About a month ago, the poet put together a group of people that he works with to all run a 5K together. By Thursday night, every single one of those lame-asses had bailed for a variety of reasons (summed up as: they suck). It's a 5K, for pete's sake, not a marathon! Anyhow, I volunteered to take one of the bibs, and do my every-other-day-walk-run with him (well, several minutes behind him) on Saturday morning.
The weather Saturday morning was perfect - 50ºish and sunny. Since all I've been doing since it turned cool has been cycling, I've pretty much completely forgotten how to dress to run outside. I ended up in my Brooks running hoodie and my Target-brand capris, and it was perfect. The poet was trying to PR, so I let him go up front with the serious people and hung around back with the walkers. My plan was 2 minutes walk, 2 minutes run, don't pay a lot of attention to pace, just do what feels good and you'll finish when you finish.
I've never started a 5K in the back. I usually start about halfway back, behind the people that are pawing the ground waiting for the gun but in front of the people wearing a lot of makeup. Let me tell you, it's a party back there! People are walking their dogs or pushing their babies, and there is a lot more laughing and chatting and "I got this dress on sale," and "and THEN after we were done bowling we went out for drinks," and "we're thinking of painting the dining room blue." And when we crossed the starting mat, I didn't hear the chorus of 50 Garmin beeps or suddenly get mown down by an angry barefoot guy. It was pretty fun and relaxing. I walked my two minutes, bopping along to my music, ran my two minutes, walked, etc. Every time I stopped and started running I was leap-frogging people, who probably thought I was just being a giant pain in the ass, but then they would take me down when I started walking again.
After a few rounds of walk 2 run 2, I was feeling pretty good, so I did a few sets of walk 2 run 3. I was walking at a pretty solid pace, and running at a comfortable pace. The 1-mile mark was square with the Garmin, but there was no 2-mile mark, and the 2.1 mile sign (why? why do this insanity?) was actually at 2.25. The poet jogged back to run in with me after finishing (sadly, no PR for him) about 2 minutes after I had decided to just run the rest of the way. The clock said 32:xx when I crossed the finish mat. I am pleased.
This is my pleased look.
A few things. I know the course was long because all the fast people slamming bananas were bitching about it, and my Garmin actually said 3.26 miles on it. Whatever. Chip times aren't posted yet, but my watch time was 31:56, and honestly, it doesn't really matter to me how long it took. I was surprised at the pace of my little running sections, which was hovering around 7:45-8:00 m/m, which goes along with my master plan of tricking my body into thinking that I'm going to come back faster then I went out. WOHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Beth, this graph is for you!
At no point during this did I feel winded or tired or like I wanted to puke & die (my usual 5K feeling). It was just a nice easy day. Nothing hurt or was sore or pulling or tight or cranky during the race. And, to my great surprise, this is not a PW. My PW 5K time is somewhere in the 34:xx - and I'm sure that I ran the whole thing for that. Mostly it was just nice to be outside and around people and enjoy the day and be running again.
We tore it up. Rawr.
And, completely off the subject, I am a complete idiot when someone points a camera at me. Proof:
Yes, my mouth IS always open when someone is pointing a camera at me. And most of the rest of the time.