Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St Patrick's Day 5K

My first 5K was last Saturday.  I had my IPod with my playlist all set up and talked with Eric and some friends before the race. That helped keep me calm.  I was really worried about going out too fast and I think my concern about it balanced the pull of the pack of runners and I ended up right around the speed I had been running while training.  The hardest part about this race for me: I do well running outside when I look ahead a block or more. But when you're running in the middle of a pack in a race, looking ahead that distance all you see is... more runners. So that was a difficulty. And then when I realized that was throwing me off a little, I admit it, I did start to panic.  The middle part of the course turns on to a paved trail that was pretty narrow (maybe 3 people could fit across it if they were careful) and that got a little chaotic as I reached that part still in a pack and not soon after started encountering the super fast sprinter runners returning from the out-and-back. Apparently, those speedy gentlemen have not all learned the rules about staying to the right, because there was a lot of zig zagging and avoiding going on.  But as we got about a mile in, the large group I was with started thinning out and then it wasn't as congested.

I ended up finishing in 32:56 -- about a 10:30/mile.  The funny (or embarassing, depending on how competitive I'm feeling at the time) thing about that pace is I ended up running with 2 distinct groups of people. About 1/2 were people like me: plugging along slow and steady, not in peak running condition but not huffing and puffing. The other 1/2 were men and women who were like I USED to be: I'd be going along and out of no where some random person would sprint past me from behind. Then about a minute later, I'd pass them as they are walking off to the side. A few minutes later... same person would sprint past again! A minute later, walking on the side. There were actually quite a few people working this "tactic". I tried to give the benefit of the doubt -- maybe these people are doing Couch to 5K and they are only on week 2 or something? Eric says, "No, those are people who don't know how to run." He finished 44th overall, so I believe him. (I finished 111th out of 285 women overall, 45th out of 102 in my age group -- not that bad for my first time! AND, I finished before the winner of the 10K, so that's a little encouraging, I think.)
So, I made it through the whole race without walking or throwing up. I was cold for the rest of the day. But, I woke up the next morning with only minimal soreness. Looking for a race in May or early June now. Thinking about trying to head down to Bend the first weekend in June for the Heaven Can Wait 5K that supports breast cancer research.  Get my run on in Drake Park!

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