Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Race for Education

First...I think I may need to change the name of this blog.  What do you think about the "Random Blogger?" I guess I just couldn't call myself the Random Runner if I ran (or blogged) too regularly.

Moving on...
Saturday I ran in the Race for Education...a local race sponsored by Central Georgia Technical College.    You may remember that my goal for the next 12 months is to run at least one race (a 5k or more) each calendar month.  That took care of my September race.  I know what you're thinking...I waited until the VERY LAST weekend of the month to race.  Between soccer, cub scouts and when races were available this was the best race for me.

There was a 5k and 10.2k race.  I would have loved to try out the 10k, now that I've worked myself up to that distance...but with soccer conflicts it was best I stuck with the shorter race.

Since I didn't have to run as far, I thought that maybe I could up my speed, and shoot for a new PR.  Before the race my racing PR was 32:37 or 10:31 min/mile.  Not too shabby.  Last Saturday I ran a 5k in the neighborhood and my average pace was 10:30.  I could count that as a PR...but I like to only count my actual race times.  I guess I'm complicated like that. This race I set my goal at 10:15 min/mile...that would be a total time of 31:46.  I would have to shave 51 seconds off my race time to meet my goal.  I was looking forward to running without the Georgia summer heat and humidity.

Ready to race!
The morning was nice and cool.  When I arrived at the race it was still 58 degrees.  Great running weather!  I debated wearing a long sleeve shirt or some running capris, but in the end I knew I would feel great as soon as I started running.  So...I stuck with my favorite running skirt and my new Nike shirt (that I bought on clearance at Academy the night before.)  Trust me...as soon as I started to run I wasn't cold AT ALL.  (Just in case you were wondering I finished off the outfit with my silver sparkly headband.  If you weren't wondering...oh well.)

I had no idea how many runners would be there, so I had no idea what to expect.  There was a decent number of runners...149 to be exact.  I lined up with all the other runners when it was time for the race to begin.  As soon as they said GO the DJ began playing "Chariots of Fire"...and we were off.

Once again, I started to run and was immediately passed by lots of runners.  I'm amazed how fast some people can start!  I pushed my pace a little, but kept it under control.  I have my app set to give me my pace every 5 minutes and every mile...so I can have an idea what my pace is all the time.  I started running a little slower than I'd like, but it takes me a few minutes to warm up and really get going.

Once we left the college I began to pass other runners.  There are always some that start too fast and then have to slow down. I love passing people...it just makes me feel good.  In fact, this race I kept picking people in front of me and making a goal to pass them.  First it was the woman who was behind me in the registration line, the one with the long braids.  I passed her around mile 1.

Next I set my sights on the two ladies talking.  First of all, they looked to be in my age group (from what I could see from behind).  Second...they were talking the whole time.  I can't run and talk (not enough to have a conversation) so I felt like they deserved to be passed.  I slowly gained on them and passed them around 1 1/2 miles. Halfway done!!!

By now the runners had thinned out. The closest person in front of me was about 50 feet away. As a bonus she looked like she might be in my age group. She unknowingly became my next target. I started gaining on her...but then I passed the water station. I didn't stop running, but trying to drink water and run slowed me down a little. I tried the pinch the cup method...and I still splashed water on me. I was glad I had the water...but now I was a little further behind my target goal. 

The whole third mile I slowly gained on the woman in front if me (I found out later her name is Sara). As we turned the corner to head for the finish I was about to pass her...but she must have heard me huffing and puffing behind her and she sped up. I sped up too...just not quite as much. 

A minute later she looked at her watch and turned around and said, "We only have 2 minutes to finish under 30." My first thought was, "Yeah right...like I'm going to finish in under 30 minutes."  But a moment later I realized I only had about 1/4 of a mile left.  If I picked up the pace a little lot it just might be possible. I ran as fast as I could for someone who had already run 3 miles. What a great motivation!

Sprinting toward the finish.
My final time...31:21. My. Best. Run. EVER!!!  I had set a goal of 10:15 min/mile and I had blown that out of the water.  My time was 10:08.  I wasn't sure 10:15 was possible...but I never dreamed of 10:08.  The cooler temperatures really helped me (and everyone else it seems.)

A few minutes after finishing I checked the leaderboard. I was in 3rd in my age category.  Could that really be true?  Would I get a medal...or was there a runner still walking around with her finish card.  After 10 minutes I checked again, only to learn that I had been bumped to 4th place.  That was my final place...4th. Once again, first person to not win anything.  That's the third race in a row.  I need to break this bad habit!  This is also the second race where I would have received a medal if I had been a year older.  I would still rather be in my 30s however!!!

So, here's all the fun stats from this race:

  • Finished 84 out of 149
  • Finished 28 out of 72 Females
  • Finished 4 out of 9 Females 35-39
  • Total time 31:21
  • Pace 10:08 min/mile
  • Pace 1st mile - 10:08
  • Pace 2nd mile - 10:17
  • Pace 3rd mile - 10:01(Don't ask me how I managed to go faster at the end of the race...but I did)
Overall, a great race...other that the whole 4th place thing.  August and September races are over...ready to tackle October!

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