I got up early (4:30) so I'd have to time to get there and park. Sitting around the George R. Brown convention center, I can't help but gawk at all the people. Even after waiting in line for 30 minutes to use the john, I had plenty of time to people watch. I think the "theme" runners, like the gaggle of ladies dressed as ladybugs were funny.
Most of the people there were signed up for the half and full marathon. We 5Kers were an overwhelming minority. Lots of different accents and people frrom other countries - I saw some Kenyans (I assume Kenya) who were quite tall and weighed about 130 pounds, if that. No wonder they can run 26 miles in 2 hours. I doubt the ones I saw (men) could bench press 70 pounds.
My race started at 7:20. I tried to stay at the back of the group (about 2500 I guess) so the jackrabbits and real runners could get out first. It was about 45 degrees with a light wind. I'm in shorts and a technical shirt, freezing my ass off. I start out slow, about 12 mpm, dodging the walkers who decided to start at the front of the pack ( ) There's so much clapping and so many spectators, news trucks, a helicopter overhead...I couldn't help but be excited even though I knew they were there for the marathoners not the 5Kers.
My GPS watch helped a lot because it let me keep an eye on my HR (175-190 through most of the race - when I saw it get above 185, I backed off a bit.) It also let me know the distance I was at, which helps when you feel like the next mile marker must still be like .99 miles out there and you look at the watch and it's only .25. But the best thing was the pace monitoring. A couple time I looked down and I was running 9 mpm - a good pace for my 1 mile runs, but too fast for a 3.1.
The jackrabbits were funny. They'd pass me damn near sprinting, go 1/3 mile, then walk because they were so tired. Meanwhile I'd pass them chugging along at 10-11 mpm and usually not see them again.
I thought I was going to run out of steam at about 2.5 miles and I saw quite a few people who appeared to be in better shape than me break stride and start walkling. Not wanting to do that, I sloweed my pace till the 3 mile mark. With 0.1 miles left, I made the final turn and saw the finish line. TONS of spectators cheering and yelling encouragement. Then I noticed the offical clock above the finish line - it was like 31:45 or something. I was planning to run a 35 minute 5K - 32 minutes was within reach! Lead legs be damned, I sprinted to the line and crossed right at 32 minutes.
The cool thing is that my offical time is right at 32 minutes, but that's the gun time. My chip time (which starts from when I crossed the start line, not from when the gun is fired) is probably a little less, maybe 31:30 or something.
The endorphins are phenomenal. I don't get that feeling when I run on the treadmill. As tired as I was, I felt like i could go join the marathoners!
Now that I'm home, my quads are sore, my knees ache, my heel hurts, and I remember why I only ran the 5k. But I have a finisher's medal and I beat my expectations, which were my real opponents, so
Thanks for reading! I could ahve typed out 5 pages worth, but I tried to make it reasonable.
Sounds like we have another addict. Congrats on your first race (of many I am sure).
Have you picked out an 8K yet????
There's a 5K and 10K in 5 weeks in Galveston I'm thinking about running. I've never run 6 miles, so I'll probably stick to the 5K again. I'm going to see how my body recovers and how well I do the next few weeks running before I sign up.
Is there a master list of races? I've found a couple lists, but they are incomplete and not really specific for me in Houston. Hell, I missed a small 5K that was held 1/2 mile from me - I didn't know the city was doing it. I would have ran that one for sure.
Oh, a little more about the Houston 5K today - there was a 6 year old girl running. SHe was running with her mom (MILF material 100%) and that little girl was doing great. SHe ended up finishing about a minute before me I think.
Try www.active.com for starters. A good running store will also have race applications stashed away somewhere.
Run a couple 5Ks. You will want to move up eventually, although IME the best pie is at 5Ks and 1/2 Marathons.
Nice race report.
Racing in addictive, like Black Rifle Fever.
After a few 5k's, you'll sign up for a 10k. After a few 10k's... you see where it goes.
In a few years you'll be on the starting line for the marathon.
Good luck and progress to you!