Sunday, May 13, 2007

Philadelphia Race for the Cure 5K (Race Report)

So, are you sick of reading my race reports yet? Well, that's just too bad coz here's another one! LOL.

I did the Race for the Cure this morning, which raised money for breast cancer research. I have good friends that were affected by the disease so this race and the fund raising that went with it are near and dear to my heart.This was supposed to be a fun race, primarily to raise money for a great cause.

I also heard that there are thousands and thousands of participants (~40,000) that you don't really get to "race" at these event. So I made my goal for the race just to have fun and enjoy the atmosphere.

The weather started out really nice, with a slight chill in the air. I stayed at my parents this weekend for Mother's Day and they're only about a 15 minutes drive to Philly, but we decided to take the train instead. My friend picked me up at 6:15 am, then drove to the train station. The train was SLOW and it took us about 45 minutes to get to the city. The bus was filled to capacity with Race for the Cure runners/walkers so the atmosphere was great!

By the time we got to our stop, we were both in need of a bathroom break. We started walking towards the Art Museum (the starting area) and passed by a Starbucks. We went in, but couldn't find a bathroom. We asked one of the employees and he led us into this other restaurant inside the same building. The restaurant was still closed, but he let us use the bathroom anyways. That was really nice of him! :)

We got to the start area and had to walk a bit to actually get into the crowd of starters since they blocked the sidewalk for quite some distance. We found an opening then started to weave our way towards the middle of the pack so we're not too far back. By this time it was 8:10 am, and the race started at around 8:15 am. I had barely turned on my Garmin and connected to the satellite when we started moving forward. Didn't hear a gun go off or anything. I saw a large banner above, which I THINK is the starting line so I started my Garmin when I crossed it.

My friend said that he would run with me. We didn't think we would really be able to run with all the hordes of people. But right from the start, we were already running at a good pace. I then heard him say "Okay, I guess I'll just meet you at the finish line" and I just took off. ;)

I did a lot of weaving for the first mile, which tired me a lot. It was tough since they didn't arrange us by pace and there were still walkers there even though they were supposed to start 15 minutes AFTER the runners. There were also groups of people who lined up together so trying to get around them took some effort.

Around the the first mile, I heard someone fall all the way to left. I quickly glanced back to that direction and saw people already helping her up. By this time, the crowd was really thick and running fast so I was basically swept forward and couldn't really help her. I said a quick prayer that she was okay.

I tried to embrace the moment. It was really touching running this race. You see tons of people with signs at the back of their shirts saying that they're running for so and so. Seeing the signs for survivors were empowering. But it broke my heart reading the signs of those who lost their battle to cancer. The whole experience was humbling to say the least.

My throat was dry by mile 2 so I slowed down to a walk to grab a drink of water. I really wasn't thirsty but I just needed something to wet my throat. So I took one swallow of water and ended up wearing the rest on my shirt. We got to the art museum area and heard my Garmin beep indicating that I have already reached the 3.1 miles. However, the finish line was nowhere in site! So I kept on running.

After a while, I decided to slow down. I stopped my Garmin and walked for a bit, but then saw the finish line up ahead. So I re-started my Garmin and ran ahead. I was so surprised as I neared the finish line and the clock time was still approaching 30 minutes! Are you kidding me? I've passed 3.1 mile a while ago (as per Garmin)!

I waited for my friend for a bit, then called him on the cell. He had just crossed the finish line at this time. We met by the medical tent and he told me he crossed the finish line at around 31 minutes. I honestly thought he was going to be ahead of me since he told me a couple of weeks ago that he got his 5K time on the the treadmill down to 26 minutes. My 5K PR was only 28:50.

We walked around, got tons of free food, then headed home.

I downloaded my Garmin data to the computer and was surprised at the results! Sportstrack said that I ran 3.53 miles in 29:43. Training Center said I ran 3.31 miles in 29:43. Now, remember that I stopped and re-started just before the finish line.

BUT, I reached 3.11 miles in 25:47! That's like 3 minutes below my previous PR! My official clock result would probably be a little over 30 minutes. But if my Garmin is correct, we ran a lot more than 3.1 miles.

I'm still in SHOCK by this result. There's a small part of me that's a little disappointed. I'm used to beating my PRs at every race, but 25:47 for a 5K is a tall order, at least for me. I know, I'm wierd!

Now, if I could only run that fast during my practice runs, then everything would be hunky dory! ;)

That's it! Thanks for reading!

Edit: I heard from reputable authorities that Garmin might be off today. So I wouldn't hold too much stock on 25:47. Which is good in a way. That means I don't have to kill myself trying to get to 25 minutes for my next 5K, LOL. 28:50 is definitely a lot more doable and much preferred to beat! ;-) The most important thing is I raised some money for a great cause and I had fun! =)


Eileen said...

I've done that same race here in New Orleans...and it starts at the art museum here too! The atmosphere was was so cool to see so many people who had "survivor" shirts on.

You are sure doing a lot of great when are you doing a marathon, lol!

Anonymous said...

Congrats! You did a great race and for a good cause.

Pamela said...

Great work for a Great cause...regarless of the time :D

KatieFeldmom said...

Awesome job despite all the craziness with the times!!!!!! The Sacramento race was this weekend too and I've worked at it in the past, but this time, couldn't get all my ducks in a row. I do love the atmosphere though!!!!!

Irene said...

Wow, you're really taking off with the running! There's the same kind of issues with the wireless run tracker I have because of how the info is transmitted. I had something similar happen. 25 minute 5k is definetely something to work up to! I want to be there, too!