On Valentines Day, Adam and I raced this 5k at green lake. Neither of us were particularly prepared (somehow Adam always manages to go out and run sub-2o minute 5ks without trying), but we had run this race together when we first started dating so it seemed cute to run it again.
We showed up about an hour early to insure we had prime parking, so we had plenty of time to wander around and have a little warm up run. As time went on more and more people showed up. Club Northwest had a good showing. Adam and I had signed up as a team so we kept scoping out the team competition since we quickly realized there were a lot of fast folks so overall or age group contention was out the window.
I lined up and prepared for the starting gun, hoping and praying I could just run sub-22.
The gun went off and the crowd took off, I tried to ignore Adam and the rest of the fast people to make sure I didn’t get pulled out too fast. I was feeling better than I anticipated, I did the quick check of the watch a couple times before settling in to a quick but comfortable pace.
As we cruised closer to the bath house theatre I zeroed in on a couple in tri suits (why run a 5k in that?). I could tell the girl didn’t want me to pass her, which I promptly did. She tried to speed up to stay with me as we passed the first mile marker. I checked my watch, 6:45, crap, too fast, but I was feeling okay so I tried to hold it. The couple dropped behind me and I didn’t see them again.
One of the advantages of running races at green lake is that I know the course like the back of my hand (thanks SGLRG)! I knew the two mile marker was at Starbucks so I focused on holding my pace, which was slipping a bit. Came through the two mile marker at 6:54 pace which was still decent but slower than I was hoping given the first mile.
The last mile also happens to be my least favorite part of the lake, for some reason the mile from Starbucks to the track always feels like it takes forever. There were some guys and a couple girls around me at this point. One girl passed me just after the 2 mile marker, I let her go but swore I would keep her close and focused on passing a couple other girls who had been just ahead of me the whole race.
I was feeling much better than I thought I would given my less than stellar training (or lack thereof training) the last month or so. Soon I spied the 3 mile marker signaling the finish was near. I ignored my watch as it beeped my 3rd mile pace (it was a 6:51). As we neared the turn on the inner loop Barry was running back towards me (crazy guy was running 6 miles, racing, then running another 6). I passed the girl in front of me and gave a quick kick, praying she didn’t have a finishing kick. I saw Adam as I came up to the finish. I could hear another runner behind me, I pushed as hard as I could to prevent getting passed in the chute (happened last year at a 10k and man does it suck).
After catching my breath and suppressing the gag reflex, I stumbled off to have my timing chip clipped off and find Adam. We stuck around long enough to hear the awards. Uli Steidl won with sub 15 minute 5k!!!! The top 27 runners all ran un 18 minutes.
I managed to run a 21:23 and 12th in my age group, which I was happy with, wished I had run faster, but it was faster than I thought I would do. Adam ran 19:52 and got 12th in his age group. We also were the 4th place team in our category.