The morning was cloudy, a cool (perfect) 60 degrees, and being a little temperamental with the rain. I had to take the Metro in, so I made coffee while I was getting ready and grabbed my CLIF bar for the ride!
Ivan and I headed over to the park, met up with the rest of the group, and did all those pre-race jittery things until we finally heard the “GO!”. All I could think was “this is only two 5ks, back to back!”; wanting to start at a normal/relaxed pace and go from there. That bet was in the back of my mind, pushing my feet to turn over a little faster than they probably should have.
Seriously, fewer things have motivated me so easily!
He ran ahead within the first mile and I knew I shouldn’t use up energy keeping up with him that early (speedy!). Regardless, my first two miles were much faster than I anticipated, and from then on I ignored the Garmin’s 1-mile alerts! The mental pace-control game can be too much. Ivan was out of sight by this point and I figured I’d just roll with it. The first half looked like this…
Mile 1 – 8:16
Mile 2 – 7:43
Mile 3 – 8:01
Hmmm, good thing I started off consistently right!? Ha, ehhhh.
Early on I saw a few runners coming from the opposite direction, giving me the impression it was an out-an-back (equal both ways) course. Nope, I didn’t look at the race map. So, No, I had no idea this was not the case. Mile 3….Mile 4….Mile 5….where is this turn around?!?
I could feel my fast miles. I knew the fatigue would likely set in, but wasn’t sure I cared yet…..
Then I saw it…..THE HILL. Oh, that hill. I saw the flow of people running down in my direction, and the trickle of racers coming back up the other side.
At the bottom we veered left, along a straight-away, before hitting the cone that marked our U-turn. I was looking for my challenger on the opposite side, wanting to give him a big shout-out and *high Fiiive*. This distracted me from the fact that this stupid straight away turned out to be like half a mile long (where is that cone?!!!).
No Ivan, no high five, no hope for winning this bet. I was surprised at either how far ahead he must really be, or how I suck at finding people in a crowd. Hm.
Finally reaching the turn, I started watching the other side…….and there he was! …… I’m ahead!
This song came on with impeccable timing – “Bleed it Out”, Linkin Park!! (THANK YOU Lacey!). I was definitely digging deeper at this point. Whew.
Aaaand, runing up the hill (between mile 5-6)! Not a good combination. I knew there was a Very small chance of Running this hill and surviving the rest of the race at an 8:00 min/mile pace. One or the other! I ran half way up, walked most of the rest, and picked my pace back up at the top.
The second half looked like this……
Mile 4 – 7:32
Mile 5 – 7:29
Mile 6 – 8:07
….it’s a Really good thing I ignored those mile-pace alerts. I had No idea I was running those splits, and would’ve felt tired just seeing the numbers.
I finally saw the last 0.2, with the Finish Line in sight! I hadn’t seen Ivan pass me, but I also hadn’t noticed that somewhere after mile 2 I passed him, so this really wasn’t any sure thing. I must be so out of it while I’m running, gah!
Mile 6.0 – 6.2 ~6:56
FINAL TIME: 49:25 @ ~7:48 min/mile
Yes, I won the bet. But he was very close behind!
We might need a re-match! …..You In???