I chose this race because it was sure to be a super small race. It started at 3:00 pm, which is a late start for me--usually I run at 8:00 in the morning. So I wasn't sure how the time difference would affect me. I like to run on an empty stomach, but I obviously wasn't going to skip breakfast and lunch to do this race. I had a protein shake for breakfast, and a lunch that I'm sure was delicious but my nerves were so bad that I could barely choke it down.
Anyway, it was raining all morning, and really windy. I kept hoping that the weather would get better before the race, but it didn't :( I didn't care though, because I wasn't going to let anything stop me from running this race today.
|Beautiful day for a race|
The race director said, "Okay ready? 3...2...1...GO!" She started the timer, and we were off. Only one person went past me in the beginning, so I felt like I started in the right spot. Shortly after we started running, the rain really picked up and it was soon pouring. I was totally drenched. It was 37 degrees, pouring rain, and super windy. My hands were frozen, so I pulled my sleeves over my hands, but it didn't help much. I glanced at my Garmin a couple of times in the beginning, and saw that I was running at a 6:00/mi pace--way too fast! I kept reminding myself that I was running my own race, and I didn't have to run that fast.
|If I didn't get my sub-26, at least|
I looked festive!
My feet were very, very numb from the cold and rain. It felt like I was running on rocks, because parts of my feet were totally numb, and it was just weird. I finally heard the beep of my Garmin, looked down, and saw 7:58. I ran a sub-8 mile! I could feel myself slowing down, though, so I knew that would probably be my only sub-8 mile. To hit my sub-26 goal, I had to run 8:20/mi, so that's what I was focused on. I prayed that the course wouldn't be long.
The second mile, I had serious thoughts about quitting and turning around. My lungs were on fire, I was SO COLD that I couldn't stand it, and my feet were getting more and more numb. I could see the ambulance ahead, where the turn-around point was (it was an out-and-back route). After the turn around, I heard someone come up behind me kind of loud. Then he was right next to me, and he had a damn dog with him. I try to avoid dogs at all costs when I run because I'm terrified of them, but this husky actually seemed to be really well-behaved, and didn't even glance at me. I was thankful for that, but I was still uncomfortable running next to it.
But that guy kept pace with me the whole second half of the race. I tried to pass him, but I was already running as hard as I could. I kept thinking, "I can't let a DOG beat me!" I finally heard the beep at mile two, and I looked at my Garmin: 8:36. Shit. I knew I'd banked some time in the first mile, but I was going to have to really push it hard to finish under 26 minutes.
I felt like I was dying (did I mention how much I hate 5Ks?!) I finally saw the point where we would turn into the school parking lot, and I ran as hard as I could. I passed the guy with the dog, but he was right on my heels. I heard the beep for mile three, and saw: 8:16. I could see the time clock at the finish line, and it read 25:14, so I put everything I had into that last little bit, and crossed the finish "line". I think I stopped my Garmin a couple of seconds after my "actual" finish, but I wasn't sure where the line was. There was a guy there collecting tags from our bibs, and he tore mine off. I could barely breathe, and I was SO relieved to be done!
|Splits: 7:58, 8:36, 8:16, 7:25|
The race director (who is actually part of my wine club!) congratulated me, and I could barely gasp out "Thanks!" I waited around for the awards, because I was pretty sure I'd get something. I was in the top 15 finishers (because I could actually count them while I was running, hahaha), and I know I was the third female overall.
The director waited for everyone to finish, and I just kept getting colder and colder while I waited in the gym. My teeth were chattering so loudly, I'm sure everyone could hear them. I couldn't stop trembling, and my whole body was shaking. Finally, they started the awards. First, they had an award for best costume. There weren't many people who entered for that:
Overall, the race was totally miserable--freezing cold, pouring rain, and super windy. But despite all those uncontrollable things, I'm glad I did it! I reached my sub-26 goal. And I experienced a very intimate race, which was pretty fun!