Monday, May 5, 2014

Race the Bar 5k Recap (AKA: A Personal Worst!)

Do you remember a few weeks back, when I was all braggy about running in Florida in February/March? Sunny mornings around a lake with a light breeze off the water have turned, cruelly, into humid stretches of time where I am humbly reminded of my own limitations.

You guys, I see these gazelle-like creatures, men and women alike, who prance on my running route with compression socks, a soft glow of perspiration at their brow. It's beautiful. It's also a harsh reminder that I am not them. I am currently running in the thinnest, smallest items of clothing I can without offending anyone (shirt stays on, people). I dare not step outside without some awful visor or wide-brimmed hat. When I hop in the shower after a run, my face is a deep crimson that causes my husband to voice his concern for my general well-being.

Have I mentioned this is what happens after my easy runs, with a few walk breaks thrown in? Yeah. It's humbling.

Now, I'm not complaining. It's beautiful here, I'm not training for anything, and if "it's too sunny when I run" is my biggest thing to complain about, then obviously life is pretty freaking good.

I'm just creating a valid excuse to set the scene for my 5k recap, a race I did last weekend called Race the Bar. I didn't sign up for the race, because it was on a Saturday night and I knew I wasn't "race-ready" by any stretch of the imagination, but I had nothing to do that night and it was a mile away from home via my normal running route, so I showed up, got my shirt and warmed up.

Post Race: Pics or it didn't happen

It was 92 degrees at the race start at 6pm, but the course is fortunately 50% shaded and almost completely flat. Just to clarify, 92 degrees Fahrenheit. I wasn't gunning for a PR, of course, but somehow I assumed that if I wanted it badly enough, I could magically pull some great time out of my ass.

Spoiler! I did no such thing.

Although the results were posted up at the finish line a few minutes after I crossed, I've already forgotten the exact time. My Garmin says it was 29:49, so let's go with that. I distinctly remember being relived that the clock at the finish hadn't yet hit 30 minutes.  That translates to a 9:35 pace, which is almost a minute slower, per mile, than my marathon PR. (If you're not a runner, I'd just like to clarify that as a general rule, that should not happen. There is no one who should ever, ever have a 5k pace slower than their marathon pace. I just thought you should know that.)

However, there were upsides to this soul-crushing race.

1) I think the heat forced a lot of people to stay home or take it easy, because I managed to take first in my age group.  I feel obligated to also mention that there were only three women in my age group.

2) I didn't walk! Normally not something to be super proud of during a 5k race,  but I trudged on and refused to stop out of stubbornness.

3) My $30 entry fee went to a good cause - Florida Rural Legal Services.

4) I got a baseline! I plan to run several more 5ks, all really close to my house, this summer. So, the time to beat it 29:49. My plan to is not run in direct sunlight at 6pm. Seems like a solid plan so far.