I am pretty happy with how today turned out. I’m hoping this can be my baseline and any 5Ks from here get faster. Of course they’d all have to be pretty flat then, and conditions would have to be optimal!

Per my Garmin, my paces are below. Official time was 26:30 per the race folks, but there was no chip timing, and I did not start on the line.  Of course, I started in the middle on the right-hand side, as is my routine.  (Anyone else out there as anal/stupid as I am about that kind of thing?) 🙂

Garmin time: 26:19 (think I’ll stick with that!)

  • Lap 1: 8:19 pace
  • Lap 2: 8:47 pace
  • Lap 3: 8:32 pace
  • Last .1 mile : 6:39 pace

Age group place: 9/25

Place overall: 115/228.  Literally, could I be MORE IN THE MIDDLE?  (Addendum: just saw the results on Coolrunning – I actually tied the girl who was 114 – we had the same time at the end!!)

Here’s a picture Bill snapped at the end of the race – the girl at the far left of the frame, I pretty much caught as we got to the chute.  I had to draw my arm in and basically stop at the opening to the chute since she was right in the middle of it.

I'm in the black tights and white (looks yellow in the sun, almost) top, near the cone.

I'm in the black tights and white (looks yellow in the sun, almost) top, near the cone.

 The weather was pretty beautiful actually – not really windy at all, even near the river in Lowell. Partly cloudy/sunny.  My running partner and friend from last summer, Lis, was there. She ran in we think about 29:54 or so – when she crossed the line, the clock said 30:04, and then of course the official time was later than that by about 11 seconds. We think they only wrote down the time as they wrote down your number, which of course is after you start walking in the chute.

Lis said I just shot out as soon as the gun went off. I admit the excitement got the better of me – I was running and looking down at my watch and seeing a 7 in the front number of my pace, and I thought, “I gotta slow down or I’m gonna die at the end!”  There were only 1 or 2 small hills (I think the first one had all of the elevation gain for the entire race), and they didn’t bother me. When I saw the first mile marker, I looked down, and the big number on my Garmin said 8:06. I thought it was the time for the first mile – I think it was the actual pace I was running at the time.

This freaked me out, so I slowed down a bit, as you can tell from my second mile pace. I was worried to keep looking at the watch so I just went on feel for most of that second mile.  At the turn, I was feeling good – this was about 1.5 miles, and there was a water stop, which I passed through without taking anything. I was thinking, Lisa was right, the adrenaline is taking me along!  I was also thinking of a lot of you cheering me on since starting these track workouts – that totally helped me out!

Around mile 2, I realized I was still feeling good, and the lady in red and black jacket who I’d been focusing on, seemed to be slowing down. I passed her and kept moving, and then got passed by a lady in one of those flourescent green-yellow jackets that you wear to run at night.

About mile 2.5 or so, I felt a little nauseous for a few seconds, and thought, it’ll all be over soon. There was a little girl who looked to be all of 10 running with her dad in front of me, making me think, I really want to not keep being beaten by 10 year olds.  She then stopped to walk, and her dad looked back at her encouragingly, and just as I was about to yell out, “don’t stop, you’re doing awesome” she started running again.

I also passed a guy who was part of the Mystic Runners,  who was definitely having fun. He was running along, with his digital camera, and he kept holding it up as he went, taking photos of everyone in front of him. As he heard me catching up to him in between 2-2.5 miles, he turned it around and started taking pictures of us behind him. He heard me laugh and I waved to the camera!

At this point, I realize, however, she’s running slower, as is the lady in the day-glo yellow/green jacket. At this point, I realize a lot of folks are running slower, or I’m running faster, or a combination of the two! I also knew it was only about .3 miles more, so I did try to speed up as much as I could. I did end up sprinting at the end, which was cool that I still had that energy.

The temp, I think, was about 35ish at noon.  I was able to run in only two layers on top (!!), a hat, thermal gloves, and long tights. I took the gloves off after the first mile. The neck warmer and blue jacket you see in the pics below, Bill had been holding for me to put on at the end.

I felt great – not once did I have to use my inhaler while running, and I quickly recovered at the end!! 🙂   Lis and I are considering doing the 6K race in Bradford on Valentine’s Day – I sure hope she can get away from work that day (she’s a CPA – this is their crazy time of year) so we can meet up again.  I realized while running today, this was one of the best moods I had started a race in – the two of us never even heard the directions being yelled at the beginning – we were just chatting away.

stretching after the race -- no idea why Bill took it from such a weird angle!

stretching after the race -- no idea why Bill took it from such a weird angle!

Here are photos of Lis and I after the race, with sunglasses, and without! (I rprobably should have kept them on – much less scarier of an image! LOL).

Lis with sunglasses/Me without

Lis with sunglasses/Me without

both in shades - between the sun and snow, you totally need them!

both in shades - between the sun and snow, you totally need them!

All in all, this race was pretty cool. People were friendly, there was chicken noodle soup, bananas, cookies and beer and water at the end! Not bad for $18 dollars (the race paid for the service charge – NICE!) and there was a guy standing at the finish line that made sure to thank everyone for running and shake your hand. That was pretty classy, I thought.

Ok, I gotta get to work preparing for the class I am teaching tomorrow evening, but it sure was fun today.  Hope you all had a good weekend!