I got up Saturday morning and headed to the race on my own. I couldn't convince the parentals to come and offer any photography services, and all of my other running pals had some reason or another for not running this one. Nonetheless, I knew that once I got my number and stuff that if I wandered around long enough I'd find someone I know.
And indeed I did. I found two of my cousins and two other friends, so we all hung out at the start and caught up a bit. They were all running the 5K, so as soon as the gun fired we all split up to run our own paces.
The weather was PERFECT. It was about 45 degrees, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. I really didn't think there was any chance I was in shape to run a PR. It would mean keeping a sub-9:00 pace, something that I've only been doing for about 4-5 miles lately. I decided to just settle in and go with what felt good for the first couple of miles.
When I hit mile 3, I realized I'd been hitting perfect 9:00 minute mile splits. I knew I'd have to pick it up if I want to break the current PR of 54:07, but it seemed doable. I decided to try to start picking people off and see if that challenge would give me what I needed to pick the pace up.
Side note: This race is held in the part of town where miles 13-18ish of the Country Music Marathon go down. I've run the full twice, and even though it's been a few years I still couldn't help but think of the two times I ran over there as part of that race. Kind of neat.
I realized I was feeling good at mile 4, but I also knew that a lot could happen in 2 more miles. I tried to stay focused and kept picking people off. (I love when I'm able to pass people in a short race like this. I think it helps me to see that I'm doing something right if I've got energy to pass more people than what pass me in the last couple of miles of a race.)
When I got to mile 5, I had picked it up enough that I could have ran the last mile in 10 minutes and still get a new PR. At the mile 6 mark, I knew I had it in the bag... but I still had to run that last .2. I picked it up even more and sprinted it in... with a finish time of 53:03, beating the old PR by 1:04. YAY!
I had to walk around a few minutes to catch my breath, and I felt a little bummed that there was no one there with me to celebrate the new PR. I still felt pretty excited though.
Since the race is hosted by Purity, I made sure to get myself an ice cream sandwich. And a carton of chocolate milk. And then I noticed the table with all the Luna Bars, so I grabbed a handful of those. (Might as well get my money's worth, yes?) There was also a table with pasta, but I decided that I was already kind of full from all the ice cream and chocolate milk.
I have to say. I can't think of any other time in my life where I've eaten ice cream at 9:15 in the morning. It was kind of nice.
All in all, it was a fun race. The course is flat, and the weather was perfect. The cow shirt is super cute, but it's a bit too big for me to use to run in. (It's a small, but it's definitely a generic small instead of a women's small, which means it's way too big for me.) I'll have to settle for wearing it as a regular shirt with jeans.
I'm excited about the new PR. I haven't really been setting any time-specific goals for my racing lately, so it was a nice surprise to be able to pull this off at this event.
It's not much to brag about, but I was 14 out of 83 in my age group. And I was 47 out of 366 women. And I was 164 out of 627 overall. Sure, I didn't win any awards or anything, but it was kind of exciting to me to do that well.
And since I didn't have anyone there with me, I don't have any pictures to share. :(