Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Series 5K

5Ks are tricky. You feel like throwing up the entire time, but you can't justify slowing down because the race will over in the blink of an eye and you will be left feeling you could have done better. I prefer longer distances any day, but of course, like any other runner with the slightest competitve edge, I feel the need to test myself over shorter distances, especially now that I have got a couple of speed workouts in.

I decided to try my luck at the Summer Series organized by our running club. This is a series of 4 5Ks/kids' events across June/July, a great time to hang out, sweat it out and socialize. Last night was the first race of the series. I did not plan to run till the last minute (this is becoming a trend - I can't seem to be able to make up my mind, and there are too many choices), then rushed to get to Buccleuch Park after work by 6 PM, so I could register. I am not an evening runner, so the thought of a 7 PM start makes me cringe. My legs were still sluggish and fatigued from the rough trail run on Sunday and a 6 miler on Monday. And it took a lot of willpower to head to the start of a race while the club members who had shown up to volunteer or socialize were milling about, chatting and eating pizza. After a half-hearted jog and warm-up, I wandered aimlessly, chatting, waiting for the race to start. It was a cross country course, with 2 short, steep hills, some downhill portions and flat ground; grass, dirt road and pavement.

At about 7:10, a brief announcement was made, then 160 runners stampeded across the lawn. Darn! People were fast! I felt like more than half the field was ahead of me and it took all the energy I could muster to keep from falling behind.

I was uncomfortable the entire race. It took me a mile to get my body out of its stupor. The second mile was the fastest. By the end of the second mile, I was ready to retire, but mechanically, the body kept going. Mile 3 was pure torture. I allowed myself to slow down till I completed the 3rd mile, then kicked up the pace when I saw the finish chute. 22:41.

Check out my erratic splits: 7:23, 7:07, 7:49, 0.20 (For the last 0.1 mile nubbin, Garmin showed 0.20 minutes for 0.06 miles). I don't think I will be pacing at any races any time soon! Overall pace: 7:18 per mile, a PR! My last 5K was in 2008, so it's not really a fair comparison, but I am older now, so I should get props for being a faster, older woman!

Place: 64 / 161
Gender Place: 10 / 36

The best part of a 5K is when it's over. Pizza (that was devoured to the last crumb before half the crowd could get to it), beer and companionship awaited.
I came 1st in my age category (or that's what I thought till I checked the results - there was no one else in my age category, ha ha!), and instead of a medal, was handed a sweet-smelling oriental lily plant.
Fancy that! DH was more excited about the plant than I was (I have an unfailing black thumb, you see, so no plant survives under my TLC). I am now inhaling its sweet freshness while strategizing on how to keep it alive. Adios, all!

14 comments:

Erica said...

5K is totally a tricky distance! I prefer a 10K or 10 miler myself! Nice job. And a fun prize!

physikerin said...

Great job! :D Yeeeah that's about how I feel toward 5ks... :) Good luck with the pretty plant!

ajh said...

I have a black thumb and my husband has the green thumb as well. He laughs when my students give me plants as I am not good with them. Congrats on the PR esp. in an evening race!!

Marlene said...

5K's are SO HARD but when it's over, I'm always like 'that's it?'

Congrats on the PR!

joyRuN said...

Wooohooo on the PR! I'd love to have a 5k pace in the 7's one day. Even 7:59 would make me a happy camper ;D

Scott Keeps Running said...

Very cool! Strong race. PRs are always fun. I like running new distances just so I can PR. :)

Scheri said...

I totally agree about the 5k. I haven't mustered up the courage to do a 5k, but I'll do a marathon or half, heck, even an ultra, any day! haha. Congrats on the beautiful flower :-)

Sarah said...

Wow...you are fast!!! Congrats on your plant!

Ali said...

Wow!!!! Congats on a great time and winning your age group.

I remember my first 5k, I thought I was going to die. The first km I was loving everything. at the half way I wanted to walk. Those last 200m were terrible.

Heather said...

Great job on the 5k! What is about 5k's? I can't ever get my pacing down on them either.

Irene said...

That's a pretty sweet AG prize! Congratulations!

I kind of feel the same way about 5ks. They're done before you know it, but you have the rest of the day left over!

Beth said...

Congratulations on your victory AND PR!! You are so fast! I love your description of the 5k- the first mile is a shock, the second you get in a groove and the third you are dying. I feel the same way. Now you have to defend your title at the next race in the series. Great job!

X-Country2 said...

Yay for the AG win!!

Beth said...

Just dropping you a note to say hello and that I miss your posts. Hope you are too busy having fun to post and that everything is okay. :)