Sunday, November 20, 2011

Green Lake Gobble 5k

In the recesses of my mind, I knew that I had a fast 5k in me. Ok, I didn't really keep that to myself - I think all of my friends knew that I really wanted to just bust one out before marathon training started and I got down to pushing out new distance records every week. I mean, don't we all just like to GO sometimes, instead of worrying about whether we have the endurance to last or whether our heart rates are too high, etc.? And, I think the 5k is a really good measure of fitness, especially for me, who tends to be conservative, even in races, over long distances.

So, earlier this week, I signed up for the Green Lake Gobble, a 5k around one of my favorite places to run in Seattle. Green Lake has a beautiful paved trail all the way around (~2.8miles) and they add on a tiny out and back to the sidewalk to bring it up to the 5k distance. I picked up my bib, chip, and true turkey of a race shirt yesterday and MAY have gotten sucked in to trying yet more running shoes. *hangs head in shame*

This morning started out really badly. I was up before my alarm and killed time drinking tea before my zipcar reservation. 45 minutes later, after two zipcars that simply wouldn't GO when I pushed the gas (new note: NEVER reserve a Mini Cooper zipcar ever again), I took a cab to the race start. It actually ended up being the right amount of time, because it was SUPER cold this morning and I had just enough time to use the potty (real potties!) and do a couple of brief warm up trots. Seriously, this was the first time since I moved to Seattle that I've seen frost on the ground, probably because it was a beautiful, sunny, and clear day. The only real loss was to my long run, because I'd originally planned to leave my stuff in the car and go for another lap of the Lake after the race. But, oh well.

The race isn't super big, but I was a little concerned because the pathway can get very crowded on a normal day and isn't incredibly wide. But, the non-racers were awesome about stepping off the side to wait for us to pass, and the racers got strung out really quickly, like within the first quarter of a mile. I was running mostly on my own, but ran next to another woman for at least the first half of the race. She told me afterwards that she was trying to keep up with me (and lost me when I pulled ahead), but I thought I was keeping up with her! Dueling rabbits! Still, it was a really sweet thing for her to say! I did get passed a bit, especially in the first half of the race, but concentrated on picking people off in the second half.

So, my goal for this one was to come in under my current PR and finally break 29:30. Apparently I was not ambitious enough, because my official time was a WHOPPING minute and a half faster than my PR at 28:07. HOLY CRAP. I ALMOST BROKE 28?!?! That's INSANE. WHO TAKES THAT MUCH TIME OFF THEIR 5K TIME? Well, me, apparently!

Obviously, I had to make some phone calls (Me: GUESS WHAT I JUST DID?!?, Best Friend: Um, can you give me some context?), hydrate (mmmm, nuun & hot cider) and snatch a few snacks (bonus points to the cinnamon bread chunks from the Great Harvest Bread Co.). My only criticism was that there were random prizes for the 14 people who managed to beat the really fast turkeys to the finish line. But, um, those people are all or almost all going to win age group or overall prizes, too! What about the rest of us? I love how the DC races have random bib number draws for everyone! I left before the mashed potato eating contest, alas, to catch the bus home.

And, the extra bonus is that my gym finally opened today and I had my free training session. I'm SOOOOOO glad that I didn't do those extra three miles this morning, because I was feeling the burn anyway. But, it was also a confidence booster, because I'm tougher than I think I am, especially if someone else is pushing me. I'm signed up for personal training sessions, which was something I'd planned anyway, to help me get into marathon shape (and better shape afterwards, in general).

I'm just going to spend the rest of the day basking in the warm glow of my endorphins. :-)