I recently realized that in order to make my goal of running 13 races in 2013 I would need to find one to add on in December. I had heard the Reindeer Run was fun and decided to go for it.
Packet pick up was a breeze. I walked out with my bib, shirt, and some free reindeer antlers without having to wait in line at all. The race also provided free parking passes for the garages downtown and I arrived early enough (8:15 for a 9:00 start) that I got a spot in a garage super close to the run. I decided to leave my reindeer antlers in the car because it seemed like they would be hard to run in. However, lots of people went for it. There was even a $100 prize for the first person in antlers to cross the finish. I personally think the dogs looked great in antlers, maybe that is because I love all dogs. About 20 minutes before the race I turned my Garmin on because sometimes it seems to take forever, and this is all I saw. I stayed frozen on this for about 10 minutes. I then tried turning it off and back on a few times and it always went right back to this. Stupid frozen Garmin!
I started to get upset, but then I remembered some of my amazing running buddies who were supposed to run the St. Jude Marathon this weekend. They didn’t find out until 6:30 at night that the marathon was canceled due to the weather. I cannot even imagine. (I flipped out at just the chance of MCM being cancelled for the government shutdown.) Suddenly my little Garmin drama seemed so stupid and selfish and I realized how lucky I was to have a race that weekend.Well I guess at that point I got it in my head that I needed to push hard for them, run it for them, PR for them since they couldn’t run.
The truth is this is only the second 5K I have ever raced and run for time. The 5K is really my least favorite distance – I prefer longer races at much slower paces. To me a 5K is over too fast and means I have to try and run faster than I would like. I usually only do 5K races with friends and family for fun and then I don’t even look up my time to see the results. As I waited at the start I quickly checked my phone internet to see what time I would need to beat in order to PR. I remembered being proud of my sub30 5K this summer because I felt like I was running pretty quick.
I found my time on the blog – I had to beat a 29:39.
I knew it would be tough with no Garmin. How would I know if I was on pace?
Plus my body is really used to marathon training and distance running right now. How could I convince myself to speed up? I knew I was only doing 3 miles and not a big double digit run, but still.
I joke that I have one pace – marathon pace, but it is usually very true.We took off running through beautiful, historic, downtown Charleston and I knew I had to have a plan. How was I going to do this with no way of knowing my pace?
My plan – Push like hell for the St. Jude girls.
Just make it through the first mile I told myself. Get to mile 1. I know my pace my not be quick compared to some, but boy I was flying for me! It was hard. I was huffing and puffing and probably neon red before I even made it a few feet down the road. I told myself just keep pushing, not everyone is as lucky as you, not everyone gets to race this weekend.
When I hit mile 1 I lied and told myself I could keep this up, I could keep pushing. Just one more mile and you’re already at mile 2 I thought, then from there it is the homestretch. Just a little past mile 2 my legs got super heavy, my pace plummeted. I had gone out too fast (I blame this on you frozen Garmin!) and I was spent. I gave it my all to finish, but that last mile was way slower. Even with the finish line in sight I had no kick left, I just couldn’t speed up. When I crossed the finished line I saw the time for the first time all race, there were no clocks anywhere on course, and it said 29:32. (7 seconds faster than I would need for a PR.)
I sat down and rested for a second and took it all in – dead Garmin, gorgeous new Mizunos (WaveRider17), very tired legs.
I wondered – Did I really do it? Even with my very rough last mile had I managed to hang on enough to squeak out a new 5K PR?
Well I waited all weekend for the results…. and checked the website more times than is appropriate… and finally the official times were released.
Official Time = 28:35 Pace = 9:13
Boom! I had done it.
I had not only PRed, but I had beat my previous 5K time by over a minute.
In order to end up with a pace like that my first two miles must have been 8somethings because I am sure the last one was a painful, tired, 10 minute mile. Maybe not the best way to do it, but I had managed to get that PR I was shooting for.
I am so sorry to those who were supposed to run the St. Jude Marathon this weekend and found out they were unable to.
I cannot imagine what you are going through.
You all inspired me to run, to push, to keep going.