I decided a couple weeks ago that I would run this race out of convenience. It fit right in with my marathon training and a bunch of people I know were running.
So, I woke up this morning and took my good 'ole time getting ready. I even gave Sophie a bath because I neglected that chore last night. We got out the door a good 15-20 minutes later than I wanted to and got to the race with about 20 minutes to work with. That might seem like plenty of time, but I'm anal on race day and it kind of messed with me.
Then, I go to pick up my bag of goodies, shirt and chip... I get to the front of the line and they tell me they are all out of anything larger than a medium. Since I'm not a "medium", I basically didn't get a shirt (I did, but I can't wear it). Anyhow, that's frustrating when you pre-register for a race and they guarantee you a shirt.
Then, I handed Meliss my race packet and headed over to the starting area. I ran into a friend from HS/College and chatted with her. I got a little caught up and the race began with me standing there chatting. Not a good start...
I intentionally dialed back on the first couple miles to ease my way into the race. I've been trying to do that a little more lately because of a couple of rough races where I got out too fast. My goal for the whole race was 7:45 miles. I didn't quite do that, but it was a pretty good goal none the less.
I came in the first mile in 7:40 something and the second in 7:50 something. Then, it began to become a little tougher to hold that pace. I kept looking down at the Garmin and despite pushing harder, my pace was not going down (or up, depending how you look at it). So, I resigned myself to the fact that 8:00 miles was the pace to stick to until I pushed at the finish.
With about a half mile left in the race, I saw a guy I work with out in front of me. So, he became my visual. I was slowly reeling him in the whole way. At about the quarter mile marker, I finally pulled even with him. We chatted for a second and stayed even. Then, with about a tenth of a mile left, I really turned it on. I ran the last mile in 7:40 something and ran all the way through the finish.
According to my Garmin (and I didn't stop it immediately), I ran a 39:35 over 5.04 miles. But, after I had the chance to check out the results, they had me chipped at 39:44. The only thing that I can figure is that they just had it chipped at the finish. So, all the time I spent getting to the start was wasted in my total time. Heck, even the time at the finish line on the clock was 39:30 something. I'm confused.
Anyhow, since I went with the calculation for the short race in Hershey for the purpose of PR times, I am going to go with my Garmin time for this one. My official time from the race is 39:44, but I'm going to count it as a 39:35. After all, I'm competing with myself here, nobody else.
A couple race notes... This is usually my favorite race of the year for the give-aways and the food. They didn't disappoint, but the food wasn't as good as it has been in past years. That said, it will still pretty darn good... so no complaints.
But... I'm still a little burned on not getting a shirt that fits me. It was even more annoying to see the throng of volunteers who got free shirts and me (who paid) without one. Don't get me wrong, the race couldn't take place without the volunteers, but I paid for a shirt. Not only that, I got this ugly alternate grey shirt and they had the much nicer green. Enough about that, seriously.
All in all, another good experience and a 5 mile PR!! Woohoo!! I did however, feel like I can/should be running this race faster at this point. I think that I am going to have to lose some weight to start putting in faster times. I'm still improving, but the improvements are small. So... we'll see what I do about that.
Edit to post (09/06/08)- I received a shirt in my size today! What a random and great thing. Check out my post about it here.