I've been eyeing the Catch Me If You Can 5K in Garner, NC, for a few weeks now, but finally registered for it last Wednesday. I had to get up at 5 AM this morning, which was harder than I expected it to be! I had laid everything out last night, so it was fairly easy to get myself together this morning. The only thing I didn't do last night was check the weather forecast for Garner this morning, and when I opened the door this morning to leave for the race, I saw that it was raining! Oy!
I paused briefly, but decided to head down the road anyway, since I'd already paid for the race. Surely, the rain would stop by race time!
It took me about 35 minutes to get to the race start and get my race number. The races (my 5K and a 10K too) started and finished at a strip mall, Aversboro Square, so the bathrooms were nice--a big improvement over the usual porta-johns, only we had to go upstairs to use them! I ran into Hardin Watkins, the Town Manager of Garner, who was participating in the 10K, and it was nice catching up with him. (Hardin is a marathoner, and part of the Raleigh Galloway Training Group too.)
The rain did slow down to barely a spit, so I thought it was be a perfectly cool, cloudy morning for a race! The 10K started first, then after about 5 minutes, the 5K started. Initially, I tried 0:30/0:30 run/walk intervals, but my legs were pretty tired and creaky from yesterday's 3-miler with the Raleigh Galloway group, so I took it down to a walk after a while, and worked on my walking form, especially with using my arms and keeping my chin (which tends to drop when I'm tired) up.
Within the first mile, I had to go to the bathroom, and while I eyeballed some bushes and a convenience store along the route, I made it to the finish line for a gun time of 1:00:52.8. If I'd made a pit stop, I would've missed out on the "00" part of the time. Slow as I am, it's the little victories that count! :)
The course was mostly residential, with some "rolling hills." It was pretty, but it was wet! The rain picked up while we were on the course, but there wasn't any thunder, so we kept going. One volunteer, under her umbrella, actually said, "Isn't it miserable out there in the rain?!" Another volunteer along the course said, "Are you the last one?" I told her I was probably the last 5Ker, but I didn't know about the 10K runners. I was a little grumpy by then because of the run, and that didn't help! She probably wasn't having much fun out in the rain, herself!
I was, indeed, the last 5K participant, but came in before a handful of 10K runners. My finish time was slightly faster than my current training pace, but not a 5K race pace of old. It's a good place to restart, though. In fact, Buckeye Outdoors, my favorite online training log, is back up after a hardware crash. All of the runner data was lost, so when I put this morning's race in, it told me that it's a personal record! I know better, but it's a nice place to restart!