A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Monday, August 15, 2011

River Run for Ryan 5K Race Report

A few weeks ago when Kim and I were planning our weekend trip to Guttenberg she discovered that while we would be visiting there was a local 5K taking place on Saturday morning. After getting our 18 mile run out of the way on Friday we decided to do the 5K on Saturday morning.

When we woke up the sky seemed threatening. Lighting and thunder and rain kept up until just before we needed to leave for the race. Then the rain let up and we were able to run the 2 miles to the race start. Yay for small town races!

However, not only did the rain let up but the sun came out and I swear the temperature rose by 10 degrees! I admit, I was looking forward to another rainy run. But when we arrived at the registration tent I already had sweat pouring off of me. At least it made the volunteer comment that we looked like "serious runners". That made us laugh. I was a little worried, though, because our warm-up 2 mile run felt rougher than I would have liked. My legs basically felt like lead.

Run to the River Run for Ryan by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details

I decided to run in my just a running skirt and sports bra. Good decision. It was warm! But not as warm or humid as my last few 5K races. Thank goodness.

Anyway, this race was very low key. The purpose of the race was to raise money for the National MPS Society and to support the son of the race organizer. There were probably less than 150 people running and I think most of them were friends of the family. We started on the track at the town's athletic facility and after we lined up the race organizer gave us a description of the course.

He counted down from 3 and we were off. About 200 meters on the track, a brief bit across the grass, and out onto the streets for the first half of the race. I wanted to really get negative splits this time since I came so close the previous week. When my first mile beeped at 8:21 I thought "Crap. I went out too fast." I'd even warned Kim about going out too fast when we were still together at the start!

But I decided to see how well I could do. We turned off the streets near the halfway point and went up onto the walking path that borders the Mississippi River. There was a lovely breeze blowing in off the water. It would have been even better if it had been blowing in from the side instead of straight into my face, but I was still grateful.

The second mile ticked by at 8:16. Okay, I thought. Now to see if I can pull off an even faster third mile. I decided to try and pass as many people as possible. I picked out people ahead of me and tried to pick them off one by one. I don't think I got passed at all the entire race, but especially not towards the end. Even though I was dodging the 1 Mile Fun Walk participants I was still gaining on people.

There's a girl in pink who had taken off at the beginning. I wanted to pass her so bad. She wasn't in my age group but I still wanted to beat her. When I pulled up alongside her I looked over and said, "Don't worry. I'm not in your age group." And then I pulled ahead.

We had to run down a steep grassy hill and then practically come to a stop in order to squeeze through the gate to get back onto the track. But since I love me some track I was excited to sprint to the finish.

Instead of a race clock they used the clock on the football score board. I was pretty excited to look up and see my time started with a 24! But then I looked down at my Garmin and was disappointed to see the race was only registering as 2.99 miles! Boo!

Also, this race is so low key that they don't have a website and they don't use any kind of timing company. So for my "official" time I'm going by what my Garmin says. Which is 24:33. But I'm not counting it as a PR since the course was over a tenth of a mile short. However, I totally ran negative splits! Goal accomplished!

Then there was my not-so-secret goal of wanting to place in my age group. They did 10 year age groups instead of 5 year ones so I had no idea how well I'd do. Turns out I did well enough for second place!

Kim did really well, too. She came in a bit behind me but got a medal of her own....also second place!

Hooray for matching medals!

This race was such a different experience from so many other races I've run. No mile markers, no water stations, no chips or clocks or prize money. Just a community coming out to support one of their own. And it felt good to be part of that.

River Run for Ryan 5K by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details