December 2, 2011
Temps- mild, upper 40s PERFECT running weather
The last 5k I ran was actually this exact race last year. Long story short- I went out too fast, got beat up severely by 3 extreme hills within first 1.5 miles, and just not remembering how to run a 5k. It sucked, I walked quite a bit, and haven't run a 5k since.
Fast forward to this year....
I'd like to think that I'm a much stronger, and smarter (sometimes) runner than I was a year ago. I didn't set a goal time for this race other than to just beat last years time, 26:03, and not walk.
B and I left immediately from work to head down to LP Field, pick up our packets, and wait around before the run started. Everything is categorized by your bib # instead of you name, so they had a big board to locate what your number was outside the main tent. Out of the 1700+ runners, B & I just happened to be located next to one another--- apparently we were deliriously happy and thought it was "so cool" and that I needed to take a photo---- but seriously, what are the odds?!?!
Despite living in Nashville and having oodles of local races all year round, neither of us really participate in any of the runs. Part of it is due to the courses being hard with all the hills, and the other is to save money toward our travels for half marathons in every state. After last night and noticing that there are so many people around our age participating, I think we may be registering for more in the future (Josh W- if you're reading this, that means that YES, I will actually be running in TN haha)
After a quick breeze through with packet pickup, there was still well over an hour till race start, so we killed some time people watching, stretching, talking, and taking photos
B modeling the free reindeer noses they gave out to all the runners
Merry Christmas everyone!
At some point I got ridiculously 'drunk happy' and no we weren't drinking. I really wanted B to capture a "jump picture", yet the timing with my camera was all off, so unfortunately, you just get this....
a bunch of blurry failed attempts
B had an idea to take a video and then she can still a frame and use that as a photo- still didn't work out...
One thing I will say--- attempting about 10 "jump shots" is an excellent warm up pre race...
2 thumbs up
Our 3rd partner in crime, Michael, shows up and we finally make our way to the start line...
*side note Michael and I have ran a few times together during lunch- he is the most mechanically efficient runner I have ever met, so I was excited he actually joined us for a race*
Learning from last years cluster fiasco, we lined up close to the starting line to avoid as many walkers and strollers as possible (another goal I had was to not get passed by strollers)
This photo is not zoomed in, we just happened to get that sweet of a spot :)
I was a little nervous running without music since this course is ridiculously challenging, but I knew the only time it would really come in use was when the crowds thinned out about mile 2.
Gun goes off, don't get pushed around like last year, and make my way out the chute and up the first major hill.
Since I started so close to the actual start line, its nice to not fight through crowds, but also not get whizzed by people which forces me to go out fast. Because I knew the first hill was a doozy, I kept a steady pace up it, flew down 2nd avenue, and still had some energy left for the long incline up broadway.
Mile 1 - 7:32.
I remember last year the crowds were plentiful in the heart of downtown- although this year bodies were present, there wasn't much cheering which always seems to motivate me. This year I was surprisingly in what's still in considered the "front of the pack" aka first 100 people, so there weren't a lot of people passing me (which is nice) but I wasn't passing anyone myself.
I love love love turnarounds because you get to see the leaders as they make their way back, as well as wave to your friends when you pass eachother. Breeze down broadway and begin what I consider the "hell climb" aka 2nd avenue.
I've ran up 2nd avenue in various races probably 4 or 5 times and I can say with great confidence that it doesn't matter how in shape I am, it.is.hard. My goal was to not walk up this hill and try not to lose too much time on it.
This is about 1/2 way up 2nd ave with still more to climb- at least its GORGEOUS!
Once 2nd ave is complete it feels like a breath of fresh air for your legs, you get a nice decline and then shortly after you hit mile 2.
Mile 2- 8:05
Most people I talked to didnt' see mile 2 because the lights weren't on for a good portion of the downhill of one of the bridges- not very safe and it definitely made me go slower and watch every step.
Finally we get back into LP field parking lot for the most boring part of the run- cement parking lot circling the entire stadium.
My legs are like lead, I know I'm fading, but I'm still running next to the guy in the hot dog costume. I've been with him for a solid mile now and literally every 5 seconds someone yells "Hey its a hot dog!!" or "Where's the ketchup" or some other annoying comment about his costume. It's time to lose him so I don't have to listen to another obnoxious blurt out (again why I wear head phones)
Even after I pick up the pace, this girl who I've been playing leap frog with the entire race passes me- discouraging. Since I ran this race last year, I know exactly where I am in relation to the finish line, so I wait until my watch beeps at the 3 mile mark (the course measures long, so the 3 mile mark the race has, is too late to do a 'sneak attack' because its when the finish line is in view)
Sure enough as soon as my watch clicks 3 miles, we still aren't to the corner you have to turn before seeing the straight away, but I pick it up anyway
Mile 3 - 7:43
I kick it in with all i've got, there is no one to pass, boo, but at least no one passes me either. I get discouraged that I see the clock reading 24 because I only had 1 mile over 8 min, an 8:05, so how could I run in the 24s?!?!
I never claimed to be good at math-- I always forget its OVER 3 miles silly.
last .19- 6:38
Garmin time: 24:24
Chip time : 24:26
This is where i never know what to count. I had 3.19 miles at 24:24 which gives me a 7:40 total pace. They have 3.1 with a time of 24:26 with a 7:53 pace. Obviously my garmin sounds way better, but it makes you wonder which one to trust. Michael had his measure a little over 3.2.
We wait for B to finish head over to the tent before the crowds get there and scarf down on pizza, donuts, granola bars, and bananas.
They put up the results of everyone who finished in 26 min or less and I saw that I was 4th in my age group, which is really cool considering I haven't placed in a race since high school- but the amount of local races I've done since then have amounted to 4, including this one, so my odds haven't been very good. The guy posting the results said I may get lucky and have one of the girls ahead of me place in the top 3 overall females, bumping me to top 3 in my age group.
Lady Luck was on my side.....
I didn't stick around, so hopefully whatever my award is, they'll mail it to me!
I was wrong earlier in saying there were a ton of people my age that ran, more like a ton of people who look my age. I think its hilarious a whole 3 min and 3 sec passed between me and the 2nd place girl, but alas a win is a win! I'm anxious to see if there are other local little races I can do now to see if I maybe can place again?!?!
All in all it was a much better experience than last year- still hard, just better mentally and physically prepared :)