Yesterday, my husband and I ran a local July 4th 5K. We ran the same one last year. It has a pretty good turn-out for this area. This year there were almost 600 people who participated in the 5K which is larger than a lot of the other local races. Enough that it makes it fun and exciting but still small enough that it is enjoyable.
I tried pretty much every angle I could think of to try to get out of attempting to run this fast (for me). I wanted to run it just because I like to go to races but short races are not my thing, I'd much prefer a longer race.
First, I tried the angle of seeing if I could run it with a dog. I'd e-mailed the race director a few weeks ago to see if I could bring a dog and do some promoting of Miles and Mutts. There wasn't any mention of pets either way so while I figured it would be a no-go, it was worth asking to see if I could mingle before/after and then run with a dog. I knew it has a good turn-out and there would be lots of people around. The race director indicated they did not think it was a good idea to have one on the course but offered me a great alternative to set up at the vendor/craft part as part of the overall community festival/event for the day. Unfortunately, I couldn't rope enough people into giving up their entire holiday for that and wasn't really prepared to set up in a formal way myself at this point. But, I'm definitely coming up with ideas for how to make these types of things work in the future. In the end, I was still able to make a few good contacts with people who asked about it just from the shirt I was wearing.
So, with no dog to run as my excuse to take it easy, my next angle was trying to get my husband on board with me pacing him to a certain time. I know he wants to run a 5K under 30 minutes and am sure he can. I think if I helped pace him to not go too fast from the start, he could do it. However, he wasn't quite as excited about the idea of me being pace car and cheerleader for him. He said I could run with him but didn't need anyone to pace him and I think I can be a little annoying to him in encouraging at these things. Strike 2 on getting out of attempting to run fast. Even up to the point where we were standing together at the starting line, I tried one more time with this angle. I'd 'warmed up' for a mile and felt pretty stiff and slow and didn't think I had much in me since all my miles have been long, slow and lots of them this year.
The race started though and I just took off. Figured I'd see what I had and then blame my slow time on all the miles I've been running. This course holds my 5K PR of 24:13 from last year and while I wanted to get under 24, wasn't sure I had that in me. It's actually a somewhat tough course because there are some decent hills in it...but that also means there are downhills. I'll take a hilly course over a flat course most days because I like the variety and feel the strongest on these.
The first mile I spent getting around people since I was lined up towards the back. Towards the end of the first mile and on the first hill, I started picking out my targets to try to pass. It was going pretty well. In the second mile, I started to settle into a pace and found myself behind a group of 4 or 5 teenage boys. It went well for a little while but then I looked at my watch and realized they were starting to slow down and it was the first time I'd seen a pace starting with an '8' when I looked down at my watch. It was time to get around them and speed up.
Next, it was my goal to get around the guy with the dog. He was passing a bunch of people in the first mile when I was and I was staying in range of him for quite awhile. As I mentioned before, I'd e-mailed about bringing a dog. Therefore, it was most definitely my goal to get around the guy with the dog that I'm sure did not ask about it. Quite honestly, I was glad I didn't have a dog, it was pretty hot out and the course is through a town so there is no shade so it wouldn't have been the best thing to have one out there.
The courses finishes on a downhill and I found myself by another younger kid and tried to pass him. He wasn't real keen on that idea so I tried to sprint it out with him to the finish line. He passed me right at the end but I'm not exactly sure where the finish line truly registered because the results show that I have the same time as a 14 year old (chip-timed but it was based on gun-time). So, sorry 14-year old for trying to pass you, couldn't help myself. Somehow I managed to blow my old PR out of the water and finished in 23:34, good enough for 2nd place in my age group. Guess all those miles are helping...in the good way, not the bad way. My goal of getting a PR in every distance this year is still holding up!