Saturday started out just right. I woke up early on race morning, and it wasn’t even an early race. 9:30 was the gun, but I was up by 5:00 so I had oodles of time.
Instead of crawling back in bed, as I’m so apt to do, I got up and got moving. First with a warm shower and a cup of coffee.
Apparently you shouldn’t do this right before a race, but I also trimmed the nails on my much hurting toes. I’m not sure if long days in thick boots and socks are the culprit or if maybe my running shoes are wearing down and extra hard on my feet right now?
I also did a few household chores and then decided I had time to go grocery shopping before the race, which was about 1/2 hour drive.
It was hard to know what to wear because temps were about 12 when I left home, but it was supposed to warm to mid-30’s as the day progressed.
I settled on some long, light layers and was quite comfortable.
At the race, everything was bustling. The good weather had a group of almost 350 out for the race. I saw Santa hats, snowflake tutus, and a guy with real spruce branches and lights wrapped around his body. Other runners were in more typical gear.
As we lined up I chatted with another girl, and it occurred to me that I had no timing chip. She didn’t either, and we realized it would just be gun time.
I started about 1/3 of the way back, and I quickly realized I needed to pick up some speed if I didn’t want to get stuck.
After weaving for the first quarter mile I locked into my pace and had plenty of space.
I’m still learning the art of actually racing the 5K, and by mile 1 – or what I think was mile 1 – I was already feeling fatigue.
There were no mile markers, but people yelling splits around 7:40 made me guess I’d hit mile 1. I only had a regular watch so I was running more “blind” than normal.
I tried to hold on to my pace, but I think I wimped out some during mile 2. My stomach was getting tight and a small side ache didn’t help either.
Overall, I would say I felt okay. Not ready to fall apart but definitely wanting to slow down.
After I passed 16:00 I knew I should be past mile 2. It was time to fight. I was hurting, but I was also passing people. I know I got passed a few times during mile 2, but in that last mile I just kept on coming up on people and moving right by them.
Finally I saw the turn to the finish, and I passed a gal with long, curly hair just before the line.
They took our bib number stubs, and the clock was right around 24:00 as I crossed. It wasn’t a PR, but it was a time I could be excited about! 7:45 pace.
I also knew if I’d had a chip time it would probably have been under 24:00. Does that matter? Not really.
There was hot chocolate galore at the finish, and I downed 2 cups along with a few cups of ice water. They were posting official times by that point, and I wandered over to see how close I was to 24:00.
I found my name and was dismayed to see 24:59. How did that happen?? After talking to a few other runners and finding the curly-haired girl I’d finished with, we determined there was indeed some sort of mix-up.
They never announced anything about problems, but when I checked my official time later on it was listed as 24:02.
It’s funny to me that even though I didn’t win an award and I didn’t get a PR, I still care that my time is accurate. Even in the small scheme of things I know it isn’t a big deal. It still felt like at least a small deal until it was fixed.
I’m bummed that they don’t have photos up yet, but I promise you I was festive in my own way. 🙂
I don’t have any of my own photos so you’ll have to wait with me to see them.
When I got home from the race I had a package waiting in my mailbox! The lovely Heidi @ Runaroundaroo shared a shirt with me that didn’t work for her.
It’s lightweight & wonderful; thanks Heidi!
And now my final race of 2011 is in the books. Can’t wait to see what my races will bring in 2012!
Do you have any big events, trips, races, or outings on your calendar yet for 2012?