I wasn’t planning on racing this weekend.
But my runs have been so sluggish lately that I thought I needed a pick me up and I signed up on a whim.
The weather was predicted to be good (but maybe a little too warm). I had never run this race but have done several in this park. And more importantly, it took place in Saratoga which is halfway to the marina.
I almost signed up for one on Sunday but it was at the same time as a half marathon (so would be more crowded).
It was really tough to set any goals. I had not run a 5K in about 6 weeks but if I wanted to push myself, this would be this:
- Finish under 29 minutes.
- Run all splits under 10 minutes.
But with the heat and my unpredictable feet, it was this:
- Finish under 30 minutes.
- Total pace under 10 minutes.
I got up and had my usual breakfast of oatmeal and tea and headed north for my 45 minute ride. The start was at the Warming Hut in Saratoga State Park. It is a big park and always confusing on where to enter.
There was a sign luckily and I found a parking spot in a lot not far from the start. I got there about 8:15 and the race was to start at 9 am. Just the right amount of time to get my race packet, hit the restrooms and look for familiar or unfamiliar faces to chat with.
I immediately bumped into Jackie who I knew from the Troy Turkey Trot and Freihofers training groups. We hung out and lined up together.
It was a small race – about 400 runners, many of which were walking for the cause.
I’ve run over a 100 races and I still get nervous before each one. Will I suck? Will I get injured? Once the race starts, I relax and enjoy it.
The start line was confusing. It was just a mass of runners on the grass. So the race started and we were running on the grass. The grass was very wet so it was slow going. I tried to keep up with Jackie but she is faster. So I just tried to keep her in my sight up ahead.
Next we were running through a gravel trail. You know how clumsy I am especially with wet feet so I was very careful here.
Finally we were on concrete and the crowd finally thinned out.
I haven’t run fast in quite a while and my legs felt like lead. But I just trudged along and decided that I wouldn’t stop until the first water stop.
I made it. It was a little past the 1 mile point. It was quite warm and in the 70s already. So I drank the water and walked and then tried to make up time.
I still was dragging but willed myself not to walk until mile 2. Luckily, running through the park was mostly shady and I was enjoying the course.
The last mile went on forever and I really wanted to walk again but I didn’t and managed to sprint across the finish line. I was happy to finish under 29 minutes.
In fact, it was 28:38 (and really a little less since it wasn’t chip timed.)
The race was exactly what I needed.
I never pushed myself and I know I could have run faster.
It was very warm and humid and my time was not a PR but it was still faster than my last few 5ks! Happy. Happy.
Jackie and I hung around for awhile. We were hoping that they would give out awards. But they did not…only for the top teams who raised money.
Oh well. We don’t race for bling, do we?
My Positive Splits:
mile 1 – 9:06
mile 2 – 9:23
mile 3 – 9:34
.14 – 8:03
So my next 5k is in two weeks – it will be hillier and there will be more runners. Hopefully, I will be more confident.
After the race, I headed up to the marina and spent the rest of the day on our boat tied up to our friends’ boats.
I am also linking up with Jessica from The Silvah Lining for the Race Recap Link Up.