After having the Run for the Roses 5K on my mind for the last month, it feels good to finally have it in the books! It was a race of highs and lows, but in the end, I got a PR for 2010, and I'm pretty satisfied with that!
SparkPeople.com, and learned that she was planning to run this race as well. We actually recognized each other from our profile pictures, which was a nice thing! We got someone standing nearby to take our picture together before the race to record the meeting--fun!
I warmed up with an 11 minute walk before the race, and thoroughly enjoyed being out in the sunshine this afternoon. It was a beautiful day, and after so many cloudy days lately, it lifted my spirits and helped me feel hopeful about the race.
The 5K started promptly, and the first mile went pretty well. In that time, Steph, an ERUUF and running friend who was doing some mileage before the race, caught up with me and decided to run/walk with me. It was nice to have the company as we worked through the miles. I'm usually going so slowly that I'm on my own with the running, so the company was good!
Somewhere between the 1st and 2nd mile, the police car at the end actually went ahead of me, and said we should consider running on the sidewalks when they were available! I was thrown off kilter by this, since I could tell by my Garmin that I was ahead of last month's 5K pace, and I've never had the police car escort actually pass me before. One of my mini-goals for today was to stay ahead of the police escort, so that unnerved me a little. Having Steph there helped me shrug it off, and we plugged along, mostly on the streets.
By the way, my prerace plan was to run for .60-.70 of a mile, then walk for .10 of a mile, then repeat throughout the race. I ended up doing a .70 run/.10 walk ration, partly because I wanted a PR, and partly to get done with it.
At the halfway water stop, one of the volunteers (and someone I know through road racing) started shouting something to us, but we couldn't really understand what she was saying. Then we realized we heard something about sidewalks. It made me feel kinda strange, like I didn't deserve to use the roads because I was so slow. Besides, the asphalt is easier on my IT bands than the concrete sidewalks, and there's less of a chance for my clumsy self to trip and fall on the road. So Steph and I stayed put for as much of the rest of the course as we could, hopping on the sidewalks for only a short segment toward the end of the 3rd mile. Oddly enough, I ran into that volunteer after the race, and she had something to say about my lack of sidewalk use again! I mentioned that I made it to the finish safely, and she replied, "Thank goodness for that!" No congratulations or anything. George heard the exhange, and said, "Well, at least she cared." Hrrrmmmpphhh! (Am I being sour grapes about this? An unsportsmanlike race participant? I'm not sure. This majority of this race, including the last half of it at least, was on neighborhood streets that weren't all that busy, at least until part of the third mile when we did get on the sidewalk. The race information didn't mention a time limit, either.)
The North Carolina Roadrunners Club president was doing the sweep, and ran the last little bit in with us. Again, the additional company was nice, since there have been plenty of times when I waddled in on my own. George ended up spotting me on the way to the finish line, and he ran with us for the final bit as well. It felt a bit like an entourage! Oddly enough, the police car mentioned before was parked length wise across the street as we made the final turn toward the finish line, so that he was between us and the finish! Odd! There were enough of us together that he saw us, hopped into his car, and backed up for us to pass! (Okay, this shouldn't have been an issue!)
After the race, I met someone (Sarah) from the Durham Spark Team on SparkPeople, which was fun! TWO fellow SparkPeople--cool! I also had a nice chat with my running coach (who was the first female to cross the finish line today--congrats, Brennan!).
On the way home, George and I stopped at Panera, where I had a big honkin' salad, and gave George my side of bread. (Low carb dieting can be a bitch sometimes, but I felt pretty smug later!)
The official results are in, and I finished with a chip time of 47:58, and a gun time of 48:24! Yes, it's still mighty slow by most runners' standards, but it's race progress I haven't seen about a year. Taking off about a minute and a half is a nice reward, but I did finish last, 430/430. I have another 5K in a couple of weeks, so I need to stay focused. Can I break 45 minutes by then? We'll see! It's definitely time for me to look ahead, and not dwell on the small weirdnesses of today's race. It's over! Thanks for listening!