Saturday morning I had 10 miles scheduled, instead I ran a 5K. Pretty good trade, wouldn't you say? But to help keep my mileage up, I went out before the race and ran 4 miles at a 10 min/mile pace.
This was my very first race that I ran completely alone. I've run other races by myself, but my husband has always been with me at the start and finish line. Saturday morning, he didn't want to take a 15 month old out in the cold so they stayed home and I went all by my lonesome.
I got to the start line about 10 minutes before the start and stood around by myself sizing up my competition. I had my eyes on a couple of ladies - but it turns out I didn't need to worry about most of them.
The race started and I wasn't as close to the front as I had wanted, so for the first mile I was picking off people left and right. That kind of a start gets me pumped, but also kind of freaks me out because I think that I might be going too fast and maybe these people know how to pace themselves better than I do?
Either way, I kept pushing. Mile two brought a small incline and a water stop (who stops for water in a 5K?), where I had my eyes on a redheaded guy in front of me. He stopped for water and I was able to ALMOST catch him before he started again... also, I had tried a new flavor of GU before the race. It wanted to come back up at the end of this mile. I don't know why I even tried the Espresso flavor - I hate anything and everything coffee flavored/scented. So I was gagging even before I put it in my mouth.
Mile three was winding through neighborhoods and lots of turns which doesn't let you see how many people are in front of you, which is good and bad. The redhead was slowing down and as I pulled up next to him I told him that we couldn't let those two girls in pink bet us in! (I had been gaining on those two in pink for the whole race and now in the last half mile they started to pull away from me.) Luckily, Red wasn't upset at me for talking to him, but was glad for the extra motivation and we ended up running the last half mile together. I even told him to kick it up a notch at the end so that he didn't get beat by a girl, and he did. He beat me by 2 seconds at the finish.
I really wished that I had remembered what my 5K PR was when I went into this race - I finished in 24:40, which was 2 seconds slower than my current PR. BAH! Why did I waste breath talking to Red??
I ended up finishing as the 9th woman overall and second in my age group. Another medal for me! YAY!
This is the first race in a series put on by my city, and you get points for how well you place in each race. Because I finished in the top 10, I get 50 points... and after my first race of the season, I came home totally pumped about running and racing and trying to plan out the rest of the race series around my other races that I've already signed up for.
It was a really good race, and I loved that it was so close and easy to get to/pick up my packet. (I was able to grab my packet before my 4 mile run the morning of the race.) And I made a new friend in Red (but why the heck didn't I ask him his name?) who chatted with me until they gave out medals. He was telling me about his disgustingly huge omelettes that he makes on Saturdays that have 12-15 eggs in them. YIKES!
Next race in the series is on St. Patrick's Day and I'm supposed to run 12 miles that day... I don't know how I will work that yet. But I need a new PR, so I'll figure it out.