So after a week of zero athletic effort, I set out to PR in the 5K on Saturday morning at the Eastbay Rib Mountain Half-Marathon/5K for Special Olympics.
It was a very foggy, miserable kind of morning. I was a little worried we were going to be stuck in a rainstorm (my dear husband was doing the half), but the sky cleared and it was a beautiful 47ish degrees at the start. The sun even came out and lit up the trees on the side of Rib as we crossed the bridge. It was lovely.
I should preface this by saying that typically I'm a 10-min-mile kind of a girl. My previous 5K PR was 30:20. I have also never barfed due to exercise. Ever. Never ever.
This was the first running of this race, so it was lightly attended. About 175 half-marathoners and about 180 5K run/walkers. There was no chip for the 5K, so my time is the one from my Garmin.
We were off right on time, and I was feeling pretty good. I started passing people and thought "Huh. That's odd. I don't pass people."
But it kept happening.
The course is flatish, straight, and out-and-back, so you can see everyone ahead of you. I kept gaining and gaining. It was weird. My GPS chirped. My mile split...8:50.
WTF? I do NOT run sub-9s.
So I kept on, still feeling good...pretty scenery. I see the leader coming back, but I can also actually see the turnaround at the same time. A novel experience. I blow by the water station (really, do you need water on a 3 mile run when it's 45 degrees? mais non) and am thinking "Holy crap. Still passing people and I can see the park we came from!"
At the mile 2 marker, I started to feel like I was going to barf. Like really going to barf. This had never happened on a run (Never. Never ever.). I slowed to a walk for about 30 seconds. Then I thought to myself "NO. You will NOT just STOP. You will finish running, you pansy ass."
So I picked it up and kept on, somewhat slower.
Finishing time? 29:30. Finishing distance 3.2 miles. The course was long. Bastards.
I could have finished sub-27 if I hadn't blown up at mile 2. I was so NOT expecting that to happen. I might have been sub-29 if the course had not been long. So these are my pissy things about my PR. Still, it's a PR and I proved that I really can run faster than previously thought.
My husband? 2:10, and he walked most of the last 2 miles because his knee went "NO. NO! NONONONONONONONONONONONO!!!!!" at about mile 11.5. Jackass.
A few things about the race:
1. The start/finish is in a very nice park in Wausau. Plenty of parking.
2. The course is really beautiful. Especially at this time of year. The last little bit is on a windy train through the park, which was neat. Watching the finishers come in through the trees was kind of cool. Good police presence on the roads near the park, and the traffic lane on one side of the road was blocked off for us. I believe the course was open to traffic on Rib, but don't quote me on that.
3. Starbucks, Eastbay, GU, Subway, and Qdoba were sponsors. What does this mean?
a. Free (awesome!) coffee/tea at the start and finish
b. High quality finishers shirt (cotton for 5K and tech for half)
c. Free GU (and not a crappy flavor!) in your goody bag.
d. Free Spenco slides and insoles,queso and chips, and sandwiches at the finish
4. The had the Spicy Tie band! Those guys are awesome!
5. There were a number of Special O athletes giving high fives at the finish. I think that's great.
I don't have anything really negative to say about the experience aside from the course being a tad long. It's not like I was trying to qualify for anything, though, so it doesn't really matter. My husband is on the state Special O committee, so he knows the organizers. We suggested porta-johns and garbage cans nearer to the start. It was kind of a hike to go pee before the start, and I had nowhere to toss my water bottle when the start buzzer went off.
Put this one on your calendars for next year, people. I think I'll do the half next year. It'll be a nice tune up for the Whistlestop Marathon!