Saturday morning, I did not want to race. I woke up with a slightly congested head and I was tiiiired. Travis was too. We were crabby to each other all the way to the race. The 5 mile race started at 9:00 and the race site was about 30 minutes from our house. I had wanted to leave between 7:45 and 8:00; we ended up leaving around 8:05. I wasn’t too worried about it because I wasn’t taking this race that seriously. The idea of beating my most recent (and only other) 5 mile pace of 9:59/mile was laughable.
We parked our car by 8:35, easily grabbed our bib and timing chip, went to the bathroom, and before we knew it, it was time to go. We didn’t have time to go back to our car to stow our race shirts, so we just wore them underneath what we already had on. It was 15 degrees as we lined up at the start line. I was wearing my 2XU compression tights (I think those tights have magical powers) with my UnderArmour tights over them; wool socks; a long-sleeve t-shirt (and race shirt) under my bright yellow Brooks jacket; stretchy gloves; ear warmer; and sunglasses. Even though we didn’t have a ton of time between when we got to the race and when it started, we didn’t feel rushed at all.
We even had time for a pre-race picture:
The first mile of the race was really congested. Travis ran at my pace and we tried to find a balance between getting around people and not burning up all our energy. There were so many people that we didn’t even see when we passed the first mile marker. The first time I looked at my watch was when I heard some women near us talking about pace. My watch read 11:38 and I really hoped that that was not our pace. The effort I was putting forth definitely felt like more than that!
Between Mile 1 and Mile 2, we could see the lead runner coming back on the other side of the river (showoff). I kept running at the fastest pace I felt was maintainable for another 4 miles. We got to Mile 2 at 21:38, but we were also running faster at this point than we had been at the beginning so I couldn’t really tell what our pace was until Mile 3. But I was satisfied to know that we were at least running faster than a 10:45/mile.
The sun was out in full force now and even though it was probably still only 20 degrees or so, we started getting a little too warm. I took off my gloves and ear warmer and since my glasses were fogging up (go figure), I pushed them up to the top of my head. Travis was glad that he was wearing shorts and wished that he also had taken off his fleece.
At the turnaround point, we crossed over the river and headed south along the other side.
We hit Mile 3 at 31:20 (sub-10-minute mile) and were still passing people but my negative thoughts reared their ugly heads. I can’t keep this up for 2 more miles. All of these people I’m passing are going to pass me back before the race is over.
Luckily, since I had been thinking about my mental running battle this week, I was able to fight those thoughts. Yes, I can keep this up for 2 more miles. I’ve already made it 3 miles at this pace. Just focus on the stretch I’m running right now. I can do this. I’ve got this.
Having Travis with me was a good encouragement too. (Doesn’t he have a cute smile? It makes me melt.)
We finally hit Mile 4 at 41:15 (another sub-10!) and I was definitely feeling tired. Travis helped me to keep my pace up and I noticed that I had started to run with my head tilted to one side (a sign I was getting tired) so I tried to be mindful to keep good running form. We crossed back over the river and I recognized where we were. The finish line was close… I could hear the announcer over the speakers. I could see hear people clapping and cheering. Then I could see the finish line through the trees.
We rounded the corner, pushed the last hundred feet, and were done. Official time: 51:30, 10:18/mile. 265/440 overall.
Looking at my splits, I think I would’ve beaten my previous 5 mile time if we hadn’t had to fight so much congestion during our first mile:
But it is what it is. I’m just glad that I got out there, ran a fast race, stayed positive, and didn’t give up.
After the race, we grabbed some bagels, orange slices (my new favorite post-race snack), and stretched a bit. There was a vendor giving out samples of Athlete’s HoneyMilk (which I LOVE) so I had one of those too. Then we headed home, showered and made French toast. I ate mine with syrup and warm berries. Mmmm…
We spent the afternoon organizing our home office in preparation for Travis starting to work from home next week and I took a glorious 2-hour nap. For dinner, we ate Qdoba and then went to a friendly pool tournament with some of Travis’ work buddies. The buy-in was $5 a person and we had an odd number of people so I ended up on a team with Travis and his friend Dave. Our team ended up winning and then the 3 of us played cutthroat to decide who would win the pot. Somehow, I ended up winning. We did give Dave his $5 back, plus an extra $10, since he was definitely the best player on our team (and I most definitely was not) but I walked away $20 richer (not counting our original $10)! Sweet! Travis and I are going to use the money to go out to lunch tomorrow, since I have the day off. I’m thinking Yogurtland. 😉 $20 will buy me quite the dish.
I’ll be posting race reviews later this week, for this race and the Ralston Creek Half. The short version is that both races were very well-organized and I would totally recommend them.