I ran another short race this past Sunday. A very short 5 miler in the town where I live. I love traveling for races, but it was actually nice to have zero stress about anything related to logistics…nice to run something local for fun and the money all went to one of the local high school’s track programs.
It was an interesting choice for me in that I really didn’t like the course. It is almost entirely run on a narrow path around a marsh and then a park. The marsh part of the path is fine, with packed dirt, but the park part is all on loose gravel. This might just be my LEAST favorite type of surface to run on…I just don’t feel like I get an traction with each step. It’s a peaceful, beautiful path…and nice to walk, but for me, the running on it is just not idea.
However, I sucked it up and signed up…for fun and to test my “speed.”
It was a nice, cool morning. Good enough for shorts and my long sleeve Under Armour technical shirt. I was also pretty happy to be sportin my new ON-RUNNING kicks! These are super cool shoes, my 2nd pair by the company. I will write more on them later. A good gathering of the local peeps and at 8:30am, off we went on our Sunday Test.
I thought I would do no better than 45 minutes, actually. 9:00 pace. I was excited and ready to see what was possible. I had no water, no music. nothing. felt so free. Except for the fact that I really needed some water and the 1st place to get it was not until 3 mile mark. I am just one of those people who need water at least 1x/mile, especially if I am pushing it, which I was. We went though parking lots, over to the marsh and then onto the loose rock path. 1st mile was 8:27 but it didn’t feel that fast so I wasn’t too worried about the pace, but i also didn’t want to have a severe drop off come mile 4. Mile 2 was a bit slower, about 8:45 pace. I would have liked to have had my heart rate info, but something is not working with it. I even bought a new battery and it still is not synching with my Suunto watch…so no HR info for now. Anyways, by now I was really looking for the water stops and it wasn’t until another mile. I grabbed some and walked a few steps. Mile 3 was about 9:15. Got more water around mile 4 so that slowed me a bit too, 9:12. I guess this last mile I just took off because the data show mile 5 at 8:10 pace. Wow. Didn’t really know that til looking at my watch stats. Pretty cool. I can tell you I was not smiling as I ran that last mile, especially the last 1/2 mile. I was pushing hard and even as I crossed the finish line, no smiles. Painful.
THEN, the smiles came! WOOT WOOT! Very happy with this result and even came in 4th place in my age group.
So, I think it’s important to give some data on the race stats to give some perspective to the result. Of course, I’m happy. but i also realize the TOTAL number of runners at a race like this is NOT HUGE. Then again, 4th is 4th. :)
Here’s the breakdown:
Age Group: F 40-44. 40 runners. 4th place
All Females: 259 total / me 27th place
All Runners: 394 total / me 101st place
I also want to share the stat breakdown from the Portland 15k race I did a month ago.
Age Group: F 40-44 681 runners. 163rd place
All Females: 4518 total; me 1126th
All Runners: 8826 total; me 3507th
Before I started running marathons in 2000, I was faster at the shorter distances. Of course, I was also younger. :)
Regardless, I know I have more gears I can tap into to get faster. So….what’s next???