Yep, I'm gonna let that set in for a bit...
OK - time to 'fess up with the details. This morning I decided to take advantage of a local 5K race. I had the day off so I could have just slept in instead, but I wanted to do a 5K so that I can participate in the Shave Your 5K challenge. (Yep, I'm really into these virtual races!)
The race was small - maybe 75 runners total that were split between the 5K and 10K distances. I liked the small race feel as it was pretty laidback. Before the adults took off, they first had the kids run which shared the same start line but went in the opposite direction. So all the adult runners lined up at the start had to clear the path for the little kiddies. And let me tell you, it was the CUTEST thing ever!!! There were maybe 10 kids total, I'm guessing between the ages of 4-8. Some took off running on their own, others had to be pulled along by their parents. They did an out and back so it was fun to cheer them on their way out as well as on their way back in. Super cute.
The kids' race gave me a nice jolt of energy this morning because I was still a sleepy squirrel at that point. So now it's our turn. The race on the website was described as a flat out and back course. Um... it was not. As soon as we took off, we immediately had to tackle a big ole hill. OK, it wasn't like an SF cable-car hill, but still, it was something you had to tackle. I guess in a way it was good because it helped to thin out the pack (all 75 of us, heehee).
My goal was to try and stay as close as possible to a 9:00 min/mi pace. I was shocked when I received my mile 1 time of 8:59 considering the hill was slowing me down. Then again, the hill did go down a bit as well so I'm sure that's where I was able to recover a bit. I finally got to the flat part where I focused on keeping my pace and breathing pretty even. After I hit the turn around point, I started to realize that I had only seen one female runner ahead of me, which of course is unusual for me.
Mile 2 was 8:58 - again, I'm shocked. Eventually we get back to the darn hilly part again. Mile 3 was 9:24 - oops. Finally, I get to the downhill part to the finish - yay! I crossed the finish line when the clock read 28:45. (Side note - something was really out of sync with my Garmin and the clock b/c my Garmin was 28:15. They should have been pretty close since I was practically at the front when the race started.)
After I finished, they told me I was the second female finisher overall (out of, um... maybe 12 total???). We all got medals, too! (I've really been lucking out in that department!) I guess I got a different color ribbon on my medal because I was one of the top placers. Who would have thought - a second place finish for running a 5K with a 9:16 average pace? Eh, I'll take it! I'm sure it won't happen again so might as well milk it.
I do have more confidence in my 5K pace now so that's good. And I think I already know which 5K race I will target for the "smooth" part of the challenge. It's the 5K offered with the SF marathon. I got my PR there in 2005. Now that is a true FLAT course and it has chip timing so accurate timing is guaranteed!