My first official roadrace of the year! Woo hooo! And I almost didn't make it. Why? Well on Wednesday, we decided to go preview the course. Myself, KD, and CrimsonPurl. I had just done hill work the day before. Our plan was to do 200s the day before, but Ridge Junior High locked the track on is, and since we were already there, we jogged through the neighborhood and found a hill. I felt great at the time we did the hills - I was able to keep up with Walt and Laura! But clearly, the next day, my body was thinking, "not so much."
So during our preview run, my calf seized up like an engine without oil. I mean, it was so tight and painful, it was making my SHIN hurt. And I never get shin splints. I had to stop running after 1.54 miles and KD and CP were nice enough to walk the rest of the way with me (thanks, guys!). The preview showed that the course was relatively flat, with a few inclines here and there, but the most major incline was right at the beginning.
LDR did NOT want me to run. He thought I was going to hurt my leg worse. We had a 20 minute negotiation, where in I promised to take epsom salts baths, slather myself down with Tiger Balm, wear my calf support for 2 days, and that I would not run if I felt pain on Saturday morning. LOL! Ultimately, I was fine.
I got up around 5:30am on Saturday morning. I took my time getting ready. I let the warm water in the shower run on my muscles, and did some stretching while I was in there. I had planned to grab a banana and some granola, but ultimately I just left the house. For shorter races, I'm ok with empty stomach cardio. I didn't feel hungry and I didn't want to force myself to eat. I knew they'd have bananas there, if I needed anything.
It was about 60 degrees when I left the house. That's comfy for me. It was drizzling, though. So much for the forecast that the rain would come in the afternoon! I arrived uptown and parked in the Target parking garage (hello? free parking? score!) and walked the two blocks to the race site. Hundreds of people were already milling around. I got my timing chip and found an area by the benches to camp out, stretch, and wait for everyone else.
Soon after, the girls from the Purple Butterfly Running Club began arriving. We took a few pictures together, and I think one of the official photographers took one of us as well. CrimsonPurl was feeling sick and unable to run with us, but she came out anyway to cheer us on! How sweet is that?
Running Diva Kristen was there. I think that's my new nickname for her. She usually runs races on Saturdays, so she hasn't been able to run with PRBC. This girl is BLAZING fast. Blazing! She coaches with Girls on the Run, is going to school, and still finds time to get it in. And the Diva showed up with eye make up on, no less! LOL! She and Ashley (from BGR) are officially my running idols. These ladies are FAST and I'd just like to be like them when I grow up.
We started lining up for the race and I felt my adrenaline start to kick in a bit. Diva got up to the front because she wanted to try and PR. The rest of us hung back in a group. However when the crowd started moving, I moved more toward the middle, and KD came with me.
Let's talk about KD for a moment. Diva #2. You know how some folks (like me) have to work hella hard to eek out our little races here and there, and then some folks just have 'it' naturally? KD has it naturally. She makes running look like it's effortless. You'll watch her and think she's not moving that fast, but sistah-gurl is BLAZING. Blazing! This is important in the next couple of paragraphs. :lol:
We got going and made it up the first hill. I tried to make a conscious effort to run faster up that hill than we had in our practice run. I just wanted it over with. 7th street was just one loooooooooong incline, and I couldn't wait until we got to the turn off to the neighborhood. By the time we got to the Run For Your Life 1 mile marker, their clock said 10:46, but we didn't start at the gun. Nike+ (which has really been working lately!) said about 10:00. I was hoping to take it out a little faster, but the combo of the crowd and the hill got me. I tried to pick it up for the 2nd mile.
By the time we got into the neighborhood and onto 5th street, KD was gone! I could barely see her in the crowd. It got to the point that my breathing was too hard and my heart rate was too high, and I realized I was going TOO fast. My calf started to tweak a bit so I walked for a minute. I hated that I had to walk, but it was better than an injury or falling out. I picked it back up right as we got to the incline by the hospital.
We had to run by a small park and then out a small side street to Morehead. There's a restaurant called Nothing but Noodles on Morehead. Initially CrimsonPurl was going to go by that corner to cheer us on, but when I got to that point I didn't see her. I started trying to push a little faster, because by this point I think we only had about .7 left in the race.
I spotted CrimsonPurl at the corner of Morehead and Charlottetown! What an energy booster. She was cheering and holding the group sign...and she took a picture of me. Hope it's not crazy - if it isn't, I'll come back and post a copy here. Ha! By this point it was literally down hill from here. Diva, who had finished probably 6 minutes prior, was walking back up the hill and I heard her cheering for me. I heard Ashley, too! She says I made a face at her - I have no recollection and wasn't trying to do it on purpose! LOL! I was just trying to kick it in and get to that finish line. At the last turn before the finish I heard KD hollering (she is the true cheerleader of the group) and I was able to sprint it in.
My original goal was to break 30 minutes. Didn't quite make it, but I beat my time from the last 5K I ran in the fall! 30:26, 9:48 pace. I'll take it! We have another 5K coming up on 5/22. It's the Girl Scouts' Thin Mint Sprint and it's going to be at Carowinds Amusement park. Should be interesting!
I'm glad I ran this 5K, and I was very happy to be out there as part of a group. These girls are just personable, funny, and great motivators. Go PBRC! :)