It takes a certain kinda crazy to set your alarm for 5:45 and leave the house before the sun rises. Just so that you can make it early morning run you've paid $30 for the privilege of running.
Especially when said morning is unseasonably cool.
All your insanity is justified when you arrive race day to see that the starting line is beside a
The dedication of the elite athletes as well as the hand chair competitors is enough to get you pumped for the start.
My goal for this race was to beat last year's time. Actually it was a new PR, but I was so nervous that I wouldn't be able to meet that, I padded it by giving lip service to the slightly easier goal.
Either way this was my corral.
Too bad I was the only one that really paid attention to the corrals. I spent the first half mile of the race passing people. I mean really? The dude walking in jeans thought that he belonged in the sub 10 m/m corral?
The down hill portion of the race started shortly before the 1 mile marker. I checked my watch: 10:15 - on pace for a PR. I knew that the uphill was coming though, so I wasn't going to get excited just yet. I tried to ride out the downhill, but still the congestion of the crowd made it difficult for me to pick up any good momentum. Then again the lack of that speed also kept me from tumbling down the hill. I guess that's a lose/win situation.
At the bottom of the hill it was time to turn around and head back. I can tell that I haven't been doing any hill work lately because my breathing got a lot tougher during this part. Just short of the top of the hill was the 2 mile marker.
Watch check - 20: 29. I was still on pace for a PR. Then another downhill. This time the crowd had thinned out enough that I was able to run my race and go the faster downhill speed that I wanted. Rounding the corner at Cumberland and Kingston Pike I had one last downhill, then the end was near.
As ominous as that sounds - its really that bad.
This is the home stretch. I'd guess its the 2.5 mark or so. Towards the top of this hill there is a 26 mile marker for the marathon folks. I took that as my "almost there" tip off to kick it up a notch. Then of course the 3/13 mile marker told me it was time to sprint. I passed several people sprinting into the stadium. I hadn't known how I was going pace wise, so just before I crossed I noticed that the 5K clock read 32 minutes and some change.
A NEW PR!!
I kept sprinting until after the finish line (not stopping my watch immediately for pictures) and a moment later I stopped my watch.
I had forgotten about the delayed start. I didn't just set a new PR - I crushed the old one! My old PR was 33:08 - not a bad improvement for someone who hasn't trained all that much!
My official chip time was 31:35.
Which means my goal of a sub 30 minute 5K isn't all that out of reach. If only I could find a flat course around here! (Fat chance.)
I'm excited to see the official race photos - I hope mine crossing the finish line turns out.
Now its time to get back to training for the SMARM 5K. Maybe with a consistent month I'll hit my goal for that race too.