5K and Weekend Getaway!

This past weekend’s trip out of town was a much needed break from New Wye. The only people I saw wearing Nike running shorts in public, for example, were actually running. (Those silly Nike shorts are so ubiquitous in New Wye that my friend B. has purchased a pair to wear for Halloween as part of her Wordsmith University Student costume. True story.)

At any rate, we girls had a lovely time driving through the scenic countryside and enjoying the quirky small town festival our 5K was part of. But aren’t you dying to hear about the race? I know you are.

It was great!

I ran my first 5K back in August when I was still midway through the Couch-to-5K training program and had only gotten to the week where you run for maybe 8 minutes at a time before taking a walking break. It took me over 42 minutes to finish that race. In the general scheme of things, most “real” runners would consider that slow, but I was PSYCHED! I think that’s a pretty solid time for a first race (and one I wasn’t able to run the entire distance).

For this 5K, I certainly wanted to beat that time. Specifically, I had a goal time of 39 minutes in mind. That would be averaging a pace of just under 13 minutes per mile, which I figured would be fairly respectable. However, I also had a super-secret personal goal of running it in 36 minutes or less (averaging just under 12 minutes per mile).

I did it! 36:20, people!

OK, fine. 36:20 is technically over 36 minutes, but seriously. Close enough for moi. So yay!

More about the race:

It started raining a cold, icy drizzle as the girls and I headed out to the race location and from what we could see it looked like it was just getting worse and worse out there. Luckily, the rain magically stopped just before the 8:00 start time and we wound up running through a cool, misty morning that was just about perfect for a race. The huge downhill at the race’s start got me going at a fast pace and I heard the timing guy call out 11:03 as I hit mile one. I have never run a mile that fast ever. Well, maybe in high school, but in high school I never timed myself so the world will never know.

I did not, however, master the art of “negative splitting,” so each subsequent mile was a smidge slower. My pace still averaged out to under 12 minutes per mile, though, so I’m pleased.

The last mile was a little tough – there weren’t many other people around me by that point. The faster runners were out of sight and the run/walkers were well behind me. I followed close behind another woman the whole way back in, trying to stay with her pace. I find it hard to pace myself with no one to compare myself to. We slogged back up that hill and let me tell you it was rough. I was taking the slowest, tiniest steps and barely keeping myself from dropping to a walk. I’m proud that I managed to run the entire distance, but not surprised – after all, I was ready!

As I got to the top of the hill and could see the finish line maybe 300 yards away, I broke into an all out RUN. I don’t think anyone could legitimately call it a sprint, but at the same time no one can deny that I was pretty much rockin’ it. It felt pretty great, and it felt even better that the folks at the finish line (none of whom knew me or had ever even seen me before) cheered me across the line.

Races are fun as hell. Who knew?

We spent the rest of the day rewarding ourselves with food (small-town church basement pancake breakfast — that is just how we roll!) and checking out the wares on display downtown. On the way back home, we drove through some of the county’s scenic covered bridges, which I bet you would like to see depicted in photographs, wouldn’t you? Well, you will just have to wait until I get home and can grab the pictures from my camera.

In other news, there will be other news soon! I have a bunch of random little updates to share.

But first! Tell me, do you all have Halloween plans? I’d love to hear your costume ideas!

4 thoughts on “5K and Weekend Getaway!

  1. Kristen October 29, 2009 / 12:39 pm

    I’m so proud of you — congrats! That’s a totally respectable time, and I have a feeling you’re going to be shaving it down to 30 minutes before long.

    Those kinds of events are the most fun to run — you’ve gotta love the fun food and friendly people. Definitely makes the finish even better.

    No big Halloween plans here. Although I do have a pirate hat for the dog, so maybe we’ll work something out …

  2. Timothy October 29, 2009 / 3:46 pm

    Congratulations! Beating your personal best is what that kind of thing is about. And don’t worry about the negative splitting, in four years of high school XC and track, and in a couple of years of running for kicks after that, I never got it right.

    No big halloween plans here either, we’re probably just handing out candy to the neighborhood kids and drinking beer. Sounds like an all right night.

  3. MC Etcher October 29, 2009 / 6:49 pm

    Yay! Congratulations on the race, that’s extremely cool!

    Costume idea? V from ‘V for Vendetta’.

  4. Vague October 31, 2009 / 8:45 am

    Thanks, all! My goal for my next 5K is to beat 34:00. But first, there’s the matter of the 12K to deal with…

    I’ve got my Halloween plans sorted, so more on that later!

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