Pre-warning: This race was somewhat uneventful. The blog entry is a little dry. I do not believe it is representative of our entire blog. Please check out some other entries if this one bores you to death!
On somewhat short notice, we decided to run the International Assist Medical Missions (IAMM) fun run 5K on May 7th. A friend of ours is very active in the mission organization, and it was definitely for a good cause. We registered this week, and then I didn't think much else about it.
As I pointed out in my previous post, I have been SLACKING off terribly! This week I ran the most miles since the LPHM--7 whole miles! Woo-hoo! Hold me back, or I'll hurt myself, right? Four miles Monday. Three miles on Wednesday. That's it. This makes me a little worried about how today will go. This is a wake up call that I better get my butt in gear if I want to be ready for my first full race season!
We got to the park in Rochester, and everything was really laid back. There were a few people milling about, but mostly it looked like walkers. We thought, maybe we even had a chance to win this thing...until the kid in the running tank and shorts showed up. He looked like he was in uniform ready for a cross country meet. We'll see what happens when the race starts, but I have a feeling he'll do well.
I didn't do much today to prep for the race. Didn't eat any special meals last night. Actually, I ate badly last night. Wendy's cheeseburger and fries. Oops! I get to do it sometimes, right? Nothing special this morning for breakfast. Drank a little Gatorade before the race and that was about it. Nice pre-race preparation.
Fifteen minutes before the race begins, we take a warm-up lap around the park. My legs are feeling a bit tired and not quite awake yet. Shake out the cobwebs! I forgot to borrow my dad's GPS watch from him, so I'm using the GPS running application in my iPhone called RunKeeper. I hope it keeps accurate time. I would like to be aware of my pace as we go. I hate not knowing!
We head back to the pavilion. They briefly explain the course route and we head up to the road to the starting line. Ready-set-go! The handful of runners, me included, move out in front. In the lead is the kid I mentioned before. No shocker. A few guys get ahead of me, and I'm running side-by-side with Stacey, a friend of ours.
My RunKeeper tells me my first mile is done, 8:20 pace. I'm feeling a burst of energy, and I begin pulling ahead of Stacey. I hope I'm not making a bad decision for moving ahead so early. I feel good right now though, so I better take advantage of it while I can. Next up is the guy in orange. He's still a little ways ahead of me, so I take my time catching him.
Right about the time we are turning on to the bike trail, I'm even with him. I run along side of him for a while, and then I decide to move forward. At this point, I know we are not even half way done. I couldn't look down at my watch (because I didn't have one! GRRR!) to see what I was pacing. It was so much harder to check my time on the iPhone. Mental note to self: NEVER ever forget the GPS watch again! Again, I am just hoping I'm not doing too much too soon. It keeps popping into my head (ah, my self-doubting voice appears to be back). Please don't burn out legs!
Next, ahead of me was Drew, Shane's friend. I slowly close the gap on him, then I pass. I'm still feeling good, and another pumping song has just kicked in on my iPhone: Aerials by System of a Down. That always gets me moving! We finish mile two, my phone tells me my pace is 8:24. At least I'm consistent.
Now, there's not too many others in front of me. I think it's just the cross country kid and Shane. Could I be the first female? Is that even possible?! I get really excited for a second as I daydream about finishing as top female runner. As I approach the turn-around right after mile two, I could see the leaders. The cross country kid is running with a teenage girl. I'm not the first female, but I'm thrilled that a girl is doing so well! Awesome for her! Then I pass Shane with a high-five.
Just a little less than a mile left. I hit the turn-around and face all the runners who are just behind me. The guy in orange stayed with me and has passed Drew. He's not too far behind me. I imagine him creeping there and passing me in the end. I hope to not let that happen. Right now, I'm running fourth place. I'm liking that!
We break out of the bike trail trees and head back into the park. I don't see Shane anywhere which is odd. Where did they go? I am now running across an open field with the wind pushing me back all in my face, and the sun has gotten HOT! I don't like this. I keep chugging along, but my legs are starting to protest now. I can feel myself slowing. I need a good tune, but not coming up with anything as I skip around on songs on the iPhone. I can't mess with this. I need to pay attention. Whatever, let's just get this over with. I let the music just play. Mile three, my phone annouces, with a 8:48. Slowed down there. I think I'm running out of steam.
Just then, I notice that people are running over from the pavilion pointing down the road, they look a little panicked. I think that we are supposed to turn and go across this parking lot, but I'm not totally sure. Is that what they are trying to tell me? To turn here? I turn around and ask the guy in orange. They said earlier that he mapped out the course. He nods. I turn and there's just this parking lot and a small stretch of road between me and the finish. My legs are fighting me now, but once I know I'm almost done, I always seem to pull on strength I didn't know I had.
Across the parking lot, I turn onto the road--the final stretch--probably less than 400 meters. I see the end, the finish line. I pick up my pace, but my usual sprint isn't there. I'm going faster than my previous race pace, but this is not my normal sprint. I really think I did too much for too little training, but I'm still going to give it all I've got! I cross the finish line and look down at my phone to stop it. It says 25:56 by the time I slide the screen lock over. So, I don't know how accurate it is, but close enough to still be a new PR for me! My last official 5K was 26:40 back in November. Yay!
So, I placed 4th place overall, 2nd place female. It was fun to run (and actually place), even if it was a very small fun run. It gives me confidence to do better! Train better! Hopefully, I will do as well on the Fat Ass 5K next weekend. They'll have timing chips, so we'll have more accurate times. I'll also remember to bring the GPS.
My legs are mad at me. Mostly my calves are cramping and telling me that if I run like this again without training, they are going to kill me! I believe them too. No substitute for good training. Gotta do it! Until next week--and the Fat Ass! See ya then!