So is the manifesto of See Jane Run, the company that put on the race that I ran yesterday.
After running a mid-day run on Friday, I knew it would be hot on Saturday. As I drove across the San Mateo Bridge to the race in Alameda, it was overcast and foggy. Perfect running conditions, I could not have been happier! When I got to the site of the race, the parking appeared to be a little chaotic, but with a little patience, it wasn't too bad. I walked to the race area. There was some confusion between the Start and Finish areas because there weren't any signs or volunteers directing people way to go.
The starting area was very confusing. Though we picked up our race bib and goody bags ahead of time in their stores, we could only pick up the timing chip on race day. This, along with same-day registrations and bag check, made the place one big mess. You can read my Racevine review for more details on this.
Once I got situated, I went for a warm-up run around the block. Though it was still overcast, it was quite humid. Anyone who knows me, knows that I detest humidity. But I was feeling pumped for the race! Unfortunately, by the time I was done warming up, there was still 20 minutes till the start. So I hung around the Starting chute, stretching and trying to stay warm.
The Start had pace markers. I lined up in the 9-minute mile section, but as I looked ahead of me, I saw women carrying a Coach bag, wearing backpacks, etc. Obviously they were not running a sub-9 minute mile. I was annoyed. One of my biggest pet peeves are people who do not line up in their correct corral or pace group. I wished the emcee had made several announcements about this, but she never did.
Sometimes I think 5K's are harder than half-marathons. Though the distance is shorter, its really an all-out 3.1 mile sprint.
I have a hard time pacing myself. I didn't want to start out too fast, but at the same time, I wanted to really push myself. The good news is, I ran my first ever sub-9 minute mile! I clocked the first mile (according to my Garmin) at 8:55! I had never done that before! And sadly, I knew I probably wouldn't be able to hold it up for the remaining 2 miles, but I certainly tried. Unfortunately, around the time we hit Mile 1, the clouds parted and the sun came beating down on us. It may have only been 64 degrees, but it felt like 94. There was no shade (and I forgot to wear a hat).
Miles 2 and 3 were a slow fade into oblivion, but at least I stayed under a 10-minute mile. As we neared the end, I was simply gassed. Then my Garmin beeped. I looked down and saw that it was 3-miles. I looked up and could see the Finish Line, but it was still a ways off. I thought about stopping my Garmin right there so I could get an exact 3.1 time, but I decided to keep it going till the actual end of the race.
Final Garmin reading was 3.21 miles in 29:52 for a 9:18 min/mile. No PR, but the first mile split was a huge confidence booster. Now I just need to work on holding it longer.
As soon as I crossed the line, I was handed the bling, and a champagne glass with chocolate.
As we made our way through the Finish area, I was also given some fruit, water and a Muscle Milk. I was supposed to do a 1-mile cool down, but I didn't know what to do with all the stuff I was carrying, so I skipped it.
After cooling down and stretching, I stood in the bag check line (another chaotic experience) and chatted with a guy (yes guys were allowed to run this race) who had the same Garmin as I do. He showed me all kinds of cool stuff that it could do that I didn't know about! This was definitely one of the race highlights for me.
The other highlight was meeting up with my running blogger/Twitter friends after the race. I didn't get to see them before the race because of the chaos, but I met up with them after they were done running the half-marathon. This race held their expo AFTER the race, so we hung out for a couple of hours on the grass, chatting and enjoying the festivities. It was great to see Aron, Page and Maritza again, and it was the first time that I got to finally meet Tara and Kerry! I've been so fortunate to meet such wonderful people through running, blogging and Twitter!
And congratulations to Page who placed 3rd in her Age Group and 15th Overall! I can honestly say she's the first person that I've ever met in real-life to receive an award at a race I participated in! Way to go!
By the way, all these girls write great blogs, you should read them!
This morning I logged on to the race's Web site to check my own results. I placed 22 out of 231 in my Age Group and 124 out of 1108 Overall! This is one reason why I like 5K's. I am no speed demon, but 5K's bring a lot of walkers so it gives a slow poke like me hope to get some decent results. I'll definitely take this!