Last night was one of the biggest races in Jacksonville, especially considering it was just a 5k. I had read great things about this race, it rounds of the 2009-2010 running season, and goes out with a big party at The Landing.
Even though we were running later than I would have liked, we still made it downtown with plenty of time to warm-up and watch the elite wave run.
The elite runners had to submit qualifying times to run in the earlier wave, men had to have proof of under 18 minutes, women under 20 minutes. The idea behind this was to give more people an opportunity to win age group awards in the general field. I had fun watching the elites run a short multi-loop course, and putting the rest of us to shame.
I did a 1 mile warm-up, right after the speedy folks started, and made it back in time to watch them finish before we had to line up.
My mom was doing this race also. We hopped into the start corral, I settled in with what looked to be 8:30 runners, and she headed back a few yards. I was already getting sweaty just waiting to start. This race wasn’t until 8pm, but it was still in the high 80s and wedged deep in the middle of almost 1500 runners I was getting none of the breeze that was coming in off the river.
The gun went off, and I took the first tenth of a mile waaay too quick, under an 8 minute pace. Luckily after that 1st tenth of a mile there was a steep hill to humble me and put me at the pace I needed to be at.
I spent most of the first mile weaving around people that started too far up and trying to figure out where I was going. We rounded two corners and all of sudden, Garmie beeped at me
Mile 1- 8:38
I was pleased with my first mile split, but I had to make sure I didn’t slip at all. At about 1.25 I went through a water station on the right hand side but noticed an abandoned but fully stocked water station on the opposite side of the street. I thought it was odd, but kept going with no thought. It wasn’t until about a minute later when I saw crazy fast people running towards me, that I realized the course was looping back on itself. By that point Garmin was reading 1.35 so I knew it wasn’t much further until the turn around point.
Well we didn’t turn around until 1.7 since the course would go back a little differently, at that point I knew I would pass my mom, so I told myself to just keep up my pace and I would be at the water station soon.
I passed my mom just before mile 2 and waved. I then immediately hit the water station and got run into by some kid who didn’t quite understand how water stations worked. I got kind of trapped so I took a cup of water and poured another over my head. The water over my head mixed with all the sweat all went into my right ear, and I spent the rest of the race trying to get it out- no such luck.
Mile 2- 8:45
The last mile went by super quickly, I give a lot of credit to the awesome playlist I had put together, and also the big downhill that came at about 2.75
Coming off the down hill I saw John up ahead, and tried to speed up, and of course wave.
That downhill at the end gave my some great momentum, and I had a great pace racing towards the finish line at the water front. The breeze felt great, and I was so excited as I knew I would beat my old PR and under 27 minute goal.
Mile 3- 8:38 I was super happy to see such a consistent split.
As you can see, I messed with my water-logged ear pretty much until the finish line, I don’t recommend dumping water on your head while wearing headphones, no matter how hot. I think you can see all the gross sweatiness, even though it was cooler than I expected it to be, it was still hot and humid.
I just coasted the last .1 to the finish line, it felt great.
.1- :40 or 6:56 pace (umm crazy! I still don’t actually believe that)
3.1 Miles- 26:41, avg pace 8:35, avg HR 186
Mile 1- 8:38
Mile 2- 8:45
Mile 3- 8:38
3-3.1- :40 (6:56 pace)
I place 20th in my age group out of 79, and 501st finished out of 1400. I was pleased with this race, it was consistent, challenging yet manageable. I am super happy for a new PR, and even more excited to go out next month and try to beat it.
I grabbed a bottle of water and a banana once I finished, and went back out to meet John and watch my mom finish.
I also had to throw in the picture of the giant banana who ran
I don’t think I would ever be patient enough to dress up for a race.
After I grabbed a drink and watched the banana finished I ran back up the street to meet up with my mom and make sure she finished strong. I found her at the top of the hill with about .35 to go. She took advantage of the hill and finished strong.
I had a great time at this race, and am really excited to do it again next year!
This morning I squeaked in a 5 mile easy recovery run. I am excited for one last week of care-free running, I am not following any schedule this week, just going to run what I feel like, and next week the craziness starts!