I missed this race last year for two reasons. One, I was injured and homestly lame as lame could be. I thought I might go and walk the damn thing then the shit hit the fan. My Grandmother passed the day before (9/11/10)... We all knew it was a matter of days but it was a dark day, regardless.
Onward to the 2011. Not only did I want to make up for the fact that I had to bail due to being 8 legged lame but it was a great race to run to honor the memory of my Grandma, and sadly, two other close frineds who lost their cancer battles in 2010. Suck-O. This felt like an important race to me (combine that with the obvious fact that it was the 10 year mark of 9/11 and there were all KINDS of emotions running thru my little head. Shoot!)
It was a nice day. I had been running a good amount. In the back of my head I thought probably too much, as it is a known and proven fact that these old legs can only run a decent 5K after having at least a week off. Logic and reason at its finest? Regardless of the logic it is indeed a proven fact.
Annoyingly, I did not have time to pick up my race number the day before (sorry, Portland is a bit of a drive from where I live) so I had to arrive horribly early and then kick tires, pace around and get VERY bored and just a touch crabby. The race had a super late start- 10:00- which was good for not having to get up at the AC of D BUT not so awesome for the "waiting around for all damn day."
Finally things got going. I started off a little fast due to my desire to just GET GOING but then I settled into a more reasonable pace. Had a bit of trouble getting enough air- my allergies were really the worst I have felt in years (yuck.) There was no clock or people who helpfully shout your time at you during any part of the course so I felt a bit lost, and as though I was running blind. However, I felt like I was keeping up a very respectable pace and actually felt confident that this could have PR potential! (at this point, I can accurately guess my mile per minute speed within a second or two as a general rule. Or NOT, as we will soon see...)
Coming into the final stretch I had just enough gas in the tank for a little push so off I went, until I caught a glimpse of the clock. It read, shockingly, "23:18" and I still had a few hundred feet to go. I was BAFFLED and seriously came almost to a full halt in my horror! Disgusted, I steadily ran under the clock in an abysmal 23:30 (give or take a second or two- I was excluded from the final results due to some chaos at the finish. I could have called them and asked to have it fixed, but I didn't want to admit to a final time of 23:30. GRRRRRR)
Honestly, I was unimpressed. To feel that I ran well and FAST and to come in 30 seconds slower than my PR and 15 seconds slower than my average pace for a 5K very irratating. I was prepared (for a change) well fed (but not TOO well fed!) and feel at this point that I can tell how fast I'm running... GUESS NOT!
OH WELL. In the big picture who gives a crap, right? I ran for a great cause, enjoyed a nice day, got some excercise, and had some snacks at the end.