled that I got my 28:00. I actually would have been happy with anything faster than my PR of 28:38 from last month, but I had my heart set on 28:00.
I was at the race by myself, and so was the girl that I finished neck-and-neck with, and we ended up hanging out and chatting. After the last 5K finisher came in, they were holding a one-mile fun run, and we decided to bandit that too just to warm ourselves back up. It was sunny and 40ish by that point, but it still felt chilly from being all sweaty with the wind blowing.
Then it was time for the awards ceremony. I didn’t know if I had come anywhere near placing or not, but I was hoping. Turns out they didn’t go three deep in the AG awards. Instead they awarded overall female, overall male, and the top spot in each age group, and that was it. The overall female winner also took first place in my age group. I didn’t think most races did that? I thought if you won overall, you didn’t get the AG award?
This has turned out to be a pretty key detail. Why? Because they posted the official results online, and I was SECOND IN MY AGE GROUP! If the first-place girl had been taken out of the running since she was the overall female winner, that would have been ME taking that medal home! Just my luck! Oh, and the official results show a finish time for me of 28:00.95. DOH! That’s okay. I’ll take a 28:01. Still a 37-second PR. I’ll get it next month!
Photo swiped from the Cupid’s Chase facebook page:
|That’s me in the center, in the purple and black with bib #24.|