Yesterday, I completed my fourth 5K of 2010, the Run for the Oaks in Raleigh, NC, and I'm excited to report that it was my best 5K time of 2010! I crossed the finish line with a gun time of 46:51 and a chip time of 46:35.
The weather was overcast and in the 50s, so it was great weather for the start of the race! (There had been a decent chance of rain 10 days out, and even earlier in the week.) I met up with work colleagues Samantha and Karen, and we signed up together as a team in this race, which was the first in the Eastern Carolina Corporate Cup Road Race Series for this year. (I tried to organize a Duke team for last year's Run for the Oaks, but it didn't work out at the last minute, as we ended up being one person short of an official team.) This was Karen's first race ever, so I was happy that she was willing to be part of our team too!
I was a little tired from the start, and I think it was partly because I hadn't slept well Wednesday and Thursday nights. I went to bed early Friday night, and had one of those sleeps that had me feeling kinda groggy and hung over (eventhough I hadn't had any alcohol) when I woke up with a start when the alarm clock went off yesterday morning.
It was a great morning to be out on the streets of Raleigh, though, and I had hopes of getting a PR for this year from the start of the race. The first mile felt pretty good, but I sagged a little in the second mile, and I became aware of the cop car iddling not far behind. Somewhere along the way, I caught up with teammate Karen, and I thought about what I'd tell her if she worried about the cop car. "Don't worry about it!!" So, we both forged ahead, doing our own running and walking patterns as we needed to. I was glad that Karen and I were near each other for encouragement and comraderie, eventhough we were going at our own pace. (She was actually ahead of me for most of the race!) There were a few other run/walkers around us, in fact, so it was all good. Nobody asked us to move off of the city strees and onto to the sidewalks, even! :-) I was able to pick up the speed a bit in the last mile of the course, and the last turn in the course revealed the finish line a couple of tenths of a mile ahead, with a nice downhill in. Karen and I decided to cross the finish line together, and Samantha was already there to cheer us in! (Congrats to both Samantha AND Karen!)
My mile splits were:
I wonder if I went out too fast in the first mile, probably by a bit. Otherwise, it was a decent race for me, and I was happy to find out at home that I beat my 5K time from last September's Anna's Angels 5K, to boot, in addition to getting a 2010 PR. My next goal will be to pull in a sub-45 min. 5K, as I pull my race times on down.
I enjoyed hanging out with Samantha and Karen a bit after the race. I also chatted with Shannon and Tracey, local runners from the SparkPeople website, as well as some folks I know from the Raleigh Galloway training group. Samantha had to head home, so Karen and I stayed for the awards ceremony, to see if our team placed. (I'd noted only two other Women's Open teams when we registered, so I thought we'd have a chance of getting some sort of prize! It turns out that we did! Our team got the 3rd place plaque for the division! Okay, so it was a "showing up" prize, since only three teams signed up for our division, but after last year's unsuccessful bid at putting a corporate team together, I was grateful to have enough runners show up for a team this year, and I was pretty darn pleased for the three of us! We did better than just "show up" for this race, we had fun too!
Since Samantha needed to head home, Karen and I got someone to take a picture of us with our plaque:
This was the fifth race in this spring's Second Empire Grand Prix Series. I'm looking forward to competing in the next two 5K races in the series! I don't think I'll be ready for the half marathon at the series' end, but finishing seven out of the eight races will allow me to attend the series-end awards luncheon at series-sponsoring Second Empire Restaurant, which I hear is quite nice!