Anyone who has read much of my blog knows that I'm not really a 5K kind of girl. I usually only run one or two a year, and I'm always glad to get them behind me. I feel like the 5K is a dead sprint for 3.1 miles, and God didn't bless me with many sprinting skills.
Nonetheless, I've run in the Howl at the Moon 5K the past two years. I also won my age group both times, mostly due to the small ground. Of course, it's still an accomplishment that pleases me, and I like running at night... so it was easy to decide to run again.
I got to the park early and got checked in. It turns out I was the very first person to register, so I was assigned #1!
My little sister decided to run and brought along some of her other friends. As we were waiting around, we noticed the robin from Red Robin and had to take a picture.
It wasn't long before it got dark, so we snapped a group photo before heading to the start line. My friend Matt decided to come out as well... I like how our group photo has all the little short shorts and then Matt's manlier shorts.
I knew that I wasn't anywhere near in as good of shape as I was last year at this time when I ran this race and got a PR by over a minute. I really wanted to try to PR again this year, but I knew ahead of time that it was unlikely. I've been running, but not enough to really shoot for that. I also knew that my sister does better than me at short distances, so it wasn't long before I had to let her pull ahead of me.
When I got to mile 1, I saw 7:12 on my watch. My philosophy had been to just run as hard as I could, try to hang on and hope for the best. I was definitely feeling it, and the smells of all the fast food places we were running by in town were turning my stomach a bit. I hate smells when I'm running.
We made it to the turnaround, and I walked for a few seconds while I got a few sips of water. Heading back to the park involved a steady incline. Between that and me not being in 5K shape, I slowed down and saw 15:40 at mile 2. Of course, an 8:30 mile isn't half bad.
I kept pushing and managed to pass a couple of people in the last mile or so. The only people who passed me the whole time were men, and I don't mind that as much as when women do, haha.
I kicked it in the best I could.
I ended up finishing around 24:50 (results haven't been posted yet), which is only 10 seconds slower than last year. I was a little annoyed at first because I got really close to a new PR, but I also know I gave it my all. I'll just have to go after it in October when I run the Run for Mercy 5K. It will be flat, and hopefully the weather will be MUCH cooler.
We all enjoyed some refreshments, and my sister won a Road ID gift certificate as a door prize. We both ended up winning 2nd place in our respective age groups. I may not have defended my title, but I was still pretty excited to get an age group award. That so rarely happens for me.