Date: January 1, 2013
Location: Westerville, OH
Distance: 3.1 miles
Gimmick: First race of the year with a delicious spread of pork tacos afterwards.
Can I be honest? I was a little disappointed with this race, thus why it took me so long to write a recap.
First on the First was my very first 5K back in 2011. I ran it in 40:40, which was really impressive for me at the time. Since then, I’ve slowly shaved my PR down to 36:32 and I deep down really wanted to shatter that PR with this race, which was my 15th race and my 7th 5K (8 if you include my 5K mud run). Anyways, the conditions were just nowhere near ideal for a PR.
Problem #1: dinner the night before was a 12oz prime rib and included a huge dessert. I have found my performance is massively effected by food. I have no regrets about this, though. My parents were here and took us all out to the nicest restaurant in town. We had a lovely time and the food was amazing (and far more than I can afford on my own), but I felt kind of weighed down. Food seems to really matter for my mile time since eating better has dropped it about a minute per mile lately. It was worth it though, because we really don’t get to do that very often.
Problem #2: the weather. I guess I had no control over this, but we’d had a bunch of big storms in the past two weeks. The course had been mostly cleared, but there was an area where you couldn’t run the tangents because of the slush and ice. Also, there was a bridge, which freaked me out big time. The last half mile or so had a wicked (freezing headwind), which made it hard to power through.
Problem #3: I got lazy. I found people to talk to during the race and I was uncomfortable, so I dropped my pace. I was with them for almost all of mile 2 and my mile splits definitely reflect that. I’m not sure that pushing myself more at the beginning to stay with our faster friend would have been smart. I definitely take a mile to warm up, so I would have regretted going out that fast. Still, I know mile 2 should have been faster.
Problem #4: I HATED the new course. I was expecting the out and back of two years ago (and the much smaller field size). The morning of the race I double-checked and realized that there was a new start line. The course was really similar to Run 4 the Health of it, which I ran back in September and I have done a training run or two down that way. It’s fine, but I don’t love it and winter made it annoying. I’d also just run down there recently, so it didn’t feel very exciting.
Problem #5: the walkers. I know I always blast (slow) walkers, but as a slow runner, I try to stay to the side so people can pass. Apparently I’m the only one. I got in to a verbal disagreement with a walker who informed me that “walkers have rights too,” which is absolutely true, but if you are 4 abreast and slower than the people behind you, then you need to move out of the way gracefully. I mean really, it’s not that hard. I feel like holiday races tend to have more slow people, which makes them more congested. I have no problem with slow people, being one myself, but I do have a problem with slow people not realizing how frustrating it is to constantly be weaving around them because they are chatting with their buddy. I can’t imagine how you really fast people feel.
So basically, this race was meh. The post-race food from Yabo’s Tacos, which was delicious, but I’m undecided on doing this race again. I love the medal and the food, but the new course and larger field aren’t making me want to do it again. I love doing a race on New Year’s Day because it keeps me from being insane on New Year’s (because I clearly would have partied otherwise what with having an infant and all) and it’s a great way to start the year, but this may have gotten too crowded for my blood.