Well… I ran my fastest race EVER this morning!!!
But… it was a really small race, and the whole big group of us in the front took a wrong turn since the course wasn’t marked well and ended up finishing in only 2.84 miles. What a bummer :(
So my “official” time isn’t actually for a full 5k. I’m really bummed because I was going to make such an awesome PR, too! I ended up running the rest of it just on my own, though, and I would have had an average of a 7:35 pace and finished in just under 23 minutes. ARG!!!
The race started off great — it’s a BEAUTIFUL cool morning here in Charlotte. I enjoyed a piece of toast with almond butter before heading out as my pre-race fuel.
Caitlin and I were feeling good and ready to rock it!
Minus the course issues, it was really fun to run such a small race. I’m used to all the massive DC area races (Army 10 Miler, Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, St. Patrick’s Day 8k, Annapolis Half Marathon…!), so it was really awesome to have no lines for the bathrooms, easy parking, and a spot right up front next to the “start” sign!
The course itself was nice, too. Around a beautiful lake and nice and flat!
I started out really fast and feeling good. Looking down at my watch, I saw I was FLYING at a 6:30 pace! I decided to reign it in a bit so I could maintain a steady (but fast) pace the whole time. I settled in at 7:30, give or take.
Anytime I felt myself slow into a more comfortable pace, I pushed myself to stay well under 8 minute miles. I wanted to finish with under 8 min/mile splits and I knew I could do it if I pushed myself!
It was also awesome running a “shorter” race after my half marathon and my two 10 milers in the spring and fall. It was nice to not have to worry too much about burning out, and the race flew by.
I was feeling awesome and I knew I was going to PR by a landslide. And then… right around the 2.5 mile mark, all of us in the front group of the race followed the leader the wrong way. There weren’t enough volunteers directing and no one knew the route well enough since there were a ton of turns. Someone in front quickly realized we’d gone the wrong way, and everyone started looping back… but we didn’t realize that we were supposed to have gone the other way to CONTINUE the loop, and as a result wouldn’t finish the entire distance.
Nearing the finish line, I looked at my watch and saw there was no way that we would finish the whole 3.1. My heart sank. I had had an amazing race, put my heart and soul into keeping a fast speed, and now I wouldn’t get an official time.
All of us who took the wrong turn finished the race very disappointed :(
I know it’s not that big of a deal, and that there will be other races, but it’s just so frustrating that I was doing so amazingly well and was going to blow my old PR out of the water. I’ve never run a race in under 8 minute miles before :(
I ended up finishing out 3 miles just to see what time I would have gotten, roughly. Here were my splits:
- Mile 1: 7:35
- Mile 2: 7:41
- Mile 3: 7:37
Oh, well. There will be more 5k’s :) Guess I’ll just have to run another one sometime soon to see what time I could actually get! It’s nice that my speed has come back now that I’m not running crazy long distances training for my half anymore.
It was still a nice run on a beautiful day, right? :)
The race was sponsored by Operation Homefront, so that was awesome too. Operation Homefront provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our service members and wounded warriors. I was happy to support them by signing up for this race! They played the National Anthem and had an ROTC color guard open the race. As someone who has a lot of family in the military, it felt like home :)
Also opening the race was a welcome from Quincy Collins, who is a 79 year old Vietnam veteran. He was a prisoner of war for 7 years! Crazy.
I got a picture with him and a couple other organizers after the race :)
Now we’re just hanging out and getting ready to play in this beautiful weather! Caitlin just made me a delicious breakfast, too :)
Have a great day, friends! I’ll be back later with more shenanigans :)
Have you ever run a race that ended up being too short or too long?
p.s. Totally just got an email that I won my division… but I don’t know if I ACTUALLY did since I’m not sure if everyone else in front of me took the wrong turn, too! Bust. I THINK all of us in the front group took the wrong turn… but I’m not sure!