I went into the 5K race yesterday with an A, a B, and a C goal. My A goal, the easiest, was beating 37 minutes. My B goal was hitting 36:30, and my C goal, the stretch, was sub-36.
It was a cold morning, but not crazy. I wore capri tights, calf compression sleeves, a short sleeve t-shirt, and arm sleeves. I felt perfectly dressed. I also wore Brooks Ravenna 3s with my new custom inserts. I was ready to rock... but not sure how fast I'd be. I mentioned to a friend also running the race that I didn't feel fast at all.
The race was the largest I've been in so far. According to the race results, over 900 people were involved. The course involved two loops around a pond; fairly round and a concrete path. The course did not work well for a race of this size... I was pretty much in the middle, and had to deal with dodging walkers both at the beginning and during the second loop around the pond. The elite runners had it even worse since they had even more people to dodge... just about everybody on their second time around the pond. They had a guy in a turkey suit on a bike trying to clear the left side of the path to make room for them to go by; some little girl running with her mom somehow didn't hear the screaming turkey-suited guy and got in his way as he was going by and took the poor guy out. Luckily the fast runners still made it through, but the turkey guy had to jump back on his bike and book it to get in front of them again to continue clearing the way.
I spent the first couple minutes of the race dodging walkers. I'm not sure why so many walkers were in front of me at the start; there were areas for 6, 8 and 10 minute mile runners, and although they didn't have any slower pace time posters to help us penguins line up, I thought I was around where 12 minute runners should have been to start the race. It was supremely frustrating and I used a lot of energy bobbing and weaving. Walkers should have started behind me! Somehow, I still ran my fastest mile of the day.
Halfway through the second mile, I realized I was still pretty much keeping the same pace I'd had for the first mile. I was stoked... way faster than my previous races. By the time I got to the third mile, I was worried about running out of steam. I slowed down just slightly... and when I found my finishing time, I regretted that slowdown. However, I more than met all of my goals... my official chip time was 35:13!
I wondered after the race if I had pushed that third mile instead of letting up a bit, could I have come in under 35? It's hard being that upset, though, when I came in so far under my original goals. Perhaps sub-35 will one of my goals for the 5K in the first week of December.
Mile 1: 11:11
Mile 2: 11:15
Mile 3: 11:31
Mile 0.1: 1:16
After that, Mike and I headed home and made our potato dishes (sweet potato casserole for me, garlic and parmesan mashed potatoes for him) to take to turducken dinner with the rest of our friends downtown later that evening. We even squeezed in an hour long nap, though we could have done with one much longer. I had to put in a few hours of work today and felt tired and lazy when I got home... back to training tomorrow.