Eh, another 5K. But there, done that...especially lately. However, this summer-series is a yearly tradition that I am not willing to give up.
I know - it's not exactly in-line with my base building efforts, but I did a 3.5 warm-up before the race and 5 miles with my kids after the race to make 11.5 miles. These days, that is a "long" run.
I felt slightly nostalgic that this was not a triathlon, and slightly annoyed that I was stuck with the onus of warming up. I always did a slow 10 minute jog before my triathlons, but the swim is the perfect warm up for the bike, which is the perfect warm up for the run. The burden of a 5K is that the warm up takes longer than the race itself.
I arrived at the race early, per tradition. I began my warm up and I immediately thought, "Ugh, I cannot run fast today." I had to remind myself repeatedly that I always feel like this at the start of a run if I am not coming off the bike. This is normal.
I stuck to the trails and ran up a little hill that overlooked the race.
About 20 minutes into the warm-up, I began to feel...well, warmed up! 10 minutes of waiting in line to use the restroom, and a few strides later, I was ready to roll.
This race has a reverse-wave, meaning that they start the slower people first (kids and older age groups). My wave, women 30-34, started in the middle. They changed the course so that they beginning was hillier, and also went onto a sidewalk. On one hand, this was challenging because it was difficult to pass people on the narrow sidewalk. On the other hand, it helped me keep my first mile at a reasonable pace (6:06). The second mile was entirely flat, but on a dirt. My race shoes slip back on dirt so it's not my favorite racing terrain. Mile 2 clocked in at 6:03. Mile 3 was on a sidewalk but also included the hills that were at the beginning. I also started to notice the wind that had been the entire time (but also keeping the temperature cooler). Even though Mile 3 is usually painful, its the last one so you just need to hang in there as much as you can. I managed a 6:10.
And then, like virtually every 5K, the sprint to the finish was not .11, but .16. I had enough gusto for a strong finish.
Final time (according to Garmin) = 19:16
Average pace = 6:06
They had a fluke with their timing mats that made every one's time 15 longer - not an issue except 15 seconds in a 5K is a lot of work!
This was my first summer racing in my new age group (30+). I was interested to scope out my competition for the summer. But despite this being a large race (1200 runners), a lot of the faster regulars were missing. I guess more important things are going on!
So I won the race although it feels like I won my default. I can think of 5 people that I run with regularly that could beat me. Nonetheless, its my largest overall win - 100 people in my age group alone:
Like last year, my husband dropped off my kids at the end so he could emerge himself in CFA studies. And, like last year, my kids were enamored by the shiny medal.
Brenna wore the medal for the rest of the morning - which is not surprising. The women in my family like gold...my Grandma prefers it surrounded my gaudy diamonds and I prefer laced on a ribbon but we all agree that silver is just not the same.