On Saturday morning, Community Options Inc. hosted a Cupid’s Chase 5K. It took place in 25 cities across the U.S. simultaneously. One of those cities just happens to be about half an hour from here. I participated last year and really enjoyed myself, so I decided to go back this year.
Gun time was to be at 10:00 am. It was a gorgeous sunny day, but HOLY CRAP it was COLD! The temperature at gun time was 23 with a “feels-like” of 8. Now, the cold I can take like a champ, but when you add in the wind… well, that’s just a whole different story altogether. And IT. WAS. WINDY. Sustained winds 20-25 MPH with gusts even stronger. When I woke up Saturday morning and saw just how windy it was, I seriously just didn’t even want to go. If I hadn’t already dropped $35 on preregistration, I wouldn’t have. That’s how much I hate wind.
But I sucked it up, dressed in my best cold gear, and headed out in plenty of time to pick up my packet before the race started. One thing they did differently with the T-shirts this year was pretty cute. When you preregistered, you could specify whether you wanted your shirt to say “Available” or “Unavailable.” Since this was a Cupid’s Chase, I thought that was a really cute idea!
So, anyway, fastforwarding through a portapotty stop, small talk with other runners, the dude standing in front of me with nose hair that you could braid, and lots of standing around shivering, it was 10:00 and time to run. I was SO ready to get moving! So when they yelled GO, I went. It felt so good to get moving and get some blood flowing! I was clicking right along at what is ordinarily a fast pace for me, but it felt very comfortable so I went with it. Actually, it felt a little TOO comfortable to be a race. The wind was at my back for the majority of the first mile, and looking back now, I wish I had taken better advantage of that.
Mile 1 – 8:33
Most of the second mile was spent winding around roads in residential areas, and the wind didn’t seem to have much effect on us there. It was mostly blocked by houses and trees. What did become abundantly clear to me during this mile, though, is that I’ve slacked off on running hills lately. This part of the course was the same as last year, but I just don’t remember the hills being as tough on me then as they were this year. (I haven’t made the effort to do any hill training because my “A” race next month is flat.)
Mile 2 – 8:57
And then we headed back in the direction we came from. So you remember that first mile when the wind was at our backs, right? Well, it didn’t magically change directions. We were now running dead into it. Let me just tell you, it wiped me out. I tried. I tried SO hard to tough it out. But at one point when I was giving it everything I had to give and looked down to see nearly a 10 minute pace, I got so disgusted that I walked. Probably only for about 15-20 seconds, but I did. I freaking walked. I caught my breath while muttering obscenities under my breath and started running again. I told myself to just hang in there and then kick it the last quarter mile.
Only I didn’t get that chance. With 2.9 showing on my watch, I kicked it. I SAW the finish line right up ahead and to the right, but I assumed we would run past and back to finish out the mileage.
They were directing runners to the finish right there. I crossed with my watch reading 2.95. It all happened so fast that I didn’t really know what to think. I remember thinking that maybe my watch was off, but when I saw that the clock matched my watch, I knew it wasn’t. I knew I didn’t just run a 5K in 26:31. Or did I? No, other runners with GPS watches confirmed that the course was short. Everyone’s read 2.95-2.97.
Mile 2.95 – 9:31 (See, I told you. I don’t do wind well AT ALL.)
I was so bummed. I felt robbed! I didn’t get my chance to sprint to the finish. Not that it really would have mattered anyway. It would have just made for a lower PR that I couldn’t claim. I can’t rightfully say that my 5K PR is 26:31 because I still should have been running for another minute or so. I KNOW it would have been a PR anyway (current PR 27:51), but what would it have been? 27:30? 35? 40? I don’t know, and I don’t like that.
But oh well. It is what it is. As it stands now, I “officially” ran a 5K in 26:31, an 8:33 pace. It just makes me want to work on speed all that much more. I hate that my PR wasn’t earned. I WILL earn that time though. I will get a 26:30 5K now if it freaking kills me.
But you know what WAS earned?
Gotta love small races! I took first place in the 30-34 age group! (Please mind your manners and don’t ask how many people were in that division. *coughcoughcoughsixcoughcoughcough*)
So the day turned out not to be a TOTAL loss. 🙂