After a wonderful and exhausting NYE followed by a day of rest watching the Rose Bowl it was time to run my first 5k of the year. Sadly I had developed a head cold shortly before the new year and was seriously questioning my ability to run.
Yesterday my sweet husband ran out to the store to load up on Kleenex, DayQuil and NyQuil to ensure I would be able to get out of bed this morning. After a fairly decent night of sleep, I woke up this morning and dressed in my running gear and new trail shoes for the first run of the year. Before leaving I downed a shot of DayQuil (ugh, that stuff is nasty, but it works).
I arrived early enough to get my bib, timing chip, t-shirt and goodie bag and still had time to run it back to the car before the race. It's probably the first race where there was no nervousness or anxiety. It was either because I am more experienced now or because I was certain I would be walking the entire 3.1 miles.
We lined up in the back of the pack, knowing that I would be walking most of the course, I didn't want to impeded anyone. But as the horn went off I was compelled to run, how could you not be. So I found myself trying to pass the walkers which was difficult as we crossed the narrow bridge.
Having started in the back I found myself frustrated at the congestion of walkers and walkers/runners. Even though I was running slowly there were people who were running and then walking and people walking 3 abreast, etc. One gentleman ran to pass me and then slowed to a walk right in front of me and was walking slower than my my pass, so I had to run to pass him. Enough of this, I needed to run far enough to get past this bunch to find some space. So I did just that, and found a nice place on the path that allowed me to run or walk at a nice pace and not trip over others.
I noticed that we were doing a lot of downhill, I tried to take advantage of the downhill portions and tried not to think about how I would have to come back up those and the return. I was pleased with my timing, my legs were having a hard time running as slow as my head and lungs would have appreciated so I kept the pace my legs liked and focused on nice fast strides when I walked. This seemed to be working as well as I hit the turnaround at the 20 minute mark. If only I could keep the pace on the trip back than I could come in at 40 minutes which I was felt respectful considering I was full of mucous. I wasn't really confident in that goal as I remembered the uphill portions I would be facing.
I just focused on not pushing myself and doing what felt comfortable. I power walked up the hills and ran the downhill and flat portions. There is never a greater sight than the finish line. I could see it across the lake and new I was close, could I run the entire last bit. I was pretty sure I could. And of course there was a photographer at the footbridge, it's amazing a photographer can give you the power to push through it. God for bid there is a photo of me somewhere actually walking the course!
As I came around the bend I spotted Ashley and Chris, I had estimated that Ashley was about 6 minutes ahead of me, and I was about right on that timing. I actually even had a little left in my to power through the finish line, and it felt great.
That was the great thing about today, I really took it easy, I had a goal in mind but I wasn't out for a PR on a Brazen run and I knew I needed to take it super easy on my body today. Not only did that strategy work but it was actually fun!
I think the volunteers actually got a lot of photos of me, so I'm hopping there are some good ones. There were 2 photographers on the trail who got me and one at the finish line and one past the finish line who got me with my medal.
On to the next race of the year which is looking like Brazen's Bay Breeze 5k. These folks do such an incredible job running their races that I don't think I can pass up their first ever "fast and flat" course.