Monday, September 30, 2013

Race report: I'm still rocking the Remembrance Run 5K

For the second time in as many years, I set a 5K personal record at the Iowa Remembrance Run.

Actually, "set" is an understatement. Smashed, shattered, destroyed ... those are all better words: My chip time was 24:09 (a 7:47 pace), compared with my old 5K PR of 25:30.

While the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick was an ugly PR, the Remembrance Run was a thing of beauty. I did a slow warmup jog before the opening ceremonies, found my pace right away AND kept it (a range of three seconds!), fought off the urge to walk at mile 2.75 and subsequently placed in the top 10 women (No. 7!).

All but one of these accomplishments are thanks to the tempo runs in my half marathon training plan. Hal, I'm virtually high-fiving and fist-bumping you.

The one that I can't thank Hal for? Not walking at mile 2.75.

I may or may not have gotten cocky after all those successful tempo runs, and I may or may not have told my gentleman friend that I thought I could beat him.

And then on Saturday, the day before the race, he notched a 5:45 mile at the Brew Mile ... so I definitely got nervous.

We took a moment's pause from talking smack to each other, and I even dropped my nervous grimace. Fortunately I ran better than I photographed that day.
We started out together, but as we wove through the crowds, I lost sight of him and hoped that meant I was ahead of him, not choking on his dust. But without knowledge either way, when I hit the final stretch — in full sunshine — I absolutely could not allow myself to walk.

Thank God I didn't. Cory would've overtaken me. Instead, I crossed at 24:09, and by the time I'd gotten my medal, returned my chip and walked to the sidelines, he'd finished.

Even if I hadn't been able to walk the walk, it would've been a lovely day. We cheered on and lunched with fellow runners Sharyn, Laryssa, Pam and Regina; it was Sharyn's first race ever, and like me, Regina bested her Friendly Sons of St. Patrick time.

Check out those sweet medals! From left: Cory, me, Pam, Regina, Sharyn and Laryssa.
Like Van Halen says, though, "the more you get, the more you want," and I eventually came down from the post-race high ... but that's fodder for another post, and it doesn't take away from the fact that both Remembrance Runs I've done would have been wonderful regardless of my performance.

Each time, I've come away just so impressed at the work the race organizers put in at this one, compared with an annual 5K I used to do back in Rockford. No wonder I used to be so lukewarm about 5Ks.