Date: September 16, 2012
Location: Columbus, OH
Distance: 3.1 miles
Time: 36:32 (PR)
Gimmick: Two-part race series with a backpack as part of the packet if you sign up for both. Both races are 5K loops that you can run 1, 2, or 3 times to do a 5K, 10K, or 15K.
I was not actually registered for this race, but I was at the local running store the day before enjoying my free pancakes (they have a mobile pancake cart come to the store sometimes) when someone I had just met offered me a free bib for the 5K. She said I could keep the whole packet excluding the t-shirt, which still left me with a card for a free entree at Northstar Cafe and chapstick with some OB/GYN’s logo on it (umm, thanks, but I’m happy with my current provider). I make a general rule of not saying no to free stuff, so I took it. I can’t afford to do as many races as I used to and I miss it, so it was pretty exciting for me.
The race was at 7:30 AM at Easton Town Center, a huge outdoor mall in Columbus. I left the house around 6:30 and watched a coyote run across the road (note to self: get llama) and a gorgeous sunrise. The car’s empty light came on and I was praying that I would see gas on the way there. I did not, so I parked at the race and called my husband to make sure I would take the closest route to gas post-race. We think the tank had 0.25-0.75 gallons left when I finally filled up on the way home.
Anyways, despite my anxiety about the lack of gas, I wandered over to the start. This was my first race that my husband didn’t attend and I wasn’t sure if anyone I knew would be there. I ran in to my realtor and his wife (we chose our realtor because he is a friend from running) and another friend. My two friends were planning to do 12-13 min/miles, so I joined them at the start to keep from going out too fast. They were both injured, but technically so am I, although I had done 4 pain free miles the day before (finally!).
The race started pretty much on time, which always makes me happy. I did not particularly care for the course. We ran mostly on the outside of the Easton complex and it was kind of dull. It was pretty flat, though, which I’m sure helped my time. We started with the 42 minute pacer, but we ditched her relatively fast while weaving past a bunch of people who were run/walking. One of my friends fell back around mile 1, but she told us to go on ahead. My other friend sped up, but I stayed at my 12:00ish minute pace because it felt good. I eventually passed my other friend after mile 2 because she had to walk due to her injury. I hung out with the 38 minute pacers for part of mile 2, but I felt really good at 2.5 miles and bolted. The last 0.1 miles was the most exhilarating all out sprint I’ve ever done. I felt like I was flying (my watch said I hit a 7:51, but whatever it felt fast to me).
I crossed the finish line and grabbed a bagel and a glass of chocolate milk. I couldn’t find water, but I might have missed it. I felt great post-race, but I have to admit that I was bored with the course during the race and I would have hated doing another loop. I don’t think loop course are made for the ADHD crowd. I did use headphones for about a mile, but I took them out when I caught up to my friend. Flogging Molly clearly made me faster. That and not starting out too fast. That makes a huge difference if you want to finish feeling and looking good.
I’m not sure I would do this race in this location again, although I would definitely consider the series again. I’m also not sure I’d consider doing more than 5Ks since the course are all 5K loops, but that’s a personal preference. The race was well-organized and had plenty of food at the finish line along with a pretty nice packet.
I have to admit that I’m realizing it probably wouldn’t be impossible to break a 35 minute 5K if I actually worked at it. I need to lose more weight and not eat junk before the race (there was a brief moment of worrying that my pizza from yesterday might make a return appearance, although that makes no sense since it would have been out of my stomach by then). I also need to rest the day before if I’m going for a significantly better PR. I think I need to stop nursing if I want to speed up (so it might be another 5 months or so). The serious increase in mass on my chest is pulling me forward and makes my shoulders cramp badly. Oh, and my core has felt really tight, so I should probably start doing some ab work. I guess major abdominal surgery and pregnancy aren’t good for core strength. Whould’ve ever guessed?
Anyways, I promise more pictures of C next post. I know that’s all people come here for!