I didn't have any lofty expectations for this race. My best 5K race result going into this race was 30:09. Eventually, my goal was to run a sub-30 5K race. I wasn't expecting to meet that goal at all for this race because my recent runs have been more for endurance, so they were REALLY SLOW but long (minimum 5 miles). Also due to injuries, I haven't been doing any speedwork. Not even for HIIT. Another thing, I've been training for a 10-mile race so this run was just extra.
I had two goals coming into this race: 1) Have fun, and 2) Run it all the way (I took walking breaks on my previous two 5K races).
The race started at 9 am. I made sure I woke up early enough to eat breakfast - 2 pcs. ww bread toasted w/ nat. PB and tea w/ honey. I can't handle heavy protein right before a run, so the meal was definitely not EFL, but I think I get enough protein from the PB.
Got to the race in good time. Long enough to do a short walk around the park for warm-up, pick up my race packet, and make 2 bathroom trips. Thank goodness the port-a-potties were decent! The weather was not that great but it was manageable. It was slightly chilly (low 40's) but not breezy and the sky looked like it was going to rain at any second. It was cold enough that I couldn't part with my jacket during the race.
The race packet was sweet! We each got a wicking shirt, a New Balance water bottle, a Clif Bar, and 2 packets of Biofreeze (love those!!!). On my previous races, I only got a cotton t-shirt and a bunch of advertisements. Today's race packet was definitely a treat!
At the starting point, I lined up in the middle of the pack with the people, dogs, and baby strollers. Some people had only stuffed dogs, which counted as dog on a leash. Some people had just an empty baby strollers without any kids, some had kids in them, etc. It was really an interesting race. Anyways, the horn sounded and off we went!
There were a lot of near misses during the race. The dogs are worse than kids! They would just stop and squat, veer to the side, and just do unpredictable stuff right in front of you. I was surprised nobody tripped on the leashes! There were definitely a lot of scary moments for me.
My pace was brisk but comfortable. I wasn't going all out or anything. I had my Garmin on, but didn't really check on it. I had it beep every mile so I have an idea at what point in the race I'm at. The race was along a trail right next to a river, so I was enjoying the view. I was also thinking throughout the race about how fast some of the runners are! Despite pushing baby strollers and running with their dogs, many of them still kicked my a$$! It was very humbling, to say the least.
One odd thing happened though. I think I saw someone cheat. The course is basically just straight along the trail then you head back at the half-way point of the 5K. Well, I was heading back to the start/finish line when a woman who was still approaching the the half-way mark turned around prematurely to head back to the start/finish line. At that time, her friend was walking in front of me and I guess she just decided to join him. Nobody said anything and I was too focused on my run, so I just passed them. However, I briefly glanced at them as I was passing them to make sure to make sure they were part of the race, and sure enough they have bib numbers on. Thinking back now, I realized that her bib number was still intact, meaning the small part wasn't ripped off when you finish a race so she didn't finish the race and decided to run some more to join her friend. Honestly though, I don't think she did it maliciously. She wasn't running too fast to begin with (she was in the back of the pack) so she probably decided the heck with it and just headed back.
About .5 miles away from the finish line, I started getting side stitches. I just breathed through it and ignored it and pushed on. I neared the finish line and glanced at the timer and did a double take! It said 28:4-something!!!! Holy cow, was I really running that fast?
So I crossed the finish line, stopped my Garmin, and had my bib ticket taken off. My first thought was maybe the course was way less than 5K. But I checked my Garmin and it said:
28:50 in 3.10 miles!!!!!!!!
I am ecstatic and pleasantly surprised! Maybe all those long distance training runs have paid off! Even in the days where I was doing HIIT and purposely trying to run my fastest 5K on the TM, I never went under 29 minutes!
I didn't hang around too much after the race. Just long enough to eat a Clif Bar and drink water. They had pizza, but my stomach just wasn't into it. Also, it's Palm Sunday so I had to go to church at noon. Besides, the prizes were just given to the top 5 male & female finishers in the headphones, dogs, and baby strollers categories...not by age group...so I knew I wasn't going to win anything.
I checked the official results online this afternoon and my Garmin was dead on! Finished in exactly 28:50!
So I met my two goals coming into the race. I had fun and I ran the race all the way through. Finishing in under 29 minutes is a huge huge bonus!