On March 13 (my 30th birthday!), I woke up to a pretty miserable day, weather-wise. (In fact, this terrible day really affected the whole weekend, which included a trip for what was supposed to be happy birthday fun times in NYC, but ended up being a lot of sitting on a delayed train, or being soaking wet and kind of miserable.) But! I love birthdays. Like, to an unreasonable degree. (Did you see the recent HIMYM with Lily’s birthday? Yeah, that’s me. But without the photographs.) And I was SO excited to run a race, in the rain, on my birthday. And no, I am not being at all sarcastic. I really was excited to kick off my 30s with the start of another race season.
(Like how I refer to it as “race season” as if I am fast, or something? I’m not. But it’s still fun!)
When we walked up to the race start, which was at a local Irish bar, it was drizzling out. I wore my Army Ten Miler hat from last year’s race, which was great at keeping the rain out of my eyes. I don’t usually run with hats or sunglasses, but it was definitely needed on that day. While we were waiting for the race to start inside the bar, it started POURING outside. Buckets. Luckily, a few minutes before the race it let up and just was a steady drizzle throughout the race. I actually don’t mind (and sometimes prefer, if it’s summer) light rain during a race, because I tend to overheat very easily. I didn’t have that problem at all this time, and only needed a little bit of water from the water station, instead of carrying my own 16oz water bottle for the race.
The course is an out-and-back, with about 1 mile of downhill to start, 2 flat miles in the middle, and 1 mile uphill to end. We’ve done a few races that cover some portion of this course and I love having the downhill to start, because it gives you a great first mile time. :-) I know that all I need to do is lengthen my stride and gravity does most of the work. I ran my first mile in 9:00!
The second and third miles are very flat. Because it was rainy out, there weren’t many people on the streets watching. (Not that many people come out to watch a 5K, but sometimes there will be passersby that stop and watch on their way to wherever, or while waiting for an appropriate time to dash through the race and across the street.) I did the second mile in 10:07 and the third mile in 10:12. (This actually means it was my fastest race 5k ever!)
Then, came the uphill. Before starting the race, I was hoping for a 44 minute finish, which I was fairly certain I could beat. After the first three miles, with a time of 29:19, I thought maybe, just maybe I’d be able to finish under 40, which would be a TOTAL shock, and the fastest pace I’d ever run a race. (Well, over 200M, that is.)
I didn’t make it. The first of the two big hills in that last mile did me in. I ran most of it, and then when this guy on the sideline said “You’re almost done! It’s all uphill from here,” I started walking. I think at that point I was walking faster up the hill than I’d been running anyway, plus I was almost at the top of the first hill, but hearing that at that time was it. So I walked about 50 meters or so, if that, up the rest of the hill, and then ran the rest of the race. I finished in 40:54! In fact, I finished so far ahead of where I expected, Adam didn’t even see me finish because he wasn’t looking for me yet. :-) While it wasn’t under 40, I still crushed my original expectations of 44 minutes.
Here’s one of the official race photos of me, coming up the last hill of the race, just before the finish line…
Distance: 4 Miles
Next race: the first of the 5K Fridays. My goal is to go under 31 minutes, but it’s going to be 80 degrees and it’s been a while since I’ve run in that heat. My friend Carolyn will be running with me… it’s her first race, but she’s faster than I am, so hopefully I can keep up with her and beat my goal.