Saturday, October 23, 2010

My Livestrong 5K Race Report

I'll call my first-ever race a success, even though I was a bit disappointed with a few things.
Finished in 29:37 or so by the timer in my phone. I hadn't intended to run with my phone (or car keys, or extra safety pins) but the bag check I expected wasn't there. Luckily I did have my phone since there was no race clock and I don't have a working watch other than my big heavy Tag that I didn't want to run with.
I learned that when they don't have start corrals or other guidance, if you care about time, you get in line early, but the team I was running with were busy taking pictures and chatting and being the new guy I didn't want to press the issue.
Getting down to the race:
We crossed the start line about 8 minutes after the start, and had some trouble getting around the folks walking (and even pushing strollers!) until we got past the chute and could run on the other side of the road to pass people. Once I broke out I pretty much ran as fast as I could until we hit the first hill and I eased up to about what I thought was my target pace.
With no mile or km markers on course my only feedback was passing the water station, which I guessed was half distance and I did it about 30 seconds after half my target time. So I guessed I was running a bit behind but not being used to speed work anymore I was fighting a side stitch at that point and just went as fast as I could without making it worse.
Heading toward the finish, we were blessed with a bit of a down slope so I got my breath back and once I saw the tall buildings of downtown and came upon some thicker crowds I figured it was time to go back to full speed. I put my head down and more or less sprinted what I guess is the last half mile. I hoped to cross the line in a sprint but heading up the slope of the bridge where start/finish was and the narrowed course I had to back off a bit. The last 100 meters I felt like puking and decided to just go as hard as I could and hope not to yak on any brave cancer survivors!

The joy of finishing and relief of dropping to a walking pace was enough to bring it back together, and a light sprinkle from the clouds cooled everyone off nicely. Good thing since I was coming into the finish too fast to go through the misters or get a cool towel!

So, thanks to $480 in donations my goal time was 28 minutes (I did a gag where I'd take a second off the pace for every dollar donated, starting at a conservative 36 minutes :-) and I ended up missing it by 97 seconds.

A bit disappointing but I learned alot from the experience and have a good start to training for the marathon. If everything goes well, I should be able to beat 5 hours, and if I ever do another organized short race, I'll either pick one that takes timing more seriously or get there earlier (or at least not spend all my free time chatting!).

One of the highlights of the morning had to be seeing Fatty in person. It's not too often you get to yell "Hi Fatty" at someone and have them smile back!

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