Today was my first 5K of 2013. I haven't run a race since November, and I haven't done a 5K since October (Nov was a 10K) and both of those were before the ice formed everywhere, so I wasn't really sure where to set my goals. Add in that I realized at bedtime last night I forgot to carb load (I noticed I always run better after a great Italian meal!), I forgot my waterbottle, and my YakTrax broke on my last training run and I wasn't feeling like it was going to be a great race.
As we all gathered in the lobby of the health club before the race, I was sizing up the competition and feeling way out of my league. Everyone looked fit and eager to run. There was even a guy doing sprints in the parking lot. I thought, "What did I get myself into? Clearly these people are much more hardcore than I, and I'm going to run with them?" The herd moved to the starting line and the organizer started making announcements about when the next race would be, etc. He then segued into telling us the route. He's listing off the places we'll turn and I'm silently panicking. I'm thinking I'm here, out of my league, in an area I've never run in, and I have to remember the route? As I looked around, I saw the same panic in other runners' faces and when there was a break in his talking another runner asked if there was going to be a person at the turns. Yes, a person and a traffic cone. Whew!
He counted us down, and we were off-straight into a nice big, long hill. I started thinking that I took off at too fast of a pace and would burn out by the end, but I kept going. After about half a mile my body stopped arguing and went with the new pace. I was running along thinking I must be going at a 9:30 pace...ok, maybe 10:00, which is still great compared to my training pace of around 11:30. Endomondo finally chimed in at a mile to tell me my pace was 9:39. At first I was super excited, then I got pessimistic and figured I'd burn out at that pace. I tried really hard to keep that pace, but it was just a little too much for me. Mile two was 9:53 and mile three was 10:03. At the finish line I was clocked at 31:45. I did also notice that it was more than 3.1 miles. I clocked it at 3.23, which y'all know bugs me! However, as you can see from my sidebar, I took the full time of today's run and compared it to the full time of my Pepperfest run (my previous PR) and beat it by about a minute and a half. Score!