I haven't participated in any races since the end of December 2006. I just seems wrong that it has been that long. I guess grad school, applying for jobs, and other summer events took over my life!I knew that registration started at 7am, but I thought the race didn't begin until 8. Good thing I like to be early for things as I got there shortly after seven, only about 15 minutes before the race began. I grabbed my bib, pinned it to my shirt, turned on my ipod, stretched, and began to mentally prepare myself.
I never know how to dress for races in ND. The one's I have done have either been in fall or winter and the weather is always unpredictable. The temp was 61 degress with a bit of humidity and a lot of wind. Yuck. It doesn't take long for my body to get extremely warm when running and I hated the idea of wearing a heavy top, but it was just too cold without it. I chose to wear my short yoga pants, tank top, and a longsleeved running shirt over the top.When mentally preparing myself for this run, I thought about what I wanted to accomplish. I didn't train enough to really expect to break any records so I was hoping for a good steady, strong run. In the back of my mind, a part of me wanted to beat my extremely slow pace from last year.... 39:46. Yuck. Looking around, I noticed the crowd consisted mostly of very young college students who probably could have been on UND's cross country team. It seemed as if there were only about 30-40 people running the 5K race. The starting gun went off and as people were flying by me, I kept telling myself "pace yourself...pace yourself" ... prentend someone is running with you.The route was very similar to last year's race.... starting at the wellness center, running through campus, making one large loop. It was absolutely gorgeous. The leaves were falling, the weather was crisp and but quite breezy. I kept playing tag with a father/daughter team. They were running a bit faster than me, but taking walk breaks every couple minutes. I felt that we were going to be the last 3 to cross the finish line. I didn't see anyone but a couple walkers behind us. It was during the last mile that I really felt that I had a good steady stride and it became my goal to cross that finish line before the father/daught team.And I did. With a couple minutes to spare. I pushed myself hard in that last half of a mile and just wanted to finish strong. Of course that was when the wind was the strongest and against us. If I calculated correctly, I think I might have PRed, beating 37:14. I don't know for sure, and I haven't found the race results online yet. I am almost positive I came in under 36 minutes. We'll just have to wait to find out! All in all, it was a good race and I am not as sore today as I was expecting to be.
Tomorrow starts Octapolluza! I am so pumped!