Going to bed was quite the challenge last night I was too damn excited. I somehow managed to sleep pretty well and popped out of bed like a poptart when my alarm went off at 5am.
Got ready, head breakfast, picked up my friend Michelle who was coming to cheer me on and we got on the road. The race was about 45 minutes away in Georgia (at Callaway Gardens for my Southern peeps - SUCH a beautiful place I had never been before). Also keep in mind Georgia is in the Eastern Time Zone. Thankfully with the drive and time changes we made it there with 20 minutes to spare (I had a nightmare that I woke up drove all that way and we couldn’t find the registration tent/missed it).
The Gardens was hosting 5K and a Triathlon that day. Since I registered at the event I had to wear a Tri bibb and they ran out of shirts so they were going to mail me one. I also was given a chip that was a velcro band around my ankle (I’ve had the shoelace chips prior).
I was feeling good, anxious, nervous - lots of emotions. It was quite brisk out - I’d say in the mid 60s. I got my ipod and nike+ sensor queued up and was waiting on go. The race was small - 150 of us. I told myself I was going to pace myself at the start and then push the second half. Well OF COURSE as soon as they said go I took off. I was at the front of the pack when we started and pretty much stayed towards the front the whole time. It was a lovely route around a lake and through some woods. There was some rolling hills, but overall it was a lovely route.
I felt so freaking good on my run, I had no idea my pace and I didn’t care. Since I started like a bat out of hell I slowed my pace slightly for the middle of the ran, but I NEVER ONCE STOPPED OR WALKED. I didn’t even want to stop or walk - I was in the zone. Once I was at about 4K I kicked it back into high gear. It was also around the 4K point that we passed some of the first Triathlon cyclists. I was smiling and cheering for them as I ran. As I approached the finish line I saw a “28” on the clock and couldn’t believe it. I wanted to badly to finish under 30 minutes, but I wasn’t sure I had it in me. I shaved over 4.5 minutes off my first/previous 5K in May. There is no feeling in the world like crossing a finish line - I’m addicted to it.
After the race I met up with my friend and we watched some of the last Triathlon swimmers finish up before exploring some other events going on including mini golf. Well we were 1/2 into our game of mini golf when I think I hear my name over the PA. I was like ???? So we head over to the registration tent to see they were giving out awards. They gave awards for the overall winners and top 3 per age group. After the finished I walked up to one of the volunteers and said I thought I heard my name (I would have been HORRIFIED if they were like ummm no). So I found out I had placed 2nd in my age group (25-29) and age group winners got plaques - except then ran out of 2nd place ones so they are going to mail it to me. So now I can look forward to my tshirt and my plaque in the mail.
I also check the website and saw my “official” time was 28:53.26
That means my average pace was around 9:18 min/mile - WHAT?!?! I’ve never even come CLOSE to that before. I guess I was channeling my inner Prefontaine:
The only good race pace is suicide pace and today looks like a good day to die
God I felt great and I am really starting to get a sense of what I’m made of and what I can achieve. I am SO READY for my 1/2 marathon next month. This was just the vote of confidence I needed. Also seeing the Triathletes makes me really want to aim for that this spring.