I have to admit, I wasn’t very excited about this race. It was a smaller, local race just a few weeks after the big Illinois Marathon weekend. It offered a half marathon and 5 mile race, and I decided to go for the 5 mile since I wasn’t sure how my legs would hold up to back-to-back half marathons.
I arrived at the race early, and marveled at the beautiful weather. Sunny, upper 60s and just gorgeous spring weather! I signed in and picked up my race swag. Instead of the typical t-shirt, this race provides microfiber running shorts. They ran out of my requested size (M), so I got XL instead!
The race began and for the first mile or so, the half-ers and the 5-milers ran together. Shortly after the half-ers turned off for their course, the 5-mile course started to get hilly. And when I say hilly, I mean HILLY! Ok, so maybe it wasn’t too bad, but considering I haven’t done any training on hills since last fall, I was feeling it. In a bad way. The sun was also beating down on my shoulders, and I realized this was my first real “warm” weather run.
I didn’t wear my Garmin, so I was running blind, so-to-speak. It was a weird feeling especially since i had set a goal to finish close to 50 minutes or under. By mile 2-3, I was passing several runners, as is typical for me in races. I tend to start slow where others tend to go out too fast.
In the last mile, I was really pushing it because I had no idea how long I’d been running and I was realizing how much I really did want to beat 50 minutes. The last mile was also flat, which helped. When I saw the finish clock, I started to sprint (well, sprint for me…it’s not that terribly fast). I was so focused on running hard that I forgot to look at the finish time when I crossed the finish line. D’oh!
I cooled down and enjoyed a delicious post-race breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes. I think it was the best post-race food I’d had so far. I hung out for a bit and chatted with running buddies, but then decided to leave before they announced the race results. As I was driving away, I realized I couldn’t find my cell phone, so I went back to the park pavilion to see if I left it there.
I didn’t, but while I was there, someone told me I won 2nd place in my age group! That never happens because, let’s face it, I’m slow. 😉 I picked up my awesome wood plaque, and set off, for the second time, for home. (And my phone was in my car, hiding between my seat and the center console.)