I totally get the appeal of races now, though I'm still roundly unsold on the "waking up at butt o clock in the morning to go make myself sweaty and tired and sore in the cold... and also a bit nauseous for that one stretch there, but hey at least I didn't actually throw up!" aspect.
It is however pretty funny to realize that the only thing that varies from my usual run experience in the above statement is the morning part. Me and the predawn hours are none too friendly, that is of course unless I'm meeting up with them from the back end.
This was an especially bad weekend for it as I helped throw a Halloween party on Friday, slept VERY late afterward, and then lived underneath (and attended) a Halloween party Saturday. I left the party early, but by six am on Sunday my body had pretty much given up on the idea of a cohesive sleep schedule.
Luckily for me my boyfriend is a walking, talking, Hey Girl meme and got up with me, made sure I was properly nourished, and then drove me out to the race; all on even less sleep than I had gotten.
We got to the race with plenty of time to spare, and then we parted ways so that he could park and I could get my bib and snazzy commemorative long sleeve tech shirt. I met up with some friends and we spent the half an hour or so before the race stretching, chatting, and wondering where my boyfriend had gotten to (McDonalds, as it turns out). Start time snuck up on us before he got back so we ended up stashing our gear in Purple's car and scootching for the start line, which I like to think provided that last necessary bit of warmup.
|Here I am (in the Batman themed gear) in a pre-race photo with my friend Purple (ironically NOT the one wearing purple, she is the one dressed as a Star Trek Red Shirt) and Gigi of Running On Candy (The Motley Shues Proud Momma Bear as she put it. Her impression of the race is in this post). This was my first 5K race, Purple's first 5K where she planned on running, and Gigi's first weekend back after a foot injury.|
We moseyed up to the start *mob* and I tried to find the right pace group, but before I knew it the race started. I got my Nike+ and watch going but the start was slooooooow and I didn't see where the actual line was so my personal device times and distances are pretty far off. I also completely failed to set up my running playlist so I was stuck with whatever came up on shuffle from my iPhone. Luckily it never went too off the rails, though I think I'll pass on running to Captain Beefheart or one of the slower Editors songs again if I can avoid it.
Due to the confusion of the mob at the beginning I started out on my own. I caught sight of Gigi pretty early so I followed along behind her for a while just sort of keeping her in view. I caught up with her sometime a bit before mile one and we kept pace for a bit, but then she apparently slowed for a water stop and I lost track of her for the rest of the race. She later reported that she spent the rest of the race following my butt as it was *ahm* rather easy to find in the crowd.
|I love these shorts, but I'm REALLY glad I opted for the leggings|
From that point on I just sort of trucked along, tried to listen to my body, and did what I could to avoid careening wildly into others. It's pretty humbling to be struggling along and seeing eleven year olds and women with double strollers flying past you, but if this was all about ego I think I would have been out months ago. It was cool to have different scenery, people in costumes to watch, and that one family toward the end that gave me a well timed "Woo, Go Batman Wooooooo!".
The race situation had me pretty disoriented and my phone was giving me mile marker updates at some really bizarre points. I had this weird moment pretty early on where I totally lost track of how far in I was and pushed it a bit more than I should have so early, which caught up with me at the end. According to my Garmin I spent a LOT of this race paced between 9:00 and 10:00 though I had a lot of short recovery slowdowns which took my overall pace to 10:35 (chip time). On a whole I felt really good though, my legs were really happy with me and though I definitely was aware of the effort I was putting in, for the most part my stamina kept up with whatever I asked of it.
My main issue I think was in the disconnect between the course distance and the distance shown on my personal devices. My Nike+ was giving me mile marker alerts a good quarter mile early and I really wasn't sure how off my Garmin watch was reading. This was mostly an issue at the end because I knew I wanted to give a final kick but I wasn't sure when I could reasonably do that and still have enough juice left to actually get over the finish line.
True story. My boyfriend for-real rocks the way people PRETEND Ryan Gosling rocks.
I actually think is Ryan Gosling is faintly weird looking... except for his torso, that part's pretty okay.
The answer to that by the way is that per my Garmin I hit a 5:37 pace at roughly 2.95 miles and varied wildly between there and about 8:30 maintaining a HR of 206 until I finished (except for that one blip at 207, which I'm pretty sure is when I caught sight of my boyfriend at the finish line. Yeah, we're gross). This was rapidly followed by a good two minutes of "Yes, I know you're there my Love, but leave me alone to walk this off or I'm going to puke on you" during which I apparently forgot to turn off my devices for a bit and also missed Gigi's finish.
Once I settled my system (and stopped my devices) we went back to the finish to wait for Gigi and Purple. Purple finished a few minutes later, and Gigi came back from the medic area with an ice pack while we were trying to figure out if she was still on the course.
|Look at us all upright and not about to puke or anything!|
My Nike+ listed me as running a 28:49??? at a 9:36 pace (a total of 34:33 over 4 miles???) and my Garmin had a full 3.29 distance at 34:43 and won't let me trim off the extra bits so my averages are completely off, though it's still showing my overall pace as 10:21, even listing the average pace for my last split as 12:00.
Sunday's run: The John Theissen Children's Foundation Freaky 5K
3.10 miles at an average of 10:35 per mile - total time of 32:17
3.10 miles at an average of 10:35 per mile - total time of 32:17
Which makes it a PR by nearly 45 seconds!
Both my neighborhood and my office are without power but luckily my landlord has a generator so I'm sitting things out pretty nicely all things considered.
Bonus for you: my totally bizarre race playlist - welcome to the bizarreness that is shuffle on my phone.
Puscifer - The Rapture (Fear is a Mind Killa Mix)
Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have It So Much Better
Daft Punk - Around the World/Harder Better Faster Stronger (Alive 2007)
Editors - Life as a Ghost
Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band - Call On Me
The Doors - I Looked at You
Black Sabbath - Lord of this World
Marilyn Manson - GodEatGod
Primus - Puddin Taine
Alice In Chains - I Stay Away