Absolutely gorgeous day! The race started at 3, so I had time to putz around the house and try to catch up on laundry and cleaning. The kids woke me up pretty early two mornings in a row, so I was pretty tired and a little worried about being so tired, but I had my “Jumpy Legs” and was anxious for a really good 5-miler. In a weird way, I was actually glad it was 5-miles instead of 3… I doubt I would have stopped at 3 – ha ha. I had a pretty bland lunch of chicken and veggies with no seasoning, followed by some oatmeal and blueberries about 30 minutes before I left. And… because of my dismal tm run earlier in the week, I was very diligent about drinking water! I went to the bathroom about 100 times before the race started, but it was worth it. I got there a bit early so I could walk around and check out all the costumes – There were some pretty funny ones out there! My favorite wasn’t a costume, as much as it was a t-shirt that, really isn’t that funny, but always cracks me up when I see it for some reason… maybe it is my silly sense of humor… I attached a photo of the shirt. The mood was a lot more laid back than most of the other races I’ve been to – a lot of those are hard core Road Runners – this group seemed a lot more fun. Maybe it was the costumes… When it was time to line up, I tried to get a spot closer to the front and waited for the start. Amazingly, I remembered my heart rate monitor, my gps and to set my watch! Woo hoo – hat trick of a perfect start 🙂
Overall, I thought this was a great race, but I had a few odd things happen that kept things interesting… maybe it was the green fingernails…
Odd event #1: Start sensation – I’ve written about this before – recently, I have lined up at races so that I started with folks who are profoundly faster than me. I still don’t know why I do this – maybe because I’d rather be the slower one than have to run around all the folks slower than me… or maybe I think it makes me faster – it is not conscious at this point – I just kind of do it. When the race starts, though, it is pretty surreal feeling because I feel like I’m barely haulin’ it at 12mm miles because all these folks around me are flying and I look down at my watch only to realize I’m trucking it at 7:45 or something insane. Well, I’ve now become so used to that feeling that it is now the norm for me and it seemed markedly odd that I was passing everyone. So, you can imagine my surprise when I felt like I was one of those faster-passer folks because I didn’t get the surreal feeling of everybody passing me. When I looked at my watch about 1/2 mile in, I was doing a solid 7:00mm! Crazy. I felt good, though.
Odd event #2: Opposite Hill Steam. I swear, the whole dang course was a hill. I have also written a lot (especially recently) about Raleigh’s hills. Wow. Now, I’ve run many parts of this route many times, but each run is different and I was a bit tired and it seemed to me to be a pretty hard course. The hills were pretty brutal – the looooonnnngggggg, deceptively shallow kind – the ones I really hate. Ironically, though, the hills at the start of the course seemed harder on me than the ones in the middle and I seemed to really catch my wind at the the end and started passing folks on those hills. That has *never* happened to me – I usually start hills strong. It was upside down day, for sure, on these hills.
Odd event #3: My cheerleader. Not joking – I know I’m pretty new to racing, but I have never had this happen to me. Here we all are, minding our own business, running along, and out of nowhere, this girl comes along and passes me. Ok, no big deal, right, because that happens all the time. What I didn’t expect, however, was that she turned to me and said “great job! Keep up the good work!” What? First, I wasn’t expecting anybody to talk to me so it caught me off guard. My next thought was “awww… how nice & very sportsman like of her” followed by “wait, why did she say that to me instead of the dude on the other side of her?” dunno. She was fast, though – not a show off, but smoked everybody – just sort of weaved her way up to the top of the hill and was gone in no time. Probably one of the top 3 for all I know.
Odd event #4: I forgot how my iPod works. I pride myself on being a bit of a gadget geek, but honestly, in all fairness to me, I still haven’t figured out this new shuffle model… I still can’t get used to the fact that the thing plays without headphones in (none of the earlier gens do that), nor can I get used to how it seems to know what I’m doing and/or feeling and adjusts the music for it (kind of creepy, actually) and played a lot of The Mahones, Stereolab, and Fratellis at just the right times through the first 3 1/2 miles, which was perfect. However, for the last 1 1/2 miles, I must have pressed the wrong button or something because it got stuck on my Man or Astroman? album… not bad, but I wasn’t in the mood for Surf – I wanted my Artic Monkeys!
Odd event #5: d***n gps worked – and was accurate. I think it knew I was considering replacing it and decided to do it’s job yesterday. ‘Bout time, as we like to say here. I was impressed that it was pretty accurate, especially around the Cemetery, which is heavily wooded. Much to my surprise, though, as I passed the 4 mile sign, I looked at my watch and dang if it didn’t say 4 miles on the nose. That’s fine, it’ll save me a few hundred not to have to replace it, but I’m even more confused now than I was before! grrr.
Odd event #6: I forgot that I set lap time at the start of the race. I always start my watch a couple of minutes before gun time to make sure the gps is working and I always set my lap time so that “lap 2” is the race. And… usually I remember that I do that. I’ve been a little out of it lately, so that might explain why I didn’t remember this, but as I’m trudging through the first couple of miles and seeing my pace, it doesn’t match up with my overall time. I keep thinking “dang… seems like I’m going faster than that!” When I get to the last turn – and I see the finish line – I push it a little harder and cross it just so I finish in under 45 mins, which was my goal. I crossed at just short of what was 43 on my watch, and then I looked up and saw 40:22. Wait, what? It literally took me a few minutes to register that my watch had my wait time in there too… geez, what an airhead…
After the race, I caught up with Jenster! We chatted a bit and got a photo (the sticker wouldn’t stay on my nasty, sweaty face – stayed on the boys’ shirts, though – they loved them! thanks again!!). I also ran into one of my friends there who I didn’t expect to be there. Chatted with her and her hubby a bit, and worked my way around to get my glass… or my “prize” as the boys called it – he he. They’re so cute… but I’m biased. I didn’t stick around too much longer because I had to get the boys home to make them dinner. They were a little bummed that they didn’t get a race, though 😦 I’ll have to make sure I find more little guy races for them so the 5yo can add to his medal collection 😀
Results: I came in with a gun time of 40:22, which put me 5th of 141 in my age group. This was officially my first 8K, so I’ll call it my benchmark rather than PR 😉