It was a clear, warm, sunny morning for the 8:30 start. After all the pre-6AM running I have been doing, 8:30 felt like such a luxury. A hot, sunny luxury, that is. But, I had fueled up with my trusty cinnamon raisin bread, took at Gu just to see if it would make any difference on a short run, and hit the porta-pots before we took off. I ran into a couple of my running buddies at the start line, so that was nice.
I had set the simple race goal of beating my last 5K time. HOWEVER, I had also furiously scanned last year's race results to see how fast the finshers were, particularly in my age division. I deduced that my secondary/secret goal was to try and hit 25:00 or an 8:30 pace. I knew it was probably do-able, but it would be a little new for me to, you know, actually run hard and race during a race. I seem to tend to lay-up and not run races as hard as I could, probably due to some obscure fear of not finishing at all, lest I get too tired or something. (which is ridiculous, because of course I would still finish, even if I had to walk the dang course...on second thought, it's probably more of a deep-seated fear that I will run so hard and fast that I will want to puke and then I will actually puke and all those other runners will think, "wow how disgusting, doesn't she know you have to TRAIN to race, you can't just meander off your couch or out of frickin yoga class and think you can be a runner, by god, what a disgrace...) Anyway, I felt that I would actually run this one hard, and actually get myself out of breath and be hands-on-knees panting by the end. Or something reasonably close to that, but maybe a little, you know, easier...like an 8:30 pace.
Lest you all be bored and stop reading before you get to the Grand Finale*, I will say that I came respectably close to my super-secret 25:00 goal with a respectable 26:29. A nice 1:20 faster than my last 5K time.
9 in my age division (woo hoo, I cracked the top 10!)
24 female (top 25!)
118 overall finisher out of 411 (not top quarter...but really close...and I chicked at guy at the uphill finish, so totally strong showing)
*While yes, it would appear that with a 26:29 time, my pace was a close-to-goal 8:33...I am sad to say it actually was not. My splits?
Mile 1-7:31 (woo-hoo!)
Mile 2-8:20 (ew, that hill hurt a little)
Mile 3-9:52 (oh shit, I'm feeling that 7:31 now...I better just, you know, walk that 20 yards up that big hill right there...uh oh, that's another hill just after the downhill, isn't it? and crap, the last half mile to the finish is all back uphill again isn't it? I better just slow down a tad now, so that I can make sure and run that last bit to the finish where all the many, many people are LINED UP to watch the parade that's starting at 9:00; thank God I'll at least be done before that thing starts...right?
The good news is that the 7:31 and 8:20 miles didn't really hurt that much while I was doing them...and on a little flatter course, I think I could definitely sustain that faster pace. Must. Find. Flat. Course. Also, I don't have criticism on the shirt design this time...but only because they ran out and I didn't get mine yet. I'll be sure to post when I get it, though, if it's as expectedly hideous as the others.