Saturday, January 7, 2012

I Did It! My First 5K Race Report

Okay, so it's not my first 5K race EVER, but it is my first in a long time. I think my last one was in ... 2002 or 2003! Anyhow, if you want the short version here goes: I was hoping for a time under 27:30 and I finished in 26:30! I'm pretty happy with that! If you want the crazy long details, read on!

The race I ran was the Twinsburg Bogsucker Strut. There were very few people there (maybe 35,) but that was fine with me -- less competition = a better chance of me winning something! :-) After I checked in, I looked to find a course map. It was just as I had feared -- a somewhat hilly course! I've done next to no hill work, so this was making me nervous. Oh well, too late for that! As the day started, there was pretty thick fog. As race time approached, much of it had lifted, but it was still pretty hazy. As I stepped up to the race line, I was getting butterflies in my stomach. I couldn't stand still -- I kept hopping around. Finally, the siren sounded and we were off. The race was downhill much of the first half so I took advantage and let my legs carry me down the hills. I kept thinking, "Boy, I hope I'm not going too fast! I've got to save some for the end!" Pace was my biggest worry going into this thing. Anyway, I get to the 1st mile marker and I heard my time -- 8:08. Whoa / uh-oh! That's way faster than I had planned on, but I was running on a downhill. I thought, "Well, I'll just do the best I can to maintain my effort." As the course evened out, I started to get discouraged that I was further back in the pack than I would have liked. I kept reminding myself of all the advice I've heard the past few day: Don't worry about anyone else -- run your own race! So that's exactly what I did. When I approached the 2 mile mark, I heard my time: 16:55. I thought GREAT! Even if I run my last mile in 10 minutes, I will still beat my goal time of 27:30...then I remembered that the last mile is all uphill! As soon as I approached that hill, I started to get SO tired! I even had thoughts of walking it! I had a little lazy devil whispering in my ear, "Nobody will see you if you want to walk a little!" But in the other ear, my running angel, "You can do it! Don't quit now! Remember -- just a 10 minute mile and you'll reach your goal! You've run farther than this!" Luckily the angel won and not only did I run that hill, but I picked up pace along the way (at least I felt like it!) My Nike+iPod telling me that I was just 800, then 400 meters to the finish surely helped too! Finally, I made the last turn and headed to the finish line. Those last 400 meters were the hardest! As I got closer to the finish line, I keep squinting to see the clock. The earliest I could see it, it said 26:12...13...14... I thought, "OMG, I can make it in 26:30 -- hurry! I tried to turn it on as much as I could, but there wasn't much left in me. I think I came in at right at 26:30. I am pretty happy! To top that off, I ended up winning first in my age group and got a cool medal! Now sure, there may have been just one other person in my age group I think, but shhhh -- don't tell! :-)

So there you have it -- my first race back! My next race is another 5K, the Tallmadge Memorial 5K on May 26th. That's in 10 weeks! Here are my goals and things to work on:

Goal time: as close to 26:00 as possible (Do you think that is reasonable?)

Things to work on: (1) hills, (2) a finishing kick, (3) increasing LSD for 10K and half-marathon! Can't forget about those! :-) Any other suggestions?

Thanks for reading!

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