Monday, March 26, 2012

Run 2 Believe 5k: Race Recap

Last Saturday I participated in a rather special 5k.  I didn't really fully understand how special, until I got there.  This 5K was in memory of a couple killed by a drunk driver.I found out that the girl that was killed was the niece of one of the gals at church.  They past away just a year ago (3/23/11).  So very tragic.

I signed up for the race because I knew that the race was somehow related to Cara and that it was important to her.  Hey - I don't need a lot of details to be convinced to race.  :)

The girls pre-race:  Jodi, me, Cara, Lacey and Ashley

So let me start the recap from the proper beginning...two weeks ago, before anyone got sick, I went for a 3 mile run.  It was amazing - beautiful weather.  It was the kind of run that keeps me running.  When I was done I found I had set a PR and had run the 3 miles in 34:34.  I got pretty excited by this point.  I thought I may have a shot at beating my previous 5K record by nearly 10 minutes.

But then everyone started getting sick.  And who gets sick LAST?  Me of course.  (And by the way - Ruth never did get sick - THANK GOODNESS!)  I ended up with a respiratory infection - which is probably the worst kind of sick for a runner.  It makes running pretty hard when you can't breath!

I ran exactly one week later.  I had good intentions of getting 5 miles under my belt.  It became clear very early in the run that wasn't feasible and so I lowered my distance to 3 miles.  And I swear those 3 miles were going to kill me.  I sadly ended up running that 3 miles in 43:19.  I stared at my time and compared it to the previous week - and knowing how I tend to go I pretty well hoped to get the 5K done in 36-39 minutes.  It takes me forever to get my speed back up.

I focused on getting better during the week.  I ran 4 miles and then on Thursday the clouds were looming.  The were black and rather ominous.  I thought I even saw some lightening.  I thought about heading out - outdoors is always my preference - but then I thought about the treadmill.

I decided to do some intervals on the treadmill.  I wouldn't get as much running time, but I was hoping my legs would remember how to go faster sooner rather than later.  It was a strategy - a hail mary if you will. 

Saturday rolled around and I headed out for the race.  I met up with Ashley, Lacey and Cara and we stood around talking.  She pointed out the various involved families and fluttered around the room socializing.  Cara is probably one of the most social people I know.  I watched in awe as she greeted, smiled and chatted.  It is definitely a skill - one I definitely do not posses.

Soon it was time to line up.  This race was VERY different in that they had everyone line up by average pace.  Normally for 5K's in particular, you just sort of hop in line.  I jumped in line squarely in between the 10 mile and 12 mile markers.  I took a deep breath.  I had forgotten my earbuds at work, and so it was no music for me that day.  I wasn't sure if this would help or hurt.  For races, I've found there is typically enough going on around me that music is not absolutely necessary. 

This race I also wasn't really nervous.  I didn't know if that would help or hurt.

There were some pre-race items they ran through (thanking sponsors, praying etc).  And then they set some balloons free.  I watched them float off and then all of a sudden the crowd began to move.  I hadn't caught that that was the start of the race!  Thank goodness for crowds - right? 

I practically walked the first tenth because it was so crowded and there wasn't space to really move forward.  "Geez" I thought to myself, "I'm definitely not going to get a PR THIS way!"  We finally headed out onto open road and things began to clear out.  I focused in on a girl in a hot pink shirt.  She had short hair and pony tails, similar to me.  "I'll follow her!" I thought.  "At least, for awhile!" 

I soon began to think about taking a walk break.  A quick check of my phone and I decided I'd wait until at least a mile.  I always run the first mile completely - always. 

By the time we hit a mile I was feeling pretty good - and pink shirt girl (yes, this is her actual name ;-) ) was still going strong.  "Ok", I thought, "I'll keep going at least until she walks!" 

We kept running running running and I felt really good.  Pink shirt girl eventually began slowing down.  I didn't feel tired so I just kept going, eventually passing her.  We came to water station and I grabbed a cup but kept running.  Of course the water ended up all over my face but that was really ok.  I didn't mind so much. 

Soon I began seriously considering a walk break.  I rounded a corner and went ahead and started walking.  I walked for about a minute, and then started running again.

There was a clump of teens running together - well two clumps.  One was a group of boys and the other were a group of girls.  There was quite a bit of banter back and forth that was rather entertaining.  I enjoyed listening to it. 

I took another walk break and wondered how my time was going to turn out.  Interestingly - I would check my phone for distance but never thought about checking pace or time.  Pink shirt girl caught up and started to pass me - of course I couldn't let that happen so off I went. 

I finally was back on the track.  This was the start and finish area for the race.  I put my all into it and sprinted the last little bit.  As I approached the end I looked for the clock but couldn't find it until the last possible second (as I passed it), but I couldn't catch my time.  I zoned in on the water and went to grab a bottle - completely forgetting too turn the phone timer off.  By the time I did, the time read:  34:05.  Oh hey, a new PR!  I was pretty thrilled!  I knew it wasn't my official time, but I knew it would be pretty close to this.

I met up with Lacey and Ashley (who PR'd) and also Cara (who also PR'd).  We chatted and fellow church folks trickled in.  One of them mentioned a group shot so I went to the car to grab my camera.

The LOCC crew!
As I was walking out they put up the official times.  I found my name and my time was....33:06! WOW!  I beat my previous record by OVER 10 minutes!  Amazing!

My splits per my phone:

Mile 1 - 10:36
Mile 2 - 10:46
Mile 3 - 11:26

My thanks goes to pink shirt girl.  It was nice having someone to prod me - even though she didn't know she was doing it. :-P  I thought about thanking her (genuinely), but I couldn't figure out how to do that without coming across as snarky.  So I didn't.

It was a great time and I really enjoyed the race!  But then again - getting a PR is always enjoyable!

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