Races, paces, and silly mistakes

Confusing indeed. Better luck next time, kid.

I ran my third 5K yesterday miles… or rather, I attempted to run my third 5K.

Per my marathon training plan, this weekend’s plan was to run a 5K at the idea race pace for the (much, much) longer race in May. Last month, I did some searching on Active.com and found the Campbell Valentine’s 5K/10K — scheduled for the very day I was supposed to run at race pace.

I signed up and yesterday morning, found myself heading to downtown Campbell to jaunt 3.1 miles. Alex kissed me goodbye, wished me luck, and told me he’d be waiting at the finish line. With my chip affixed to my shoe, I took off with the other runners, enjoying the warm sunshine and eager to add another race to my tick list.

But almost two miles in, I realized something was wrong. I kept running after the first mile marker, figuring the turnaround would be soon. It wasn’t until after the water station, when I saw the 2-mile marker, that I realized something was up…

A 5K is 3.1 miles… So for me to keep running in one direction and hit a two-mile marker was an indicator that I probably wasn’t going the right way… Sure enough, there were a couple of other 5K runners on the course that were figuring out the same thing — the volunteers we passed were a bit confused, but one mentioned she thought the 5Kers were on the other side of the creek we were running on. Awesome.

So we turned around, knowing that our 5K was actually going to be a 4-mile run — no regrets, any gained distance is usually a plus, though it was a little frustrating that there were so few people who knew what was going on or where we were supposed to be. Even more frustrating was that it was SO EASY to have gotten lost — there were no markers telling us that the 5Kers were going in a different direction. Looking back, though, it’s possible I missed an announcement as Alex and I rolled into the park as things were just about to get started.

All in all, an okay race — about 48 minutes for the whole thing for me, meaning a 12:00/mile pace based on the unofficial time. Hoping to get official results soon, though I’m happy with the results regardless.

Lessons learned:

- Get there early
Very possible that I missed an announcement about where I was supposed to go. Even though I didn’t cheat and run less than the course, it still skewed my results and gives me an inaccurate read for pace — I know I lost time stopping to look around, ask volunteers, find other runners and volunteers who could help
- Be prepared
This was my first race without my Garmin (since I got it, that is). Had I taken 30 seconds that morning to grab it, I would have had an accurate breakdown of my time, pace, and distance covered — and I probably would have noticed the lack of turnaround sooner.
- Be satisfied
At the end of the day, it was still one more race done. Still one more run accomplished. Still one more for the records. Maybe it wasn’t the best, fastest or longest race I’ve done, but it was fun and got my heart rate up. And Chipotle was the biggest sponsor of the race, so I was pleased to snatch up some free chips and guac after I was done. Delicious.

But the best part of the whole race? Alex told me afterwards that he is thinking about starting to run and interested in doing a 5K. I am so excited for him. He’s gonna be great… I can tell.

What have you learned through fitness? What do you hope to learn?

One response to “Races, paces, and silly mistakes

  1. mainstreamhottie

    I can really use your expertise! Thank you! And proud of your marathon aspirations! I’m trying to train for a half marathon, but it’s not until June and it’s -5 degrees out today…those factors equate lazy.

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