Well it was a GORGEOUS day here in Charlotte yesterday- dare I say a PERFECT day for a 5k! The Honda caravan arrived at Highland Creek Elementary (AKA- the start line) with plenty of time to pick up our timing chips, make multiple visits to the restrooms (one cup of coffee or 4, it really makes no difference!), and do a sufficient warm up jog.
There were about 450 runners of all ages. Just enough people to make it exciting, but not so many that the start chutes clog up and take 5 minutes to get through.
I was on my own from pretty much the start. I did a fare amount of passing for the first half mile.
The course? Imagine all the hills of Thunder Road, but squeezed into a 5k. Yeah. Not a very PR friendly course. I don't think there was ONE stretch that was flat. Notta one! They weren't particularly steep or long hills, but they were one after another. It was either uphill or downhill.
I started pretty fast. In fact, I ran my fastest mile EVER at the beginning: 8:54! Dayum!! Unfortunately (and unsurprisingly) I wasn't able to keep that pace up. My second mile was 9:17, my third was 9:27, and the last .1 miles was 7:34. The course went through the hilly Highland Creek neighborhood, which was full of beautiful blooming trees. These blooming trees were losing their blooms, and as I was gasping for air running up a hill around mile 2, I inhaled one of these blooms. It was the only time during the entire race I almost horked. Dis.gusting!
As I was coming up the hilly return road, I just had to take a walk break (I don't consider my first walk a break because I was gagging on a flower). When I looked at my Garmin, it read 23 minutes for 2.6 miles. That's when I knew a 28 something minute time was within reach. I ran as fast as my white legs would carry me and.... finished in 28:34!!!!!
I don't think I can really consider this a personal record. I mean, yes it's the fastest I've run a 5k ever, but I've never trained like this before either. To say I was going into this run expecting a PR sounds a like cocky. I went into this race knowing that I was in better shape and more prepared than any other time in my life, so I expected my time to improve. Thus, I'm going to call this a PI- "Personal Improvement."
I'm especially proud of mile 1 =) Going back to RW's Pace Calculator, a 28:34 5k time projects a 2:11 HM finish. That's about 4 minutes faster than my HM in February. I'm slowly going in the right direction for getting faster I guess. If I can continue to shave off 4 minutes each month and find a little extra luck on race day, I *might* be able to come close to 2 hours for the Hickory Half??
Look at my hubby, the Rock Star! This was his first 5k - I'm so proud of him!! He made the mistake of telling me he wants to do another one to see if he can improve his time. Well, well, well... I think we can work that out!!
David is wearing the race shirt from this year. It's black and made out of that fancy sweat wicking material. Material = good. Color = bad. A black shirt on a hot day... hmmm. I'm wearing my 'official race shirt' that my mom-in-law gave me during football season. Also notice that David is missing a bib number? Guess who forgot to put it on before we left the house? Men... ya gotta hold their hands all the time!! (he'll never read this so I feel safe in poking fun!! I love you honey :D ).