20 October 2008

Illinois State Homecoming Town & Gown 5k Race Report

Last year, I signed up for this race and it was the first 5k that I had ever run. I ended up coming in 2nd place in my age group. It's a good race and the timing is nice, so I decided to sign up again. I was looking forward to this race because it would be my first "short" race since March (I think). So, on Saturday morning, while I was struggling to wake up, I remembered that I was racing and was able to bounce out of bed with a smile on my face.

I knew that it was supposed to be chilly, so I wore my running capris, a long-sleeve dri-fit shirt, and a midlayer pullover, as well as some gloves. I left my house at 6:42am and drove over to the university. I checked in, picked up my packet, and then bumped into my friend Robyn from tri-camp. We chatted for a few minutes and then it was time to start. It seemed like there were more people running it this year. Mitch, the race director, was giving us directions, which was an exercise in futility since no one could hear him. The gun went off, and the race began.

The first mile was fairly uneventful and a good warm-up. I picked out a few people that I wanted to beat and watched my heart rate. My time goal for this race was 30 minutes, so when I saw that my first split was 9:46, I was very happy. The next mile was also sort of boring, although I did pick up the pace. I'm not sure how that happened although it was alot of downhill and flat. My split for mile 2 was 9:28, which was a pleasant surpirse. At some point, my heart rate started going up and I was starting to notice that I was getting close to puke pace, which is kind of sad since I certainly wasn't running very fast. The last mile was on the uphill stretch and there were alot of people walking. I had passed the people I wanted to beat, and I was watching my heart rate, which was right around 184. When I turned the corner, I picked up the pace and still got passed by a couple of people, but I also passed a couple as well. My last mile and then tenth was 10:43, so I guess I slowed down, but my final time, according to my watch, was 29:59:88, so I barely made my time goal.

At the finish line, I turned in my bib, and headed back into the building to grab my race packet and then walked back to my car, since I had 45 minutes to get ready for the parade. I arrived back home at 7:42am, so I was back home in an hour which was awesome!

I didn't really have time to celebrate the race since it was a busy morning, but I'm fine with that. My pace was 9:40 min/mile which definitely makes me happy, especially since I've really been struggling with my running lately. I actually was able to run the race at the pace I wanted to and I was able to stay focused, which was quite a small victory for me. I was also able to run painfree which was nice. As a sidenote, I saw several of my students out running which was cool to see. So, I have one more race this year (I think) and it's another 5k. Perhaps, I'll be able to increase my speed and run a little faster, but we'll see how it goes.


Barb said...

Congrats on another race well done, AJ. BARB