Thursday night I headed out to the first race of the Race the Landing 5K series. The race doesn’t actually start until 7:00, but you have to be there by 6:15 or the gates to the park close and you can’t get in. So with plenty of time pre-race, I picked up my bib which matched my new Team Chocolate milk shirt (that I mentioned this Fabulous Friday) and had time to head to the bathroom before making my way back outside. Then, I took my race swag to the car and checked it out. Anyone who signed up for all 5 races in the series got a tank and socks. The tank I will probably give away because I had to get a large to get it over my hips, but that means the top part is so big that the arm holes hang way down and show most of my bra. It’d be better on someone bustier. However, the socks are adorable. They have the name of the race around the top and a picture of the pirate ship from the park. They announced for everyone to make their way to the start. I tried to position myself somewhere in the middle so I didn’t slow down the speedy people, but also didn’t have to dodge too many people myself. With the sound of a car horn (gotta love little races), we were off. My goal was to push hard and bring in a 28:something. Racing like this, when you’re the type of person who prefers slow, more comfortable half marathons, takes a lot of reminding yourself that you need to push hard. It might not be pleasant, but it is only 3 miles. My first mile felt great! The pace was a bit faster than I wanted, but it felt really good, so I wasn’t worried (turns out I should have been). Towards the end of the first mile and into the second mile I slowed down just a bit and found a pace that was much better for me. I ended up stalking this poor man that whole time. For over 2 miles he’d be a step ahead, then I’d be a step ahead, then he’d be back ahead. It was actually kind of strange because there were not many people on the course. I kind of felt like I should say something goofy just to make it less weird.
Would you have said something?Then, right after I hit the mile 2 sign it was like my legs turned to lead. I had obviously started too fast and it hit me hard. It was really tough to push through that mile. I wanted to stop and walk a bit. Just a little walking would be wonderful I thought, but that voice in my head yelled, “It’s only a mile; suck it up cupcake! You can do this!” (And probably some curse words too. That voice does not like 5Ks.) So I pushed through, knowing I was close to the end and close to water; it was humid!
My split times really show that the last mile was more of a struggle:
1 = 8:43
2 = 9:04
3 = 9:35
last .1 = 9:40
I had no kick left at the end at all.
I wanted to speed up and finish strong, but I just had nothing in me. However; even with that very rough last mile, I had something to celebrate. My old 5K PR was 28:35 and my new time was 28:19. Woohoo, new PR! My official race time actually reads as 28:23, since this race has gun timing, not chip timing, and I didn’t want to push myself to the front and block the really quick people. I guess the 4 second difference must be how long it took me to cross the start line and begin the race.
Would you count chip time (Garmin) or gun time as the new PR?Afterwards, I chugged down a water and sat outside to catch my breath while I watched some others cross the finish. Then after about 15-20 minutes I headed inside where a full meal was provided. Being gluten free, I skipped the roll and mac ‘n cheese (Oh, how I miss you cheesy goodness!) and instead filled up on tomato salad, red rice, and pulled pork BBQ. Then I headed outside to eat. You could still hear the band, but it wasn’t crazy loud like it was inside. Plus it was a pretty nice night and soon that will not be the case. Those 80 and 90 degree HUMID nights are coming quick. Every one of the five races has different trophies and these cute little bears (modeled after a resident of the park zoo) were the first. I was secretly hoping I would get one because they give out lots of age group awards and last year I barely missed placing in my group at the one race I ran. I tried to listen carefully, really I did, but people started picking up and moving chairs around and I couldn’t hear at all. However, I was sure that even though it was loud I’d still be able to recognize my own name. Turns out next time I will have to listen better.
After the award ceremony, I was curious what my age group had looked like so I went up front and the announcer let me look at the list. Whoops, turns out I was not capable of picking my own name out. I had come in second in my age group which meant I got a bear. I told the lady who was packing up all the unclaimed bears and she instructed me to grab one. I asked if they were all the same and she said, “Yes.” I guess she meant yes, they are all bears. However, I took it to mean yes each trophy is the same. So, I grabbed one a headed out very quickly (It was almost 9:00 and I wanted to make it home for Grey’s Anatomy).
It wasn’t until I checked my bear out during a commercial and got ready to Instagram a picture of him that I noticed the problem – 1st Place Award. Whoops!
I had stolen someone’s first place trophy. Not only do I feel super guilty that I am a trophy thief, but truthfully I would much rather have the award that I earned instead of this one.
I messaged the race director to see what I can do about this and am waiting to hear back from her.
Have you ever run off with something on accident?
The next Race The Landing 5K is this Thursday, just a week apart.
My main focus is going to be pacing better so I don’t crash at the end.
I am planning on starting out slower, that way hopefully I have something left in that last mile.
*All race photos came from Brain Fancher Photography.