Without further adieu, here is the race report for the Patrick Joyce Scholarship 5K:
This was my race. I could feel it. I don't know why, but I had a good feeling about this one. I've been doing a few 5Ks recently, and I had the complaint of not being able to break 30 minutes, which has been really frustrating, because it makes me feel like the slowest runner in the world. But there have always been obstacles in the way (heat, cold/snow, excessive crowding, hills, etc.). I had no idea what to expect from the course yesterday, except that it started and ended at Lakewood Park (corner of Lake and Belle streets in Lakewood, OH).
I had my new Fastwitch sneakers, which, if nothing else, made me feel fast.
And Derek even decided (with much deliberation) to run it with me.
My plan was to give it my all. In the past I had played it conservative, holding back a bunch in the first mile, and then being subsequently unable to make it up in the last stretch. (Another thing I have done before is going out too fast in the first mile, shocking myself with the time, and then panicking/tiring out in the middle. I had recently read in a Runner's World article that if you go out 6 percent faster than normal race pace in your next 5K, it might be your fastest. Was it right?????? ;)
Well, here we go. Started out with Derek, but (sorry honey) lost him after about a quarter of a mile...didn't want to be mean, but there was a slight downhill and I just had to take advantage of it! First mile was fairly easy, watched my breathing, and passed a few people. Clocked in at 9:25 - a bit faster than "normal," but very good for what I wanted to accomplish today. Now, if I can just hold it...
A great quote by Bob Glover: "The middle miles of a race are the Rodney Dangerfields of running. They get no respect." How true. Mile 2 was ok, with a slight incline, but was mostly shaded through the sidestreets of the Lakewood neighborhood. Felt strong, and able to hang on. I was a little bit nervous to see my time for this mile, because in a 5K, this is where I usually run into trouble. But I was thrilled and surprised to hear the race volunteer call out "18:40" when I passed him...and sure enough on my watch, that split was 9:13! Whew!
At this point, I was doing fuzzy calculations in my head. Even if I run the last mile at a 10:00 pace, I can still break 30 because I need less than a minute for the last .12. But that's the kind of talk that got me in trouble at the Frosty 5K in Madison last year - around 18 minutes at mile 2, but that last mile was a trip...with snowy hills and what seemed like an endless last tenth of a mile. Okay, just push it...don't stop. Slowed for water (thank God, and I poured most of it over my head) and was grateful this race wasn't any longer because a good portion of that went into my right shoe! The last mile was brutal...hot hot hot, sun beaming down. At least it was flat. But it was endless. I just kept thinking, "This is what you've been waiting for, you can do this," although in my head I was nervous - I had never done three consecutive miles at this pace...my heart was racing and I didn't know what my "breaking point" would be. But I FINALLY saw the entrance to the park, and as I passed by the race volunteer at mile 3, I heard "28 minutes!" Holy crap! Mile 3 was 9:18. I've got this. I pushed as hard as I could, and to be honest, didn't have any "close competitors" to outrun, so my kick wasn't as strong as it could be (but then of course I was outwitted by a woman that I passed a quarter of a mile back who then FLEW past me at the last second - I guess I was HER close competitor! ;) Last .12 was 45 seconds, for a new Personal Record of 28:43!!!!! (According to my watch - the race results still haven't been posted online yet.)
Ran into a woman who asked me if I ran the triathalon in NYC (she saw my TNT NYC shirt) - we struck up a conversation. She's originally from Cleveland, but now lives in Manhattan and will be there watching the marathon! Also, she let me in on the cause behind this 5K...Patrick Joyce was a student who went to school with her who passed away their graduating year, and they do events each year to raise money for a scholarship in his name for a kid in need. Pretty noble cause!
After that, made some blueberry-walnut pancakes, then went to Best Buy to do research on TVs...more on that later - we made a purchase today!! Review to follow when it is delivered. :)
Also saw the Hurt Locker (was so hot that a movie was a must) and then hung out with Rob and Claire for Rob's 30's birthday at the Tremont Tap House. Today, did 11 in Rocky River (um, was SUPPOSED to do the "Perfect 10" Miler this morning...but overslept. D'oh! Was a good day anyway.