It was a warm and sunny, summery day in Portland. A truly perfect day for running. So what did I do?
I ran a 5K race
After all that talk in my last post about not having much 5K experience, I figured I should do something about it. So, I showed up and ran the Summer Solstice Sundowner 5K in Oregon City this evening. Here are my thoughts.
Overall: As the name suggests, it’s an evening event and one that involved very little planning on my part. It felt odd to go directly from work to the race. No magic breakfast or wake-up rituals. I changed, pulled on my (non-lucky) socks, laced up and went for it.
Impressions: It was a very low-key community fun run with a little bit of every type of runner. There were the long lean rabbit types, and the older, slower rabbit types of yesteryear, weekend warriors, walkers, and parents pushing jogging strollers. There were middle pack runners and people out just to have fun. It was refreshing to take part in such a welcoming, unintimidating race.
Pre-Race Jitters: I was more nervous for this 5k than my previous 10k trail races. Why? I don’t feel confident in shorter distances and everyone looked soooo fast as I warmed up on the community college track. A sick knotty feeling settled in my stomach and refused to budge for most of the 30 minutes leading up to the start time.
Kid’s 1/4 Mile Dash: Before the 5k race they held a small 1/4 mile dash for the kids. Nothing is more adorable than watching very little kids running around a track. They are so darn cute (and I’m not one to usually think kids are cute or adorable) One kid sat down half way through the lap and another cut across the infield so he could catch up to his brother. They all looked so happy to cross the finish line. If only I looked that cute and adorable when I ran!
The Race: The modest-sized crowd toed up on the track. No gun. No whistle. Just a guy counting backwards from 10 to 1 and then we were off. The first 800 meters is always the most challenging for me in any race. Having to jockey for position, trying to feel out a competitive pace and trying not to get totally overwhelmed by nerves isn’t easy for me. I get intimidated as I see the crowd of runners surge past me. I’m never sure just how fast I should go out.
The course was flat and relatively fast, but my times were pretty slow. The first mile was 6:48, the second mile 6:55 or so and i’m unsure what the last mile split was. I know that I have much faster times in me and I was a little surprised at how much I was struggling at the end. Maybe I’m still recovering from the weekend, or from the 15 miles I logged last night. Or maybe my times suffered because I’ve been dealing with some insomnia… who knows, but at least I have a base time for the 5K and I definitely look forward to improving my time!
Third Place in the women’s category
First in my age group