I'm not used to late morning race starts, so I had my normal nervous dreams (don't ask me why I was nervous for this race, I get nervous for long runs and hard workouts, I'm bizarre) and couldn't sleep. I finally just woke up early to be sure my stomach would have time to chill out after I fed it. I've been having a lot of stomach issues lately, blergh. I finally texted Jenn to let her know I was leaving early and I'd see her there.
I thought I was going to regret wearing long sleeves, so I threw armsleeves in my bag, and planned to ditch the long sleeve for them after our warm up together. And then I stepped outside and brrr. I texted Jenn to bring gloves. I was one of the first runners to get to the race and was super excited that I got to snag one of the free race shirts! For a free race (donations for the Humane Society encouraged--awesome!) I was shocked at how cute the shirt was! I also got a commemorative novelty bib, they had drawings for door prizes, and a free green beer ticket for the first 200 race finishers over 21. Yes I think I picked the correct 5k race this holiday.
Jenn finally got there so we headed out for our run. And almost froze. Oh my goodness. It was right around freezing, but with the wind (the out portion of the race route) the wind chill was 19. Uff! We ended up cutting our warmup short to just a mile. My cold is still sticking around with a vengeance so I was nervous that would effect my breathing on the run, especially coupled with the cold wind gusts.
We snapped this adorably green clad photo before the race.
And this awkward gem of a pic. I was trying to look like the leprechaun on my race bib. I ended up looking like I was trying to pee/poo standing up. Sooper hawt.
And then after standing outside in the cold for an hour (awesome race strategy) the race was finally off!
My race goals I had set for myself were done last week when I had assumed I was going to be over my cold, so I was pretty confident I wouldn't be running a sub 8:30 pace, but I decided I'd only know if I tried.
I tried to keep Jenn in my sights and also tried to stay with a pack of runners so I would have some wind block on the way out. My first glance at my garmin was a 7:54. Hah, oops. My pace slowed down throughout that mile, since I'm clearly not in sub 8 5k shape at the moment. The crowd of runners dispersed almost immediately so I was stuck with zero wind block, and zero people behind me (or so it felt). Luckily for me, I was finally able to let a ton of snot out behind me without fear of smoking fellow runners with my leprechaun hued boogers. Eeew.
After hitting the one mile in 8:30, I realized that my goal race time probably wasn't going to happen, but I started to feel a little better than I did in mile one and knew we were close to the turn around and would finally have the wind at our backs. At one point my pace for mile two was 8:48. Uff. I kept digging and tried to slowly pick off people. I hit the turn around in ~13:30 and had a totally renewed sense of running. I quickly passed a couple of people and picked up the pace. My second mile was an 8:40.
Shortly after the third mile started I felt like I was all by myself. No one behind me, and a few people not quite catchable in front of me. I started doing the math to see how much time I had left to run to determine when I could start kicking. I picked it up with about 6 minutes left in the race and really tried to haul. My third mile was an 8:24, my fastest of the race, and my final .1 was :41 for a pace of 6:49! Hey, there's still speed in these legs!
I started off around seventh place for females and passed two shortly before the one mile marker, and held on to fifth for the remainder of the race. I was hoping for top ten so I was pretty thrilled about this, and I think that helped keep me focused on running hard throughout the race.
AND for the first time in a couple of years of racing, I finally hit a race goal I set for myself! I was shooting for 25:29-26:21 and ran a 26:17. Whoop! Considering my mile repeats have been in the high 8:30s, I'm pretty pumped I ran an 8:29 pace for this. Slooooooooowly getting back to regular runner Jerbear!