I am so behind in my posts. I haven’t felt like getting on the computer after work, especially since Charlotte isn’t going to bed until after 8 nowadays. By the time she is asleep, I have little time to myself and I’m usually just beat. I’ve got to catch up on my posts! So you might see a few more than usual from me this week. Not a bad thing.
So last Sunday (the 15th) I ran the first race of the Charm City Run B3 Challenge, the Kelly’s St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock 5K. This was my first time running the race and it was a great time. The forecast was predicting temperatures in the 50s, which we got. Along with it, we also got a lot of gusty wind. I had no idea what to wear. With temps in the 50s, I was going to wear my short sleeve neon green shirt. With the wind, I just didn’t know what to expect. I ended up wearing my Brooks fleece jacket over top, but at times I wished I had gone with a windbreaker.
I had pre-purchased parking at a garage lose to the finish line, because you just never know. My friend Nichelle went with me. We walked to the finish area to check her bag and use the facilities. No lines at either. Which of course was probably because we were there pretty early.
After we got ourselves bibbed and time chipped up, we started walking towards the starting line which was about a half mile away. It wasn’t a bad walk, except for the blustery wind. It was freezing! In the sun it felt good, in the shade of the buildings it felt 30 degrees.
We got to the starting line with plenty of time to spare and stood around people watching and jogging in place. Lots of festive runners. I kinda felt out of place in my plain capris and red jacket. Not enough planning on my part.
Eventually the race began and it was on a very nice downhill down Charles Street. I wish I had taken a picture, but as you go downhill as you look ahead, all you can see is a sea of neon green runners – it’s a really cool sight to behold. I know how tricky a downhill start can be so I tried to hold back a bit. I knew a majority of the race was flat so I figured I’d try to maintain my downhill pace for the remainder. The first mile chirped in at 11:34. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to maintain that. I mean, I’m a 12 min/mile runner. Or so I thought when I started.
Once I got started running I started to warm up, so I unzipped my jacket. No sooner than when I would unzip, there would be a gust that would just blow right into my jacket and I’d have to zip up again. It was quite annoying.
The rest of the race looped down Light Street to Key Highway. There was a turnaround at some point on Key Highway and then a water stop. I took a brief drink of water then picked back up. The race continued back to Light Street then onto Pratt. I knew the finish line was close. So I kept pushing. My watch said I was still in the 11s which I just couldn’t believe.
I made the turn onto Market Street towards the finish line and just gave it all I got. My official finish time was 36:55. A one minute improvement over my last 5K and an average pace of 11:55.
After getting my time chip snipped off my shoes I was able to get a bottle of water, some pretzels, chips, a granola bar and a banana. It was really crowded in the area where the beer line was, so we couldn’t figure out where to get in line for our free beer. No big deal since I had left my ID in my car. They had a band playing 90s & early 2000s covers – they were really good. So we ate our snacks and listened to music for a bit before I had to head back home. Overall I think the race was really well organized and fun. Next year, if the weather is nicer, I want to convince Brian to bring Charlotte down so we can watch the parade together afterwards.
I wanted to talk about my pacing for a minute. My Garmin actually had me at 11:40/mile at the end. Doesn’t matter if the official time and the Garmin time don’t match, I’m just happy there was an 11 in front. It did get me thinking though, did I push myself hard enough? I typically do my long runs at about 12:30 and my speed training and tempo runs have been in the mid 11s down to a pace in the high 10s. In my tempo runs I’ve been holding faster paces, so I wonder if I held myself back in the race because I don’t typically see those numbers on a regular run. My next timed 5K is in June at the Baltimore Women’s Classic so I’m going to try and push harder. It’s a vastly different course, with hills and such, but my goal is going to be to beat this one.
Does anyone else have trouble running shorter distances as far as pacing goes? Do you have any fun races coming up?