Yay! Here's for more summer races. In the heat. And in the rain.
On Saturday night, I ran the Lakewood Summer Meltdown 5K in my neighborhood. It was part of the Lakewood Streetwalk (which sounds weird, but was pretty much just a street fair. Get your head out of the gutter!), and for once it didn't start and end at Lakewood Park!
I'm always torn about night races. On one hand, I love them because a) they're different; b) you can eat and hydrate plenty throughout the day and don't have to worry about all the morning rushing to eat and drink; and c) the sun isn't beating down on you. On the other hand, I dislike them because you're waiting the entire day to do it, and you get tired by the time it's supposed to happen. At least, that's what happened to me.
Add that to the fact that it was ridiculously hot this whole week, and that I was feeling like I wouldn't do so well at the race. But I went anyway, and I'm so glad I did!
I left our place at around 6:35 and walk/jogged there as a warmup. The clouds were forming and I heard thunder. Right after I got my bib (but no t-shirt; apparently they were out. What?! And I had pre-registered!), the sky finally said "I give up" and it started pouring. I hid under an awning at Panera because I didn't want to get soaked before I started running (my thoughts were more about chafing and wet socks than about being cold or uncomfortable -- believe me, the latter would have been impossible!).
Finally, we were off, and I remember laughing pretty hard during the first half mile or so. We started downhill on Belle Avenue towards Clifton, and then we stayed on Clifton for a good mile or so. We even passed by my house!
Shortly after the 1st mile marker (which by the way was 10:34 according to my watch!), we heard the horns and we saw the fastest runners coming back towards us. I always love that part. This time, I didn't shout out to them or clap, because I wanted to conserve my energy, but I sent out positive vibes, especially to the first female runner I saw!
We did a bunch of turns, and I was pretty happy with how I was pacing myself. I had the same few people in sight that I tried to pass, and I succeeded in some cases. Overall, I kept thinking about the fact that I wasn't really that tired, and that even though I wanted to walk, I didn't have to. I passed mile 2 and that split was 11:45.
The last mile wasn't really that bad, despite the ridiculously long block we had to come back up (Belle again, this time towards Detroit) and the biatch of a hill at the very end. There was someone on my tail, who said, "One more minute, or I'm finishing without you!" (Or she might have said "I'm not finishing without you," but that would be way too nice. Haha!) She gave me the motivation to keep pushing and not walk, which I really really wanted to do by this point. (I did take a short walking break for water nearing mile 2). Mile 3 read as 11:46, and then as I ran through the chute, I saw 34:xx but I forgot to stop my watch so it came out as 35:04 when I did click it. (Annoyance: the Hermes Cleveland site still doesn't have results up, nor does it have them for the Fairview Park one I did last weekend!)
[Edited to add: The results were in fact posted this afternoon. My official time was 34:56, or 11:14/mile.]
Well, even if I do go by 35:04, that's still better than the last two 5Ks I did, and better than my first one ever. Feeling good about stuff! Gonna get that time back down if it takes all year. ;)
My only other beef with this race? They ran out of water at the finish. What!?! How many people were they expecting, and how many actually ran? Did non-runners take water? Did runners take more than one? I was kind of pissed off. At least they had watermelon, and I went into Panera where they nicely let me have a cup of their water, but still, that's never happened to me before.
But all and all, a very good time, a fun race, and a nice cooldown jog home!