Did my first 5k race today. It was the Autism Society 5k, at a local park/municipal running trail. I went to the race all by myself as my husband is harvesting. My mom came over to watch my girls and brought them at the end of the race. They didn't quite make it in time to see me cross the finish line. But I don't think they would have easily found the finish line anyway.
3 other gals from my MOMS group came together to run the race. They graciously let me hang out with them before the race, and I even started running with them. But they are faster than me so I dropped back after a bit.
We crossed the starting line at 17 seconds into the race. It wasn't chip timed so I made sure to notice that. My previous fastest 5k time was 39:49. So when they called out 10:37 for my time at the 1st mile I knew I needed to slow down. But I was impressed that I could go that fast without being wiped out. I dropped to my comfortable pace. I decided to focus on my race and not worry about people passing me or how far behind I might be. And actually, now that I think about it, after about the 1st half mile nobody passed me, but I passed plenty of people. I was pretty much running with lots of room the last 2 miles.
Unfortunately the race was very poorly marked. There were several Y's where people went both ways. There were no race volunteers to direct people the correct way. So lots of people ran the route incorrectly. I however had looked over the online race route, so I thought I knew where I was going.
I did follow the right route. Except there was a turn around point. It was supposed to be at a different park connected by the running trail. They must have figured the distance wrong originally or something. Because well before the next park I passed 2 blue arrows facing each other. After I passed that I noticed that none of the runners coming towards me up ahead had race #'s on. A lot of people seem to use that running trail on Saturday mornings. Also I knew where the next park was and it just seemed awfully far based on where we had run already. I looked back and saw people turning at the blues arrows so I ran back. And people didn't seem to know for sure if that was the turn, but they were turning anyway. When I finally passed some race volunteers, I asked them if that had been the turn. They say "yeah" and "it was obviously a problem". Can't imagine how much extra I would have run if I actually ran all the way to the next park . I probably spent 30 to 45 seconds extra missing the turn around.
Fortunately at the next turn they did have someone telling you where to go. They had someone calling out your 3 mile time, which I thought was goofy since you only had a tenth left. My 3 mile (plus some) time was 37:05. Which was impressive considering I went past the turn and I started 17 seconds in.
I was so confused by that time, I didn't remember that that would be the time to sprint toward the finish. I did speed up. I think I crossed the finish line at 38:14. I don't have the official results, though they should be posted online sometime in the near future. A lady was standing in the way to rip off my little tag just a few feet past the finish line so I was trying not to run her over. I think it was 38:14? I figure I can at least subtract the 17 seconds from the start, which would give me a time of 37:57? Speedy for me. And yet in reality I was even faster!
All in all it was a good experience. I ran the whole way. As I passed people walking red faced and breathing so hard, the important of pacing really hit home. I also discovered I can run faster than I thought! So I am going to push myself a little more. Since I will be using the treadmill mostly, I have a better idea what I could set it at. I actually had pretty low expectations for the race. I already knew I could run that far. And I knew I wasn't going to place. So I didn't quite see the point of doing but to say that "I had run a 5k" Now I see how doing the race pushed even my so non-competitive little soul. Now I have a set point to see how much I improve. (I do wish I had a more accurate time, but it will be easier to improve ;)
After the race my mom treated the girls and I to Panera. My chocolate pastry tasted soooo good!