Yesterday morning was the =PR= Rockstar 5k race. Last year this race was held at a different location and was an 8k. This year the race was closer to home and was just a 5k. It’s a course I have run for many races so I’m very familiar with it.
We picked up my packet on Saturday so that I wouldn’t have to worry about it on Sunday morning. The packet included a gender specific race shirt, a new pin for my collection, a water bottle, two night lights (??), and some other small miscellaneous items.
I decided that since the race was so close to home I could wake up later than usual and slowly make my way there. Of course, I didn’t actually manage to sleep until my alarm rang. I got up early and slowly got ready. Driving to the race site took about half of the time that I had anticipated so we ended up there pretty early. Being very familiar with the course we parked in a parking lot that is farther from the start/finish line so that we could easily get out after the race. After hanging out in the car for a short period I decided that I better start warming up.
It was chillier than I was expecting. I had brought long socks but hadn’t put them on and I had left my arm warmers at home. I wore a fleece pull over while I was warming up but ditched it about 10 minutes before the race. I made my way to the start line while my buddy found a good spot to watch the beginning of the race. I started near the front of the pack. The start was slower than I expected and I was dodging people to find some room to run a reasonable pace. After two turns we were out on a main road with some more space and a nice downhill. The key to this course is not running the first mile too fast. The first mile is downhill and then there is some uphill. In the past I haven’t gotten completely burned up after the first mile. I focused on holding a steady but not too fast pace. The first mile I was still my fastest mile.
I was feeling great…and it was almost easy. I warmed up quickly but I wasn’t hot at all. The temperature was perfect. The sun was out and it was just a beautiful morning. I made my way to the hills which slowed me down but I was still holding a decent pace and feeling good. After an uphill section there is a long section with rolling hills. I tried to enjoy the downhills and just keep giving a good effort on the uphills. I knew I was slowing down but I still felt like I was maintaining a good pace overall. I saw my buddy somewhere around mile 2 or 2.5. I was running well and didn’t feel like talking. I gave him a little wave and just kept moving. Towards the end there is an uphill and a turn into another uphill. I fought my way through those knowing I was almost at the end.
Finally there was a turn towards downhill and I tried to pick up the pace. I looked at my watch and knew I was on track for my “C” goal. I decided to not look anymore and to just run. After the downhill I made the turn into the last two flat sections and I knew I was almost there. I could hear people at the finish line. I tried to speed up. In the final turn there was an awesome volunteer who was loudly cheering for everyone. She was great. I was feeling pretty good so I started my final kick to the finish line. I know I passed some people at the very end.
As I crossed I was smiling. I heard them say my name and I raised my arm. Thankfully volunteers were handing out water right at the end. I finally looked down at my watch and realized that I had sped up and met my “B” goal. I wasn’t too far off from my PR pace. I was extremely happy and extremely tired. My buddy came down and met me and I told him how well I had run. I was pretty much beaming.
We made our way over to the food. There was a ton of food but it looked sticky and sweet and somewhat gross. I grabbed a pretzel roll and half of a banana. It was just a 5k!
I was extremely happy with my race. I felt like all of my winter training paid off and I was able to run faster for a shorter distance. I felt like it was easier than I expected and I just didn’t hurt. My feet felt good and my new shoes worked out. I wore the right clothing and the temperature was perfect. I ran faster than I expected and I never considered walking. I fought my way through….and I beat the old lady.