I like running races. I love the crowds, the excitement, the t-shirts and bibs. Most of all, I love sprinting past the finish line and feeling a sense of accomplishment. I decided a few weeks ago to sign up for the Springfield 5K (they had a 15K option, but I figured that I might be tired coming back from Boston). I was really glad that I opted for the 5K when I woke up Saturday morning to 70+ degree weather!
The race was 15 min away, so I left around 6:30 AM, leaving me plenty of time to go pick up my bib. The race started near the parking lot of the Springfield Mall and ended at the track of a nearby school. There were tons of volunteers, making packet pick-up a breeze! The packets contained the race t-shirt (cotton), bib, and some unexpected freebies like coupons, a water bottle and lip balm. It was already quite hot, so I started chugging water early. I was surprised at the number of runners who showed up; between the 15K and 5K runners, I think there were close to 1500 people there.
For the race, I went with a sleeveless Reebok top, Nike shorts, my Tifosi sunglasses and a visor. I went for fast feet in my Kinvaras.
I was surprised to see a bunch of folks wearing t-shirts with the logo of my company, and I approached a group of them and found out that our company had sponsored a team for the race! Too bad I didn’t know about it earlier; I would have gotten a free race entry. We chatted a while, and then lined up by different pace groups. I was aiming for about a 25-26 min finish time, so I got in line between the 8:00 and 8:30 pace leaders. The walkers and wheelchairs were given an early start, and then at 8:00, we were off!
I went out a little too fast in the first mile and ended up running positive splits, thanks to the heat. There was nearly no shade in the 5K course, and about 2 miles in, I was extra thankful that I had signed up for the 5K because I had almost nothing left in the tank. I walked and ran the last mile, and used all my interval training to sprint to the finish around the track. My Garmin noted the distance as 3.23 miles, and the other people from my company confirmed that their GPSs also read between .1-.15 miles longer than a 5K, so I’m wondering whether the course was a little long?
My chip time was 25:59, so I beat my old “official” 5K time from back in February! Considering how hot it was, I was very happy with my performance. I also finished within the top 10 in my age bracket – the great part to running small, local races :) The post race-spread at this race was the best I’ve ever seen; in addition to the usual bananas, oranges, baked goods and bars, they also had BBQ sandwiches from Red, Hot and Blue and chicken biscuit sandwiches from Chick-fil-A. Um, you know I was all over that. I even brought back an extra chicken biscuit sandwich for Mike :)
Overall, I really liked this race, and I plan to run it again next year, if only for the post-race food! I also have to help my company beat their third-place group finish from this year :)
My Workouts Last Week
I didn’t work out too much this week, since we were on travel to Boston and having fun :) I’ll have to ramp up my mileage to at least 20 miles this week since my marathon training plan kicks off next week!!
I like the hat that I got for donating to the Peace Marathon; I can never have enough running caps.
Do you wear running caps or sunglasses when you run during the summer? Both? Neither?
When’s your next race?