The race this morning went great! It was a little cold outside, but it was a fun atmosphere and I was really happy with my time. I wanted to finish in under 30 minutes and I blew that goal out of the water. I raced as hard as I could, even though I knew I had 6 more miles to complete after the race. Yup, I decided that I still needed to get my 9 miles in today, so I ran 6 more after the race.
I was feeling a little nervous as I got ready this morning. Even though this was my second 5k race, this was the first race I had to use a time chip. I was worried about attaching it correctly, but I think I figured it out. I just felt felt antsy, worried about meeting my time goal or not knowing where I was going. As we drove by the race site, I got really excited when we saw the the starting line.
I was really happy Pat decided to go with me. He kept me company before the race started and was there to take a picture as I finished. We got to the starting line almost half an hour before the race started so we took a few pictures.
I had made the decision to leave my iPod in the car, and as the race got started, I sort of regretted it. But it wasn’t so bad. I was really focused on the scenery and other people in the beginning, and by the end, I wasn’t thinking about anything other than the running.
At the beginning of the race I heard a guy tell his girlfriend that they needed to slow down and pace themselves, that all the people starting out too fast were going to fall back before long. I knew he was right, but the excitement of the race got to me and I felt myself running too fast. And trying to pass people. I kept glancing at my watch and seeing an 8-something-minute pace and would force myself to slow down a bit. But I was excited and wanted to see how fast I could push it.
The race was pretty uneventful until the end. At mile 2 I could see the super-fast runners coming back the other way already, almost to the finish line. There was only one water station, but I skipped it. I didn’t want to slow down and figured it was such a short race. I felt pretty good until the end (I’ll get to that in a minute). I didn’t feel too out of breath and I wasn’t experiencing any knee pain at all. My splits:
- Mile 1: 9:23
- Mile 2: 9:06
- Mile 3: 9:02
- Last 0.17: 7:55 pace
- Total: 3.17 miles in 28:50 (9:06 pace)
My Garmin time matched my official chip time exactly. But the distance didn’t. I guess the added distance could have been from weaving in and out of other people. I told myself I would really push it when I hit 3 miles, and I did, but it was a further distance than I expected. And it hit me – this has never happened before – but I suddenly felt like I was really going to throw up. On the last stretch, where all the spectators were lined up, I began to dry-heave as I went by.
I was so focused on not throwing up that I barely noticed the spectators and didn’t really get to enjoy that last bit. I heard the cheering and was just willing myself to keep moving so I could be done. This is really embarrassing, but I’m going to share this picture that Pat took. If you look closely you will see my mouth is open as I’m gagging – I look rough.
I felt so sick the first few minutes after I finished that I didn’t even look at my Garmin to see how I did. But, I recovered quickly and was really excited to see that I didn’t just break 30 minutes, I also broke 29! Even better, the chip times were online by the time I got home, and I saw that I placed 11 out of 110 women in my age group. I was thrilled with the overall result!
The after-party seemed like a lot of fun – they had a band, free massages and lots of free food and drink. We picked up a few goodies but didn’t stay very long. It was still really cold outside!
As I mentioned, I still had 9 miles on the agenda for today. Which meant that after stopping by home for more water and something to eat, I headed back out to the park to finish my last 6 miles. I normally try to push my speed, but I wanted to take my time. My splits:
- Mile 1: 10:26
- Mile 2: 10:14
- Mile 3: 10:25
- Mile 4: 10:33
- Mile 5: 10:40
- Mile 6: 11:22
- Total: 1:03:42 (10:37 pace)
This run was alright. At one point I was coming up on another woman, and as I passed, she un-zipped her sweatshirt to show me she was wearing the same race t-shirt that I was 🙂
My legs were sore but it wasn’t until the last two miles that I really struggled. I felt like my breathing and heart rate were good and I had the energy to push myself, but my muscles and my left knee began to hurt really bad as I came close to 5 miles. I actually stopped to do some stretching before attempting the last mile. I thought about pushing through the pain in the last mile, but I was worried about injuring myself, so I walked a good portion of it.
Overall, it was a successful day 🙂 An awesome Personal Record and I still got out there to finish my last 6 miles. I feel like I should nap, but there’s no time – I have a special date tonight! Pat and I decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day tonight instead of on Monday. We’re going out for a nice dinner at a restaurant that has both steak and veggie options.
What are your weekend plans?