This past Sunday, I participated in the St. Paddy’s 5 MILER with my running team, the Spokane Swifts. I had a great time and pushed myself more than I have ever pushed myself during a race. It was my very first race of the 2011 racing season.
We were the girls in the annoying pink headbands (that I LOVED by the way). It made it very easy to spot a fellow team member even though some of our jerseys didn’t come in on time.
We were also the annoying girls running around warming up weaving through the streets and the crowds of runners before the race started. I admit, we do have this “air” about our group. We work hard. We are proud. We took most of the slots in the age group awards too. If I wasn’t running with the Swifts, I would find us annoying anyway. haha (I’m on the very right in the green shirt.)
Even though I wasn’t one of the age groupers, I still had a great race. There are some pro-triathletes on the team, and I’m just not there yet!
After our warm-up (~2 miles near my race pace– HA!) , we had just enough time for some pictures, then we were off!!!
This was my first 5 mile race ever, and it has been so long since I have done anything less than a 10 mile race that I was afraid of blowing up. My “happy” goal was making under 8 min/miles for this course. My “ecstatic, jumping up in the air and screaming” goal was to average 7:24 min/miles (37 minutes to run 5 miles) to qualify for “second seeding” for Bloomsday here in Spokane.
Bloomsday is a huge race with over 50,000 runners , and you don’t want to get stuck in the back with the walkers if you plan on running it. You have to qualify (sort of like Boston) to start in a certain place for the race. Second Seeding is right behind the elite runners. It is also where most of my teammates start the race.
When the gun went off I took off like a bat out of hell. I looked down at my garmin and realized that I was running at a 5:50 min/ mile pace. WOW!! That is the “herd effect” for you. I slowed it down and realized that my shoe was untied. This is very scary when you are near the front of a race that just started. I made sure to pull off as far as possible to tie my shoe, and my teammates were gone by the time I stood back up. Looks like I’m by myself. Which I was fine with, by the way. I chased my teammates for 5 miles. It was like a fun childhood game. Sort of. Except I don’t remember my legs feeling like they were going to fall off when I chased peeps growing up. haha. Oh well.
The first two miles went by fast (7:15 and 7:36), and I was feeling good. By “good” I mean: My legs were burning, but not to the point that they felt like they were going to snap off. Mile 3 (7:47) even felt kinda good, but I could feel myself fading. The lactic acid in my legs was getting to the unbearable zone, and my pace was starting to show that. Mile 4 was horrible (8:20). I was feeling light-headed, and if I could have curled up in the underpass to take a nap in the fetal position, I would have been so happy. It was as if someone had sucked the life out of me.
At mile 5 (7:39) I managed to get my second wind, but by then it was too late to qualify for 2nd seeding. I just pushed it as hard as I could.
Even though I didn’t qualify for “second seeding” for this race by 1 min 37 sec, I gave my everything. I have another chance to qualify in about a month at a 5K (22:30). I know I can do that!
I have been training for 2 months after taking basically 3 months off from any real running. I can’t expect to be where I was at the end of racing season last year. The good news is that I am WAY ahead of where I was this time last year. That means that I can expect some massive PR’s from last year to this year.
COLD!! I think it was in the 30’s with at least 15 mile/hour winds. And we were all wearing shorts. Nice.
Trying to put on as many layers as possible while waiting for the awards to start.
Can you spot my annoyingly colored shoe??
Special Thanks to Linda and Heather for providing these pics!!