This morning I ran my 2nd 5k. My main goal was to finish with a faster time than I previously did, with a loftier goal of finishing in under 25 minutes.
I achieved the first goal, and sort of achieved the second. My official chip time was 25:16. This was very close to the time that Runkeeper recorded for me (25:26), and I found the difference reasonable considering that I started Runkeeper before crossing the starting line and stopped it after crossing the finish line. According to Runkeeper, though, I ran 3.32 miles. There is no way that 10 seconds of walking/jogging before and after the line was .2 miles! Also, I have not had trouble with Runkeeper recording proper distances in ages, so I don’t know why it suddenly would (the last time I ran a 5k it recorded 3.13 miles, which I think is a more reasonable amount of error). I’m also guessing the course may have been an awkward length because they had to reroute last minute for flooding. My conclusion: it took me more than 25 minutes to finish the race, but I can apparently run 5 kilometers in under 25 minutes. Either way, I’m very happy. This was a 1:10 improvement on my previous time, and I was only 20 seconds behind the 3rd place finisher in my age group! For someone who is very new to racing, I think that is quite the accomplishment (ok I’ll stop bragging now).
So, what went well and what went…not so well?
- Walking to the race: this was a good idea, as it kept me pretty warm at first and it was really nice to cool down by walking home. Unfortunately, I left a bit too early and was waiting around for over an hour before the race and got cold again. I even tried jogging some more but my hands and feet were sort of numb when I started, which I’m sure slowed me down a bit.
- Food: I ate toast with peanut butter again. This seems fine, but I could have eaten it a bit later – I felt a little weak during the race and I don’t know if it is because I didn’t eat back my exercise calories yesterday (I just wasn’t hungry – I even tried adding cookies and ice cream, but I was super full!) or if it was because I was starting to get hungry again. I’ll have to experiment in the future.
- Clothes: I wore the same long-sleeved shirt I did last time, but with capri length running tights so my legs would be a little warmer. I didn’t take gloves because it was already over 40 degrees and warming up, but I probably should have. The other clothes were warm enough, but I should have tied my capris a little tighter – they were slipping off a bit! Also, I really need to go procure some non-slip headbands, because these clearance ones I bought are not cutting it – I ended up taking it off out of annoyance about 1K in!
The race itself was fairly well organized. They had a very efficient registration system, so even though there was no night before registration and hundreds of people, no one seemed to be having trouble getting their stuff. They also must have had decent sponsors – we got full bottles of water, fig newtons, and bananas at the end! The last race may have had more “expensive” food (bagels and donuts) but I felt like these were more appropriate post run snacks. Plus, some local businesses were offering up massages and foam rollers (foam rolling makes my leg hurt for awhile, though, so I avoided doing it before the race). The police also did a really great job at dealing with traffic (the course was basically a run through the burbs). The only problem I had with the race at all was that the announcement booth was too far from the starting line. I don’t think anyone knew the national anthem was starting until the singing started, and I have no idea when our moment of silence for Boston occurred, because no one heard them announce it, so no one became silent (I heard the announcement that we would have one before the race, so I know there was one at some point).
The swag was a t-shirt (THAT FITS!!), a pretty nice tote bag, some pens, and some coupons for local running stores. Too bad I just bought running shoes – one is like 25% off an over $60 purchase. Maybe I’ll try out one of those running skirts, or use it to buy a bunch of small things (like non-slip headbands and a hydration belt). There were also some ads for other races to consider, but many of them were trail runs. Perhaps I should practice some trail running?