I woke up as planned at 6:00 AM. Had some oatmeal, which was not what my stomach really wanted. I eat it most mornings, but today for some reason it didn't look/taste appetizing. I did eat most of it, though. Got dressed... here were my race outfits that I had laid out the night before:
So I got dressed, applied some Body Glide, and got my FlipBelt packed with my phone and Sportsbeans. Can't forget my Garmin and my Nathan handheld water bottle... it's totally my security blanket; I carry it on all runs!
Once I added my favorite Bondi Band, I was ready to go!
I left at around 7:00 AM. My plan was to walk about a mile, then run easy about a mile. The race start was just over 2 miles from my house. I followed this plan exactly--nice walk and then an easy 9:50-pace mile to the race start. I realized that I forgot to bring gum, which annoyed me, but I got over it.
So, I got there at around 7:30 AM, which honestly was a bit too early, as I didn't really know what to do for the next half-hour! After about 10 minutes I spotted a friend and her son, which was nice because it made the time speed by as we chatted.
At around 7:50 AM we headed over to the start. I did a few stretches, got my watch ready, and put on the "Race Day Playlist" I created last night. I was pretty nervous! I knew that this race could get crowded from friends' warnings (it's a tight trail in spots, and over 400 participants), so I started pretty close to the front. Based on the past two years' results, and where I hoped to finish time-wise, I knew I'd be in the top 25% of all participants, so I didn't want to be too far back. That being said, I was worried about pushing myself too hard at the start. I wanted to run my own race. As I said, I like to negative-split my runs (start slower and get faster).
The first part of the race wasn't as bad as I thought. I figured there would be a lot of jostling, but it was fine. I was worried, though... I knew I was going too fast! I kept checking my watch. My friend and her son were right with me, and I knew she was a fast runner. I wasn't sure how long I could hang with them. I felt good, though, so I went with it, and by the end of the first mile we had averaged out to 8:03. That's when I started to worry a bit more... I was breathing harder than I wanted to, and wondering how I was going to hold this pace. I tried to stay focused on the people around me (including my friend and her son, who were still right there in front of me). We did a turn and then went onto the trail part of the run, which I was looking forward to (so much prettier). Finally hit 2 miles with a split of 8:08, and at that point I had to start doing a lot of self-talk, convincing myself that I COULD do this, that I was going to be able to make it, that walking was not in the plans. That last mile drug on and on, but I pushed the pace and (gasp!) passed my friend and her son at around 2.5 miles. Kept trying to push the pace as much as I could. I kept checking my watch, and I knew the finish line was soon... and I was thrilled when it finally appeared! I had a bit left in the tank to sprint to the finish.
I was slightly annoyed because I think I could have been under 25 minutes had I actually just run 3.1 and not 3.16, but that doesn't change the fact that I made my goal of sub-25:30! My friend and her son finished just after me. We walked and talked a bit (her son was bummed because he had run 24:30-something last weekend, but I told him I was pretty he had run further than 5K today).
I didn't negative split the race, obviously, but I was very consistent on my splits...
I grabbed a banana and a bottle of water, and a yummy Cheryl's cookie, snapped a quick post-race pic, and started the 2-mile walk/jog back home.
Very happy with my PR... waiting on the official race time and place (will update with that later), but it was close to 3 minutes faster than my first 5K of 28:05. Already making plans on how I am going to break 25 minutes at my next 5K on July 28th!
Official race results are in... 25:21, which means my Garmin was exactly right! PR by 2 min 44 sec. 89th overall out of 435 runners, and 7th in my division (females 30-39)! :)