Very glad I ran the Christina 5K race this morning. For one thing, it was free to me as one race is included in Lakeland Runner's Club membership. It was the last LRC race of the year, so I would not have gotten my free one if I had passed this one up. And my niece and nephew ran it, too, and my sister cheered us on!
I set a goal to finish under 30 minutes. I've been training for half marathons, finishing 2 this month already, run-walk-run and haven't done many straight runs. I didn't expect to be super fast. I consider this the beginning of my 5K training this season. I also have a sore (related to eczema) on the bottom of my left foot that bled while shopping yesterday. So I was a little worried about it.
I got up at 5:45 and ate my oatmeal with a few raisins and some applesauce and cinnamon. Had my glass of water and cup of tea. On the way to the race I felt like I needed more caffeine, so I got a cup of coffee, too. I got to the race location more than an hour before the race. I had never been to this community before and wanted to make sure I found it okay. No problem. I checked out the start line:
It was the 29th annual Christina 5K, which sounds impressive, but it is a small race. I heard that 223 people pre-registered, but with race day registration there were 275 or so entrants. There was no prior number pick up. Everyone had to make the registration table by 7:45 for 8am gun. Also, no chip timing in this race. All you get is the gun time.
I checked out the finish line, jogging a couple tenths of a mile. I was told there was no way to get lost in this race as it was a straight 1.6 miles out and a well marked turn then 1.5 miles back. When I got to it, I saw that the finish chute wasn't even set up yet, but the clock and cones were staged in the right place.
The crowd started to grow:
I took my camera back to my car. It was 7:42 and I was worried. Then there they were! Niece and nephew finally made it, got their numbers on and gave sis their bags to hold. It was 57 degrees. I decided to leave on my compression calf sleeves, but left my arm warmers with sister. It was time to line up.
The whole way there was a pretty well-planted median down the street with lots of palm trees. I liked being able to see the really fast runners as they passed us on the other side of the median. The beginning of the race it seemed to me like there was quite a decline and I worried that the incline at the end might really get me. But, funny, it didn't seem steep at all on the return. The race was a real effort, though. Sometimes I run easily; this was not one of those days. My foot did not bother me at all. The bandaid and Balega sock took care of it.
I looked at my pace on my Garmin and will say I was not consistent. I saw 8:30 pace and 10:20 pace. I ended up averaging 9:19 or slightly under (forgot to click the Garmin off right at the end). My official time was 29:05. I had to hit the porta potty right after; I'd had GI rumblings throughout the race. Suspect that richer than usual Thanksgiving dinner was probably the culprit.
When I turned my card in, the volunteer told me to stick around. I might have placed. Okay.
Then I went to get my camera to take photos of my niece and nephew. And -- guess what -- I was too late. They had already finished. Martin took 3 and a half minutes off of his PR, finishing in just a couple clicks over 38 minutes. I'm really, really proud of him!! We all grabbed water and fruit and enjoyed a few minutes.
Martin wanted to get to the 10am Weight Watchers meeting after a shower, so my family members went ahead and left. I stayed as they tabulated the winners.
I thought I might get a third place. A time of around 29 minutes usually places 3rd or 4th in my age group. Third gets a pretty medal; 4th gets no speed award. Remember I was 4th in my age group on Nov 9th in the half marathon.
I was surprised when they called my name for first place in the age group. So, on this day, 29 minutes and a few clicks was good enough for the top AG prize:
I'd passed Cindy, a 59 year old runner from my Galloway group. However, 76 year old Fritz beat me with a 28:51. He was delighted with his best performance of the year.
After I got my shower, I tried to do a "selfie":
I do really like the tech shirt:
All in all, a good morning. Glad to be a runner!!