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

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Park Ridge Charity Classic 5K Race Report

It's been awhile since I ran a 5K race. The last one I attempted back in August was a little bit short of a 5K. And with my marathon a week away and not really training for speed this summer I had no intentions of pulling out a fast race last Saturday.

But, I've been told this is a great race. It's only 30 minutes from home, tons of OPRC members were doing it, and the course is an easy out and back on flat roads. Plus, I need the miles if I want to get a CARA participation award. So, at almost the last minute I signed up for the 5K and figured I'd just run for fun.

We arrived early enough to do packet pick-up, use the REAL bathroom, and launch into our warm-up routine.

Then we did an almost two mile warm-up run to scope out the finish line. I've been told it's a good idea to do your warm-up through the finish line if you can so that you know what to expect toward the end of the race.

Park Ridge Warm Up by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details

I tried to pick up my speed a little bit toward the end of my warm up but, really, I still had no intentions of coming close to a PR at this race.

Of course, I always say that and then I end up racing all out. This time, though, when the gun went off I hit "Start" on my Garmin (no timing chips at this race) and settled into what I thought was a comfortable yet slightly aggressive pace. Imagine my surprise when I realized I'd done the first mile in just over 8 minutes.

Imagine my surprise when I hit mile 2 in what seemed like record time. I didn't look at my Garmin but the race clock had me still going at a pretty good clip.

Between mile 2 and mile 3 I caught up with a redheaded woman who would speed up every time I got on her heels. She'd slowly slow down and allow me to catch up again and then she'd speed up. A little game of cat and mouse, I guess. It made me laugh.

We kept this up until the 3 mile mark when I told her to go ahead. I wasn't planning on pushing much harder then I already was. Until, of course, Coach Holly yelled at me to run faster. Redheaded woman still beat me but only because I wasn't in the mood to puke up my peanut butter and bagel breakfast.

Still, when I looked at my watch after exiting the finish chute I was amazed to see that I'd come within 3 seconds of beating my 5K PR that I set back in February.

Official Park Ridge Charity Classic 5K time? 24:57. And it didn't even feel that difficult. Imagine if I didn't have a marathon looming over my head and I could have pushed it just a little bit harder. Still, I ran an awesome 5K, finished with a smile, and got a post-run cinnamon roll and rice krispie treat. What could be better?

Park Ridge Charity Classic 5K by snmnstrz21 at Garmin Connect - Details