Today’s TOR topic is runner’s gifts, which is a great topic and I’ll be reading blogs with interest. Somehow this diehard shopper didn’t feel like writing about stuff, so I decided to recap last weekend’s 5k instead.
A new race
Darlene of My 1st 5k & More has been invovled with Girls on the Run and had sent me the link to their inaugural 5k a while ago. I’ve been waiting to the last minute to sign up for races because I never know how Chester will be doing.
I did sign up for it midweek, and good, thing, too, as it sold out. I had already donated to this organization before Darlene got involved: it’s an organization devoted to inspiring young girls to lead healthy, active lives.
I’m sure if my mom had signed me up for something like that when I was a kid, assuming it existed which it didn’t, I would have balked. My older self wishes I had had something like this in my life.
Packet pickup was day of race and was easy-peasy. Of course I got there very, very early. Too early, considering it was a very chilly morning. But I knew parking in that area is not overly abundant.
Plan — what plan? — again!
I’ve been so busy with Chester and Thanksgiving prep and decluttering that I had little time to really think about this race. I run this path occasionally so I did know that it’s flat (or so I thought).
My basic plan this time was not to go out too fast and keep it under 11 mm for every mile.
So how’d that work for me?
- Mile 1 (10:48): It was incredibly easy to start out slow — it’s a somewhat narrow paved path and there was simply no room. As frustrating as that was, maybe it was a good thing.
- Mile 2 (10:24): It probably took over a mile for some space to open up and I could finally stop weaving. I probably shouldn’t have spent my energy weaving at all but oh well. I kept a lookout for Darlene, figuring she’d be coming back as I was still going forward. The only water stop was at the halfway turnaround, which was kind of awkward (I did not partake).
- Miles 3 (10:02): I saw Darlene as I was headed back — she was with her work friends who were running their first 5k. It is probably the only time I will ever beat her in a race. Don’t get too excited by the time; this mile was a little short.
The weather & dressing
The forecast was for high 30s in the morning, warming up to about 40 by the time I thought I’d finish. The race runs along the Hudson River on one of my favorite paths; the downside is that it’s always colder next to a body of water. It was cloudy, too.
I wore light tights, a light quarter zip, and my medium weight running jacket. Yes, I did get warm (the sun finally decided to make an appearance right before we started), so maybe I could have gone with my windbreaker instead.
But it was really cold waiting for the start!
And that’s why I love zippers in addition to pockets. Temperature control.
What I Saw/Felt
I hung out with Darlene before the race, but she had a ton of friends there; some of them I met and hung out with. Then I went off to do my dynamic stretching (yes, I was good), and I even jogged around the parking lot a few times.
I met up with some friends from my running group, and chatted with them a while, too.
Like most 5ks, it’s mostly a blur. Most of the first mile was a total bottleneck. I really didn’t know if I planned to use it as a fun run or a “real” race, knowing that with the young girls, it was bound to be a challenge.
Slow people like to race, too, and this is only the second 5k I ran this year. So of course I tried to race it. That first mile was really frustrating though.
I wore my Garmin, but it was covered by my jacket sleeve, and I wasn’t checking my time at all, although I saw my pace after mile 1 and mile 2.
I’ve raced here before, but they started the race further back where there’s more space (I guess, it was actually a few years ago); all I know is it didn’t seem as hard to find some space to run.
I like this path because it’s on the river and it’s flat. Except of course it really isn’t. As courses around here go, it is flat, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t inclines and declines. Of course it declined going out, and you know what that means.
Oddly enough I really felt that I was running out of steam that last mile. And yet it was my fastest. I guess there’s something to be said for racing by feel sometimes.
There was great energy before and after the race; good music, too. I loved that girls were bopping to the music at the finish line and cheering everyone in.
Was the race well run?
I would say it was very well run for an inaugural race, with the exception of the course being a little short. It was timed by a local company that is usually very accurate, but my 5k “PR” was timed by them and was also short.
What is my 5k PR, anyway? One of these days I’ll hit 31. Maybe even 30 although seriously right now I don’t feel capable of sustaining 10 mm for 3.1 miles (I guess you’d actually have to be just under 10 minutes).
The water stop at the turnaround on a narrow path was awkward, but then again, where are you going to put it?
Will I run it again next year? Definitely if it works in with my schedule.