On Monday (Memorial Day) I ran a 3.8 mile race that is held locally.
I decided on Sunday to run it after being convinced by my dad, so I drove over to the pre-registration booth sunday afternoon, paid the $15, got my t-shirt and got mentally ready to run. I wasn’t too concerned – I know I can conquer the distance. My only concern was the hills in the first half (check out the elevation chart below) and the heat.
We got to the starting area around 7:45 on Sunday morning. This race is a pretty relaxed race where people run it for the run (if that makes sense). We picked up our chips and hung out in the shade. I could already feel the temperature getting up there, according to weather.com it was going to get up to the low 80s during the race. I had run part of the course before, so I knew there was very little shade. My mom ran the race as well, and had never run over 5k so she was pretty nervous. I decided to take it easy, and run (and walk) it with her and let my dad go ahead.
At 8:30 they fired a canon, signifying the start of the race. We were off.
In the first mile my mom and I hit a split of 10:50 – WAY too fast. I knew we had made a rookie mistake. I’m used to running with my dad and how we work out the pacing aspect, so I kept having to adjust to running with my mom and keep reminding her to scale it back. I had forgotten there’s a little bump around mile .75 that flattens out before you go up the “real” first hill. As we were going up the first “real” hill my mom kept asking if it was the 2nd of the two hills I had warned her about, and I unfortunately had to tell her, no, there’s still another. We ended up walking about 3/4s of the way up. My legs were feeling dead already – a result of our hike on Saturday and starting out too fast. When we got to the top and the turn around I let gravity do the work on the way down, it felt great.
Then we got to hill number two. We took our time, alternating walking and running the whole way up, I kept pushing my mom saying “we’ll start running at that mail box” or “just run to the water station.” It felt great to fly down that second hill. We soon hit the 5k mark and I reminded my mom that the rest of the race would be a new distance record for her. We slowed to a walk at another water station at the bottom of the hill – the heat and sun was really starting to get to us both.
The last mile is through a small town and it was so picturesque. I had remembered my dad saying the race was roughly 4 miles (I told you it was a relaxed race :)), but I knew it was going to be a little short based on my garmin stats. My goal had been to get in under 50 minutes so in the last 1/2 mile I told my mom I was going to gun it. I knew I still had a lot of steam left. And I did. I passed so many people in that last mile and came in under 50 mins – 48:59 was my garmin time.
It felt good to finish strong but similar to the Beaver Stadium Run I felt like I could have pushed harder through the entire thing. I’ve got to figure out my pacing for these shorter races – I seem to slow down too much (maybe as a result of training for longer distances for a while?) in the middle miles and then have tons of energy left in the tank at the end.