The race was at noon on Saturday, and around 10:00am, all of my runner buddies, my husband and I piled into my faithful Judy Blue and drove about an hour to get to the race.
The drive was uneventful - lots of chattering and multiple simultaneous conversations gave an indication to how excited everyone was for the race. We snagged a great parking spot, picked up our t-shirts and bibs, killed a little time, and headed to the start line.
2,000 people were lined up to run the flat, out-and-back 5 mile course. The weather was awesome - low 20s, a very gentle breeze, and sunny, blue skies. Perfect.
My previous 5 mile PR was set in November: 40:19, an 8:04 pace. I knew I could get sub-40, but I wanted to just run as fast as I could and see what I ended up with. My concrete goal was sub-38.
I lined up between the 7:00 and 8:00 minute mile pace groups, and the gun went off. The first mile had a few turns, and lots of passing back and forth as people settled into their groove.
I didn't look at my Garmin until about a half mile in, and it said my average pace was somewhere in the 7:10s or 20s. Seemed a little fast, and I worried about burning out later. Instead of slowing down to a more conservative pace, I just stopped looking at the damn thing.
Mile 2 was great - I knew I was getting close to the turnaround, and I was so excited to see the fast guys pass us on their way to the finish, and to see all of my friends once I hit the turnaround.
The speedy dudes passed, and I mananged a little yell and some clapping as they sped by.
At the turnaround, I was still feeling pretty good, but the pace was definitely a harder effort than when I started. I was at that point in the race where I was hyper-aware of tiny little inclines and the slightest headwind. I get there every race, and it's right around that time that the tiny whiny lazy person in my head tries to persuade me to walk. Or lie down.
But soon, I got the burst of energy that I needed - in the form of red-faced, panting, familiar faces. Rachel first, then a blur of Alicia, Kathy, Matt, Sarah, my husband Nick, and Nikki. We managed some out-of-breath greetings to each other and a couple of awkward high-fives, and soon I spied the mile 4 marker.
I picked it up just a bit for the 5th mile, made the final turn towards the finish line, and finished strong in 37:07.
My splits, courtesy of my trusty 305:
Mile 1: 7:25
Mile 2: 7:19
Mile 3: 7:32
Mile 4: 7:28
Mile 5: 7:19
And the overall stats:
Point Bock 5 Miler
*** 37:07 ***
The two highlights of the race for me:
One, my negative split: 18:35 first half, 18:32 second half... just barely negative, but negative nonetheless!
Two, copious post-race beers with these running superstars:
|Rachel, Sarah, me, Kathy, Lish|
5 girls, 5 PRs, approximately a million beers.
An added bonus: Although I'm really excited the 16 hour track relay on June 21st, I've been pretty apathetic about training for it. This race gave me all the running feel-goods I need to stop being so freaking lazy.