Thursday, October 13, 2011

Race Recap - Warrior Run 5K

My first 5K, the Cheetah Run, ended in 26:22. I knew I could do better, so I decided to sign up for the Warrior Run since my Running Buddy said that it was flat. Yay for flat! My goal was to halve my 10K PR of 51:49, which would be 25:54. Oh, who am I kidding? My heart was going for 25 or bust, regardless of what my head was doing.

There was confusion at the starting line, mainly because there was no real start line, just a sign stuck in the grass. That meant no starting chip time. There was a finish mat, but all of our times would be based on clock time. That meant that if I wanted to meet my goal, I had to stick myself close to the front of the crowd so that I didn't waste time weaving through walkers. I'm not used to being up there. That's me in the white tank all the way over on the left.

(Source: Warrior Run)

It was total chaos. I'll admit to being a tattle-tale and telling the race director about the girl behind me with the metal razor scooter when she didn't listen to the people asking her to move. Someone could have gotten hurt with that thing.

Anyway. The two women directly behind me were also going for 25 minutes, difference being that they were both in their 50s! They both ended up finishing just in front of me. I'm seriously impressed and hope that I'm in that good of shape when I'm that age. I also loved that there were so many kids running the race. It was really great to see so many young people out moving, especially given the children's obesity epidemic that we're experiencing.

Look at them all go!

(Source: Warrior Run)

I was really counting on my Garmin to make sure that I was on target. I looked down when I thought we should be around the first half mile, and was shocked to see the screen reading 4.71 miles! I had forgotten to reset it after my run earlier in the week. Damn! There went keeping track of my splits.

This is where I realized that I really, really hate the 5K distance. I've started to really enjoy long runs. I can start off at a manageable pace and then kick it up when I'm ready. My mind gets a lot of time to wander and contemplate my surroundings. I can relax. 5Ks? Totally different story. From the starting gun I'm just a frantic whirling mess. My brain is moving faster than my legs, thinking about nothing but the road under my feet and the discomfort in my lungs, willing my legs to move faster to keep up. It's like my brain and my heart are at war with each other for that period of time - my heart telling my body to hang in there, it's ok, we're almost there, it's only 3 miles, YOU CAN DO IT! GO TEAM! - and my body on the verge of exhaustion, asking why, why, WHY? are you doing this to me? while staging a revolt that makes me feel like I'm going to toss my cookies at any second. My lungs burn and my mouth is dry and my legs feel rubbery, but then I look up and I see the finish clock and there's a 24:xx staring at me, and I know that I've got it, so I pick it up and sprint like an idiot toward the line, hoping that I can get there before the red LEDs flash over to 25:xx.

And then I do, and it's amazing because when I started running in January I was happy with the idea of just finishing a marathon under 6 hours and completely content to be a slow runner in the back of the pack, but I've somehow managed to train myself into being more than that. I'm still not fast - I'm in no danger of ever actually winning a race of any kind - but I'm better than I thought I could be. For someone who regularly underestimates and undervalues themselves, that's a B-F-D.

Now if I could get a winter 5K (it was in the 70s when we lined up) that has an early start time (evening runs aren't my favorite), maybe I can do even better....

Final score?
24:29 (7:53 pace)
60/357 overall
12/186 women

Age/Sex Division winner! Can you believe it?? I got a flipping sweet water bottle for my troubles.

Running Buddy also ran the Warrior Run 5K, and then she did a duathalon (is that even a word?) the next morning because she's crazy. She doesn't have a recap up for either of them, but I'm sure the stories will be great :)

Why didn't we get a picture??

Possibly the best part was seeing my friend and old cube-mate, Lynn. I never in a million years thought we'd be running together - she was also my P90X coach and has had a million knee surgeries.

Yay Lynn!

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