Saturday, October 27, 2012

Race Report - Pumpkins in the Park 5k

I ran another 5k this morning.  Yet another attempt in my 2012 quest to run one in under 30 minutes.  I had been unsuccessful all year:
  • Flying Pig 5k - 32:51
  • CDR 5k - 31:29
  • Pumpkin Run 5k - 32:02
  • Spooktacular Scott Teays 5k - 31:06
I was beginning to think it was never going to happen; that I had given up speed in exchange for distance.  They say that long slow distance makes long slow runners.  Don't know about the long part (although I'm fairly tall, I think I'd be that way anyway, running or no ;-) ), but the slow part is pretty accurate.  I know, I know, speed and slowness are relative to the runner.  My slow is another runner's fast; my fast is another runner's slow. But however you look at it, as I've spent 2012 training for 2 half marathons (one in April, one in 2 weeks) and for the 60 mile Komen walk, my pace has slowed down and my 5k time went from 29:17 (my PR) in Dec 2011 to 32:51 in May 2012 (actually not my PW - that would be 36:something in Sept 2009). 

At the beginning of the year, fresh off the 29:17 PR, I set a goal for 2012 to get under 27 minutes before the end of the year.  I thought it would be easy. But as the year progressed, and reality set in, I've revised that goal - it now stands at finishing in under 29 minutes before the end of the year IF I could meet the goal of once again being under 30.  One minute at a time, right?

So I set out this morning for another attempt.  It was a cool, damp, grey and kind of dismal morning.  But I did my best to cheer it up by wearing my super fun green sparkle skirt and some rather awesome black and white striped tights.  I was wearing fun clothes, therefore the race was going to be fun.  Who can have a bad day while wearing awesome striped tights?  Not this girl!

I was totally relaxed and had no real expectations for the race, other than to finish (finishing under 30 would just be icing on the cake; after so many "failed" attempts, I'd given up on pressuring myself).  The race itself was also fairly relaxed; it was a popsicle stick race so there were  no numbers and no chips - you just run and grab a stick as you cross the finish line. 

I found a good position for the start and started well, with a good, but maybe slightly fast, pace.  I took a peak at the Garmin and was kind of surprised at how easy the pace it said i was running felt.  But since i was only a half mile in, I slowed it down a tad.  Easy at mile 0.5 is not always so easy at mile 2.5.  But I kept it pretty steady, and felt really good most of the way - mile 1 was awesome (9:31mpm);  mile 2 was ok (9:41); I picked it back up in mile 3.  I was well on track for a finish in under 30, and maybe, just maybe, in under 29:30...

heading for the finish line
But with about a quarter mile to go, potential disaster struck - my shoe came untied.  Obviously, I had 2 choices - stop and tie it or let it go and hope i didn't trip.  Might not have been the wisest choice, but I chose the second.  I was so close to the finish and so close to my goal that I was just going to go for it with laces flapping.  But for safety's sake because of the flapping laces, I decided against the all-out sprint for the finish I had been saving up energy for and just ran to the finish at the same pace.  Didn't see the official time on the clock as I grabbed my stick, but I stopped the Garmin at 29:37!!

Happy finisher on the Capitol steps
Success!! Finally got my under 30 finish!  Without the untied shoe, I could probably have gotten under that even more elusive under 29:30.  But you can add up the if's all day (if I'd trained harder; if my shoe hadn't come untied, etc...) but they don't change the facts.  I ran the race i ran....

And it was awesome!

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