Hmm… woke up at 5:30 to the sound of pouring rain. Strolled over to the window; yep. its really coming down. Feels like its gonna be one of those never gonna stop raining type of days. Moved over to the computer to check the radar on weather.com. Yuck, that’s one big cloud stuck over CNY. Maybe it might let up by race time.
I mess around s’more on the computer for a while that hit the shower. Hmm, its still raining pretty good. Time to pick out some rain gear. A short sleeve running shirt and another long sleeve one on top should do it. Hmm, should probably bring a windbreaker for messing around pre-race, so I’m not soaked through at the start. Geez, its 7:10 already. Time to roll.
On the drive in, it lets up a bit; but its still a steady rain. I’m almost to the school where the race starts. There’s supposed to be a church across the street with some parking. Brrrrrring, crap. I just passed a cop. Should I answer it? (after my recent run in with the police, I thought twice.) Its Larry’s son, saying they’re on the scene and wondering where I was. Funny thing was I was just answering my phone, when I sailed past the church’s driveway. I quick double back and we hooked up.
Time to go pick up my goodie bag, number, and timer chip. They’ve got a pretty good staging area, except that the areas for registration, goodie bag pickup and chip pickup aren’t labelled too well. Since I’m always early to races (as Larry mentioned, he’s not sure if its anal or complusive), its not a big deal. The guy who runs the timing chip process is on the job training the chip hander-outers. After a little stumbling we got our chips and hoped that they’d catch on for the rest of the racers (unfortunately, they most have gotten deluged after us, as the race started about 20 minutes late). Time to head back to the car for final prep and a quick snooze.
After a few minutes of shut eye to the constant rain, it was time to head back to race start for a visit to the portapotty and lining up. After a little delay for the straggler registrants, its time to line up. Hmm, maybe I imagined, but the rain seemed to let up to just a drizzle. Hope we start soon, I’m starting to shiver a bit. A quick live rendition of the Star Spangled Banner (by a girl using a road cone as a megaphone; love it), and its time to start. 5-4-3-2-1, go!
Passed a few slowpokes out of the gate and a few more right after getting out of the school’s driveway. Settled right in with some people around my same pace. A quick right turn and there’s a nice downhill section. At the bottom of the hill, one of Larry’s SRC buddies caught up for a bit and said Larry’s son Josh who started way back was hot on our heels. Sure enough, he goes cruisin’ by. I let him know he’s got a lace untied; he says he knows, he’s got stop soon. I decide to give it a little more gas.
Wow, already to the halfway point. Man, I hate turn arounds. Feels like I lose about 20 seconds slowing down then trying to get back up to speed. Feeling pretty good, but trying to hold back just a little to save some fight for that hill that I know is coming. Unfortunately, I was so in-the-zone on the way out that I didn’t pay too much attention to landmarks to know when that hill was coming; crud!
On the way to the hill, I ran near some guy that was grunting his way along. It was pretty regular beat. Not sure if was to the footsteps or to breaths. He was keeping a pretty good pace, but was kinda distracting. Also strange, was that he stopped grunting from time to time. I had a couple of yards on him at the start of the hill, so I don’t think he messed me up.
If this hill was on my training route, I wouldn’t really even call it a hill. But, being in the last half mile of 5k, where I’m really gunning it, its like a mountain. Well, not really, but I could definitely feel it as I tried to keep pace. But, soon enough its over and I’m in the final stretch. Starting to get a little discouraged as a few people start to catch up and pass, so I really turn it up.
2 more turns to go. 1 more to go. 0 to go. Some goes fly’n past me. Oh well… Through the gate. Wow! 22:35! No wonder I feel a little beat. Beat, but in a good way. The rest of the crew trickles in the next few minutes. Everybody seems to be happy with their race.
I guess I’m becoming a real runner. Why’s that? Rain doesn’t seem to bother me any more. I think I’d rather out getting soaked than just hanging around at home. Man, I’m consumed with running. I’m always thinking about that next run and/or race. Geez, its like I can’t stop. At least its a healthy addiction.
Going back through my log, I saw that this race gave me a new 5k record. At the 5k Race for the Cure just a month ago was exactly 1 minute slower. For kicks, on Friday I did a 5k on the track at the Y, flat out. I thought I was doing pretty good with a 23:15. I was really happy with my effort at Paige’s considering the crappy weather and the hills.
I was gonna reward myself with a day off from running, but what kind of reward is that? I just got back from another 10 miler… hehe.