Because of my work schedule and crazy travel schedule for the early part of 2013, I wasn’t able to run any of the races that I had signed up for. May finally rolls around and my coach asks me to sign up for a 5k as kind of a fitness test so that she could give more accurate pacing guidance on future runs. My instructions were to go all out and if I didn’t feel like death when the race was over, I did it wrong. I’m not a fast runner by any means but I’m in much better shape now than I was when I set my previous 5k PR at 28:56.
I searched the Internet for last-minute 5ks in my area and decided to sign up for the Kirkland Half Marathon 5k, well-known in this area for its hills. Hills, shmills. I wasn’t going to let some hills keep me from setting a shiny PR. The race started and the first half mile was flat and I was flying and I felt great. I looked down at my Garmin and saw my average pace was 7:15 and I was like (*&(@*#)(%)*&%#. I didn’t realize I was going that fast and I knew that I couldn’t keep it up for very long. During training runs, I’ve sustained an 8:15 ish pace over a 3 mile distance but not any faster than that. By the time I realized how much I effed up, it was time to tackle the first big hill. I don’t know what the total elevation for the course was (need to go look it up again) but I do know the hills felt giant and never-ending, especially when I went out of the gate at a pace that I knew I couldn’t sustain. Despite the fact that I felt like dying only 1 mile into the race, I kept running, albeit much more slowly than my start pace. Continue reading
I can now say that I’ve officially run a 5k as of this morning. I’ve been a casual runner for a number of years but never bothered with registering for a race. Figured I should learn how to race before the Seattle Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon rolls around at the end of June. And learn how to do all the important stuff that comes with racing, like tying the timing tip to your shoe laces and dodging strollers and dogs at the start.
I carpooled over to the race with some Eastside friends that I met through Sweaty Betties and then met up with my new fabulous blogger/Twitter friends. That’s us below before the start of the race. Left to right: Ann Marie (not on Twitter but she should be), TriGirl, me and Stacie. I’m wearing the white race shirt over my 3 layers of bright pink and I’m amazed my $1 heart headband didn’t fall off my head during the race.
It seemed like almost as soon as we met up, it was time to start lining up. I can’t remember exactly where we lined up but I think it was between the 10:00 – 11:00 marker. I didn’t have much of a strategy other than to just push it to see how fast I could go without killing myself before the 3.1 miles were up. Starting the race was a little challenging since there wasn’t a lot of space to move and I was weaving around dogs and strollers. One of my biggest pet peeves is being trapped in a mass of people so I looked for every opportunity to break free from the crowd which happened around 0.75 miles into the race. I followed my friend Wendy and we kept pushing each other the entire race.
I had a nice view of a man wearing bright pink tights and lil booty shorts. If I wasn’t so concerned about my time, I would’ve whipped out my phone for a picture. The last mile and a half, Wendy and I were running at a 8:50 pace which is much faster than my usual 9:30 or 9:45 training pace. Ended up finishing in 28:56 at a 9:20 pace which I’m pretty happy with for my very first (and crowded) 5k. And my shins weren’t screaming the entire 3 miles which is a plus.
I was pretty jealous of all the runners who were able to find tutus. Think I need to hunt down a green tutu for the St Paddys Day Dash.
Below: Wendy and I after eating all the free goodies we could find.
Do you have any races this weekend?
P.S. As soon as I have enough race photos, I’m going to create an awesome custom banner for my blog.