|Today was the 5 mile race hosted by my running club The Alley Pond Striders
I was planning on doing an easy run, as I have not raced at this distance before and I was a little intimidated by that last mile. I did a 4.5 mile run on Friday and had a tough time making the last half mile. I figured if I did the race at full-on race pace I'd fall apart.
Was a little too lackadaisical about getting to the race - it was just down the road after all. My original plan was to arrive at about 9:30 for the 10am start. I had pre-registered so I would just have to grab my number and go. I woke up at 6:30am. Crazy, but the pup doesn't understand weekends and she wants her breakfast at that time, just like every other day. After taking her out for a walk, I shared a plain bagel with her. Thought about going back to sleep, but I was up and didn't think it would work. Around 8:00 I decided to have another bite to eat. Perused the race info while I was noshing and realized that they were having a kid's run at 9:30. That would mean people would be arriving earlier than I expected. Decided to aim for a 9:00 arrival.
Drove to the park and found the parking lot full. Oops. Got a parking spot a few blocks away and walked into the park. I didn't expect that there would be a really big turnout, as the Queens half-marathon was just yesterday. But I guess different runners are interested in the two races. Bumped into everyone as I wound my way through the groups outside the parkhouse. Grabbed my number and stopped to pin it on. Christina found me and we started chatting. She was doing this race since she waited too long and got shut out of the Queens half. I don't usually run with her, as she is faster than I am, but we decided to line up for the start together.
As the race got started, I settled into what felt like a comfortable pace. Was chatting with Christina about how odd it felt to be racing on the paths upon which we usually do our weekend long runs. Their was a bit of an incline at the start and a little stretch of unpaved trails. Passed the first mile mark and heard the timer call out a 9:34. Sounded good, a little faster than I planned, but should still be OK.
That's when I started to allow Christina to pull me along faster than I expected. We were both a bit shocked to here a call of 17:40 at the two mile mark. I remarked that we were speeding up. I still felt alright, but was a little worried.
Got to the 3 mile mark and heard a call of 26 and change. HUH! Just than the Garmin chirped and gave me a laptime - we did the 3rd mile in 8:10. Oh gosh! That would be the fastest mile I've ever run. Definite trouble
And then it happened. I was laboring a bit and Christina was starting to pull away. Then at about 3.5 miles there is an uphill. I couldn't make it. I had to walk. Took a short walking break to the top of the hill. I knew it is mostly flat from then on so I wasn't too upset. Started to run at the top and pulled past the 4 mile timer. I heard 36 and change. That would be my second fastest 4 mile race and I walked.
I got a second wind as I realized that we were getting close to the end. I wasn't exactly sure where they had placed the finish line, so I didn't want to waste my energy too early. But then I saw it. And I decided to pick up the pace and sprint across it. Got to look good ;-)
My official race time was 43:44. Anything would have been a personal record, as it was the first time I raced the distance, but I'm real happy with that time. My Garmin disagreed with the race timers a bit, but that may be due to the tree cover messing with the signal.
I stayed around to help a bit with the breakdown of the race and was rewarded with a bag full of left over bagels and other foodstuff. As usual, my age group was the deepest in the race and I was nowhere near the top three. A year younger or five years older and I would have been taking home a trophy. It was a blast anyway.
Next week will be a 5k in Manhattan. The Revlon Walk/Run for Women - there is a banner on the right side of my blog for anyone who wishes to make a donation to the cause.