Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The (Unofficial) Results Are In

The "race" report:

So, my running buddy picked me up and we headed into Portland. We were both a little nerved up, especially when we heard that the Beach to Beacon (10k race that was held last Saturday here in Portland) winners were rumored to be there (it turned out that the 6th place runner was). We decided that our goal was to finish in under 40 minutes. We also decided we weren't going to stick together the whole time. If one of us felt driven to either push on or fall behind the other person shouldn't feel obligated to match pace.

A few things: it was quite warm but not super hot and not very humid. I have never run in the evening. I have never run a 5k. We've been run/walking 10/1:30 minute intervals for 3.1 miles. We decided to scratch that and try and run the whole thing. I'm estimating that there were 40 or so runners. We jumped in towards the back of the pack and we were off.

It's hard to keep your own pace when you are in a pack like that. I knew I was starting off a bit too quickly. I think our 1 mile split was 10:30. That's pretty fast for me (I know). At about the 1.25 mile marker I wished we'd stuck with the intervals. I went a little further and had to take my 1st walk break. Buddy went on ahead. My mouth was so dry. I run with gum to avoid this, but tonight it didn't work. My mouth was so so so dry. I contemplated asking a stranger who was walking for just a little tiny chug of their water. I didn't.

I started running again after 2 minutes or so, but I just couldn't get a rhythm. Nothing felt right. My number was flapping around. I struggled to find a good pace and found myself doing shorter intervals- brisk walk and almost sprint. Not a good approach. It was really windy and it was blowing right towards us. My hat blew off crossing the bridge at about 2:25 miles. I don't love the hat and it turned out to be a big pain in the ass, but I didn't want to be a litter-bug, so I went back and got it.

Buddy was in sight and we were pretty close to the finish line. I thought it would be cool to catch her and cross together. I almost did it. I crossed less than 10 seconds behind her. We were both pretty pleased with our times, but not at all happy with our race. Does that make sense? We didn't feel good doing it, but were ok with the end result. I think we decided next time to do the intervals.

Unofficial time: 36:43 (11:38/mile)

Here we are, with times to beat and performances to improve upon: I am in the middle, running buddy is on the right and running buddy's friend is on the left (she kicked our butts with a time of 33 minutes)


Wes said...

Ahhh. That has been an age old problem, as I remember having it from the days I used to run cross country in high school. The key is to learn what your race pace is, then you gotta ignore everyone else. Easier said then done, I know. Galloway recommends starting out the race under race pace, then having negative splits. You finish the race up strong. I think if you stick to a planned Run/Walk cycle, you'd of been fine. In any case, great job on the race! You ROCK!!

Chris said...

Congratulations and way to go! I'm excited that you did it! I couldn't see which was you in the picture at first, but I figured it was the athletic looking one with the exhillarated look on her face.

They make these neat plastic things with a spout on one end and a solid base on the bottom. You can get ones at EMS or Bean for like... 8 bucks and they come with a nifty hand holdy thing to make it easier to run with it. I think they call it a bottle. :)

Hydrate, tough guy. Hydrate.

Jon (was) in Michigan said...

Sounds like a greaty race, Meg. Congrats! I think you did everything right despite your not feeling good about the race itself. Everything you mentioned (keeping pace in a pack, the flapping bib, starting too fast) are all the exact things that everyone of us experienced in our first race. Some of us (ahem) still experience them. :)

Welcome to the world of racing. You may now begin obsessing about the weather and collecting running shoes. :)

Michelle said...

I'd be thrilled with that time, you did GREAT!

Congratulations on your first race!

jeanne said...

Congratulations!!! Awesome job. You didn't quit, you kept going. That's inspiring to EVERY runner!

(And I just read all your other entries, and see you are doing a tri! Holy COW!)

Mark I. said...

Great job!

Blaine Moore said...

I was there last night. Actually, I won that race last night. Not that it was really a race from the front end; most of the fast regulars were absent (probably due to Beach to Beacon) and the Kenyan and Ethiopian elites were jig jogging so I didn't see them for a minute or two after I finished.

I have not missed a single one yet; next Wednesday might be my first. If you run again, look around for the skinny guy wearing #2. That's me.

Wanna-be 5k-er said...

Thank you for posting this. I have to learn to stay at MY pace in my first race next weekend. I am slow. I need to remember to start SLOW!

PROPS to you for making the run/walk work for you. I may try this...

And PS, I'd be thrilled to do the 5K in 36:xx!!!


Rose said...

Great job on your race! Finding your own pace is always a challenge when you have to contend with a bunch of other runners and the nerves/excitement of the event. You did just fine!

DebbieJRT said...

congrats on the race! Don't worry about the time, the speed will come. Go at your own pace. Although, I found out when I started racing that my pace was a bit faster than I thought it was :-)

Jack said...

Congratulations, great job!

Mia Goddess said...

Ah. It's so hard to start slow when you get caught up in the excitement! I've blown it every time. I have great faith that you will learn better than I have. :)

Great time, great race!

balinjdl said...

Congratulations! I'll be in my first 5k next weekend. Can't wait. Your tips will help. Thanks for the post, and stick with it.