It was 30 degrees when I woke up, which I DON'T UNDERSTAND because isn't Texas supposed to be perpetually 20 degrees hotter than wherever you are in the US? Damn. Of course later that day it was near 60 degrees but that didn't matter - this race that morning would be cold. It had been a while since I ran in weather that cold, so I took every precaution I could to stay warm. I wore tights underneath my running pants, and had on three layers of shirts. I also had my ear warmers and gloves. That probably sounds like a lot of clothes, but I hate being cold. Ugh.
|With the Peters clan|
I basically just putzed around until my future in-laws picked me up at 8, and we drove downtown to where the race would start. We were cutting it pretty close, because they had a new system in place this year where they only let the timed runners into the front half of the race, where no dogs or strollers were allowed, but the corral would be closed at 8:40, 20 minutes before the race started. Of course there was traffic getting into downtown, and we waited to park in a lot but then two cars ahead of us, the teller told us it just filled up!
Fortunately we found a lot not too far away and got out quickly. It was around 8:30, so we just jogged to the corrals and so began the waiting game. I stayed and chatted with them (there were 5 of us- JW, his parents, his sister, and me) until about 8:55 when I said bye and went to find a spot closer to the start line.
The worst part about this 5K is that there are 40,000 people and not a lot of room to run. So, the first half of the race is typically dodging people and slowing down for walkers. I know that's the same for probably every single race in existence, but in a 5K it's much more disheartening when you're spending more than half the time dodging people and you're trying for speed.
I got up near the front, and before I knew it the countdown started and the race begun. I had set up a custom playlist that lasted for 26 minutes - my goal was under 25. I knew I had to finish once the last song came on, and I had some really upbeat ones at the beginning, with one slightly slower one in the middle in case I needed to cool down.
The start was crowded and I tried to start off conservatively, I had "Roar" playing and I was feeding off the song's energy. I could tell my feet were numb within about 5 minutes of running - I guess thin socks aren't the best choice when you're running in 40 degree weather?
My second song was "Thrift Shop" and that song ALWAYS increases my pace. I actually felt my body become warmer because my blood was already pumping - and I kept trying to tell myself, "Just have fun!" so I danced around to the song, made some (possibly) obscene hand gestures, made some grotesque faces, and lost myself in the song. It was kind of awesome.
The third song was "Stockholm Syndrome" by Muse, which is my default power song. I just tried to keep up my pace because I cold tell I was slowing down a little bit. Usually I surge during this song but I thought I was doing fine, so I held back. I didn't want to look at my time yet. Somewhere during this song, I got the halfway point notification from my Nike Plus app - with an average pace of 7'20''. What!!!
Next was "Lose Yourself", which had a nice build to it and I think it helped just keep my pace. Then, "My Body" from Young the Giant, and I listened to the words: My body tells me no, but I won't quit... Running really is such a mental game. I knew I was in the second mile by this point and I just had a little bit to go. I didn't want to slow down but I kind of felt myself doing just that - but I figured if my average time was 7'20'' for the first half, then I only really needed anything near a 9 minute mile to get under 25 minutes. I was gonna achieve my goal, barring nothing terrible happening!!
My last song, "Don't Fail Me Now" by Melanie Amaro was my last song, and when I heard it, I knew the end was near and that I needed to kick it in gear to finish before the song ended. This is another one of those listen-to-the-lyrics songs - I've walked the longest road, so don't fail me now - feet, don't fail me now. Yeah, for real! Feet don't fail me now!!
I turned the corner, saw the finish line, and tried to surge. But I honestly couldn't - I was going the fastest that I could. I tried to see a clock - there wasn't any, so I figured I'd just go as fast as I could and look at it afterwards. I thought I was gonna die when I crossed that finish line - but I did it. I made it. I looked down at my watch and was AMAZED-
23:53. BOOM. And that was only with my Nike Plus app- I wondered what my official time was!!
I can't believe those splits!! All within 7'30''! I never thought I was capable of that speed.
:D :D :D :D - 23:31!! I can't even believe it!! That's an overall pace of 7'34''!
|Snuggling for warmth :)|
I feel so awesome about my results and the race experience was great. Not as much food as last year, but the new course was a great improvement and I enjoyed the small walk back to the finisher's area so I could slow down my heart rate. Not too crowded, and the timed runner's corral was a fantastic idea. My only complaint was that the 5K and 8 Miler splits were not marked as high as they could have been (to be seen from far away), so I was a little hesitant as I approached the split area. But that's literally the only thing!
It was a great race!!
Did you run on Thanksgiving?