|This was actually taken from a concert at the park last week, but - |
same weather! It was a gorgeous weekend for a race!
I warmed up by running to the start with David. It's a little under two miles, but I added enough jogging to make two miles. The way over told me right away that the course was going to be long: I know exactly where the turnaround points are for races in Audubon, and this was too far; I guessed it would be close to 0.1 off. Oddly, this took pressure off! I lined up, we started, and I was immediately second female. The other girl in front of me was fast, and I never even got close to her, but the weather was beautiful and I felt great. I started too fast in a group of super fast little kids (like, under ten - and almost none of them dropped out, although some walked after a mile or two). The park was super crowded - because the weather was so nice! - but I had no problem running perfect tangents and keeping my goal pace. Actually, I was well under - mile one was 6:20 (my goal was 6:30). I still felt good at the turnaround point, skipped the water, and managed to not run into anyone making the tight U-turn. I glanced at my Garmin and saw 1.6 at the turn...as expected. The way back was not as easy: I was facing crowds of the slower runners and walkers, and not all of them were paying attention. I clung to the inside of the track and couldn't run tangents anymore, but I managed to avoid any collisions, so that's a win. I could still see the first female ahead, but I was totally unable to run any faster than I was. Mile two - with the U-turn - was 6:36. The last mile cleared up a little, and I finally got back to my goal pace! 6:30. I actually had enough to sort of sprint at the end, and finished with 20:36. Not bad at all! Except I was way off my pace by gun. I was disappointed until I remembered that the course was a little long: not that that really matters, and I normally don't point that sort of thing out, but in this case I was paying attention to my actual pace, after missing it so badly at the Crescent City Classic. The pace I was able to run is a lot more like my current fitness, and I'm happy with that (I'm also happy with a 20:36, honestly; that's not a bad 5k time for me at all!).
Post-race, I ran home and changed shoes, then continued on my Saturday long run for a total of 13 miles with some hill repeats built in. And I didn't get injured. Hurray!