I haven’t written a race report in lo! these many years (since January of 2013 in fact).
I’d gotten to the point where the thought of doing an official race with actual people would cause panic. And panic is no bueno. But, now I’m on some drugs which seem to be helping regulate the anxiety (between my lack o’ panic about doing an official race AND my easy-going attitude about flying last week, I feel that something has changed).
So. I did a race. A race in costume, even!
I attempted to do packet pick-up the day before, but misread the website (or misremembered what I’d read) and thought it lasted until 4. I showed up at 3:05 and found out that it actually ended at 3 pm. They gave me my race bib, but not my swag.
Saturday night was my work’s holiday party (yeah, Autumn Social – I guess we’re frugal? Or really into Autumn) and I had a couple or three glasses of wine. There was almost nothing I was able to eat at the party, due to a medication-induced chocolate issue and the fact that most items appeared to be fungus-adjacent (I have weird food allergies), so when the architect and I got home, I ate Alvie’s leftover pizza.
I’d laid out my racing gear.
Chainmail Mitmunk running tights (which I’ve owned for months, due to the awesome), and my Fucking Valkyrie Ice Queen outfit that I’d cobbled together from a few very, very cheap costume sets. VERY cheap.
Instead of my awesomesauce winged helmet, I wore a little plastic horned helmet that actually was held onto my head with an elastic band.
I drank coffee. I woke up my Bean. He was alarmed by my costume until I told him he’d get to ride the (MAX light rail) train. Then nothing else mattered.
We drove to the station and made the train with a minute to spare. Once we got to the race site, I grabbed my shirt and pint glass (which sadly does NOT have a giant purple octopus on it) and then got ready to run.
Alvie wasn’t sure how he felt about all the costumed folk running about, but he was pretty sure that we should let him hold his own bumbrella (I love his mispronunciations) even if it wasn’t raining.
And then it was time. I lined up, and tried to get past all the people who looked like they might want to walk and everyone with strollers (although there was a stroller 10K land speed record set, so they’re not all slow) and then it was time.
It was the usual shuffle of hopeful jogging followed by slow walking to get everyone over the start line, but soon enough (thirty-nine seconds, according to the race site) we were off.
My A#1 goal was to run the whole thing and finish with a smile on my face. My secondary goals were to beat 35 minutes and break 30 minutes.
The first mile took us down to the waterfront and then along Naito to Couch (rhymes with hooch) where we hit mile 1.
Mile 1: 11:14
I knew at that point that a sub-30 5K was not in the cards. I hadn’t been terribly hopeful anyway. This was my third run in October. My first October run was 10/17. I ran once in September – right before the bronchitis set in. I think I ran 3 miles in August. None in July. My training was not top-notch, is what I’m saying.
I decided at that point to just enjoy myself and keep on running. It was right around mile 1.5 that I noticed I was feeling a bit…itchy. Every time a breeze came up, it was amazing. The cape and the costume were apparently too hot AND made out of some kind of awful irritant. I passed the first aid station, and didn’t stop, because there was another on the other side of the street, and I was positive that I’d be there soon.
Mile two really seemed to drag on. And on. And it was itchy. Finally, we started turning for the short loop that would get us headed back towards the finish and I hit mile 2.
Mile 2: 11:02
I got to the aid station and was so very, very thirsty now. I was a wee bit dehydrated apparently. I wouldn’t ordinarily stop for water on a 5K, but decided that it certainly wouldn’t hurt to do so now. I walked through the water station – my only walking in the race – and then trucked on again. The last mile seemed to go by pretty quickly. Before too long, I was turning onto Broadway, and then running by the 6 mile sign (for the 10K, obviously, I did not get lost).
I picked it up a bit again, and found I had a wee bit left in the tank as I hit the 3 mile marker.
Mile 3: 11:26 (water station + fatigue really slowed me down)
I kicked it across the finish line then, looking for my family. I didn’t see them (because they were further back), but I heard my name!
Mile 3.1: 0:50 (9:37 pace)
Total time: 34:30; official time: 34:29 (11:06 pace)
I grabbed some water and found my family. Alvie Bean was not a fan of the crowds, and was much more interested in getting back on the train than congratulating me for finishing my first official race in almost 2 years and only my 2nd since he was born. My first order of business was to get the costume off. The tights were AOK, since they were not made out of stinging nettles and poison ivy, but the rest had to go. I stripped down to my sports bra on the street and put on the conveniently acquired race shirt and my rain jacket. I was all rashy and itchy, but once the costume material (the labels on everything read: “do not wash, do not dry, do not dry clean”) was no longer in contact with my skin, I felt better.
Overall, this was my 7th official 5K, and my first in over 3 years. It fell smack dab in middle of my times.
Overall, I came in 505th of 1230 – well over the halfway mark. For my division, I was 63rd of 167 – top 40%. I’ll take it. It shouldn’t be too much work to bring my pace in under 11 minute miles (possibly being properly hydrated and fueled and uncostumed would be enough to get there), and I really believe I can get back to a race pace of under a 10 minute mile if I were to work at it. Whether or not I want to is a different question.
For now, though, I’m just happy that I did the race. And finished it. And had my family waiting at the end.
I might just have to register for something else. There’s a Thanksgiving 5K that looks pretty tempting…