I picked up my registration packet Friday and got my 2XL shirt. It feels so weird that I can wear a 2XL, when I have worn 3XL for well over a decade. At the last minute, I almost changed my mind and asked the lady for a 3XL, but decided to trust that I was indeed smaller now. The 2XL fits awesome. Someday, it will be loose.
I felt good. My first official 5K was last June when I walked it with my kids. Good times, but now I am able to run the entire distance, so I was really looking forward to making the most of this one.
|Waiting at the starting line.|
I stretched a bit, ran for about 30 seconds as a brief warm-up and quickly realized that I had no idea what I was doing. How do you really warm-up? No matter, I got there shortly before the race began and I just wanted to hear the countdown and go.
|After we start, jockeying for position ahead of the walkers.|
The race started at a school and the route quickly steered us to the soccer field. We first ran the width, then turning and running the length. I didn't expect this. The grass was wet and really thick and it was slow, slogging through this cushy stuff. I could hear some complaining around me, but I was just happy to be out there. I was running at a pretty quick pace (but didn't have a Garmin or anything to give me details).
I may have been running too fast. I had told myself that when I got to the last mile, I would increase my speed and then increase again near the very end. But by the half-way mark, I was feeling pretty tired.
Maybe it was my faster pace, maybe it was the early morning (I usually run at night), maybe ???, but I was breathing harder throughout this entire run than I normally do on my neighborhood runs.
After the soccer field, the route was along the Rillito River. We had to cross two bridges, which meant that we had two clover-leafs per bridge. As I approached the 3rd mile mark, I found that I was breathing so hard (too fast of a pace), that I started to do some brief periods of walking (15 seconds at a time)...but I bet I did that 4-5 times. I hated it. I wanted to be running. I was supposed to be almost sprinting at this point near the end.
There was a teenage boy ahead of me. He had it worse than me. He would run fast, then I would catch up to him as he would be stopped, resting! Then, slowly walking again and sprinting, then stopping. Maybe he was doing drills, who knows. But for the last half-mile, I was just jogging, but felt that I was working hard.
|The final 100 yards! The Fam is cheering me on!|
|After the race, with mixed feelings at this point|
I finished and the official clock read 35:54. Un-officially, since we were not on ankle timers, I know that it took me maybe 10 seconds to get to the starting line after they said "go" and my name was not entered into the computer until they took the tag off my race number, so my real time might have been closer to 35:40, but I'm fine to just go with the official results.
On my neighborhood route (measured by http://www.mapmyrun.com/), my PR is 34:13 and I was not close to beating that, so I initially was a bit disappointed.
But there are a few things now that I will list out now, so that I'll remember how far I've come.
- In May, I was struggling to even run for longer than a minute at a time.
- In early June, I was doing this distance in about 45 minutes.
- My wife heard the organizers announce that this was a slower course, compared to a different course last year.
- The guy who won it this year (Brian Hall) did it in 20:05. He won it last year as well and did it in 17:20. When I compared other racers' times to last year, it seems that everyone's times were slower, so maybe it really was a slower course.
- In my age/gender group, I came in third out of five. A 72 year-old man did it in 29:00! Oh, and Ellie (and 8-year-old girl) came in a minute earlier than me.
- Out of all the 5K runners, I ranked 46 out of 147 total runners. This huge clydesdale came in the top third! That made me pretty happy.
Now, I'll challenge myself for the next official run on 11/6 to see if I can beat 35:54! I wonder what another 15 pounds lost will do to my time?!? Hmm.