I woke up at 5:30 so that I would have enough time to get dressed, eat a pre-race meal, and hopefully go to the bathroom before I left for the race. News flash: I couldn't.
I got to the beach at 6:45, found a relatively close parking spot, and watched the sunrise with the many other runners who were already there. It was gorgeous. This is why I LOVE running early in the morning.
Before the race started, I found a few of my friends who were also running the race. These two are the girls I ran with last week. They were planning on running slower than I was, so I lined up between the 8 and 9 minute mile pacers and they stayed behind. The race started promptly at 7:30 am after the National Anthem was sung. The first mile flew by, but I had to stop and get water at the first water stop because I was really hot since I was pushing myself harder than I usually do. First mile was done in 8:20, which is super speedy for me. I walked during the water stop because I dumped water into my nose when I tried to run and drink. The next mile was a little tougher and I started to get a side stitch, so I slowed down a little. I'm not sure what my split was for this mile, but I walked during the water stop again. The third mile was right into the sun and I had to stop and walk for about 5 seconds because I was cramping up. I also kept burping and had to excuse myself to anyone who wasn't running with headphones. I'm not sure I drank enough water before I started (I finished ~48 oz an hour before, but it was HOT and I sweat a lot) and my body is definitely not used to pushing this hard in the heat, so I wanted to make sure I could cross the finish line strong and took a few quick steps when I was walking. That might be embarrassing for someone who credits themselves with not walking at all during long runs... but again, I'm running much slower. I somehow finished the last .1 at a sprint, but as soon as I crossed the finish line I had to run to the bushes because I thought I was going to vomit. I may or may not have peed my pants a little bit when the nausea passed because my body was relaxing after pushing so hard.
I crossed the finish line in 26:33, which was faster than I anticipated, and finished 4th in my age group! My first instinct was to be a little bummed that I didn't get an awesome medal, but then I reminded myself that this was m first 5k and 4th in my age group is NOT bad at all! I averaged 8:33 min miles, which I am happy with. I was 14 seconds behind the third place girl, so it was close in non-runners terms, but not close in runners-terms. Either way, an awesome way to kick off my first 5k!
Clock says 26:41, official results say 26:33.7 (PS. My face)
I liked this race because the course was fast (The overall winner set a course record and finished in 16 minutes!) and half of it was what I run during my long runs. I do wish that the third mile was not into the sun because it made it hard to keep my head up during the run. An earlier start might be better because then it would be cooler and the sun wouldn't be up yet, but I'm guessing they cannot do this for safety reasons. Another complaint would be that they took forever to start the awards ceremony. I only stayed because one of my friends placed and I wanted to see him get his medal, but the ceremony didn't start until 45 minutes after the course was declared cleared. Free parking was only until 10, so I had to leave immediately after he got his award. Overall, I would run this race again! Plus, it benefitted sea turtle conservation, and we all know that I love sea turtles.
Who else raced this weekend? Have you ever placed in your age group?