It was a beautiful day for a Lakewalk race on Saturday! I had been waffling a bit about the race (Bridge to Peace 5K) - which is why I was making sure to tell as many people as possible that I was going. That way it's harder to back out :) I didn't feel in good shape for a 5K. It was going to be cold. I wanted to sleep in. I wanted to go climbing the night before. Lots of excuses waiting to be used. But I knew this was a cause I really wanted to give some money to (they raised over $5000 last year) and I did want to do a 'last race' for the year so I made sure to be ready the night before.
I woke up a little worried about the cold, seeing that it would be a balmy 10 degrees and I couldn't decide what to wear. I threw on tights and then pants over that so that I'd have the option of either one. I've been running in 20 degree weather with two long sleeves and I usually have to push one of the sleeves up, so I decided on two long sleeves under my racing jersey. A hat and gloves most definitely. I've been enjoying having warm hands this year, so far - I've headed out the door with gloves several times in weather when I would have just left them behind last year. It's nice to have warm hands!
When I got down to the lakewalk - it was lovely. A little warmer than my house, no wind and quite a comfortable temperature once you got moving. We showed up much too early - I was hoping to get there right at registration opening in the hopes of getting a shirt. Well, turns out anyone who registered after November 27 didn't get a shirt on race day so there was no luck for me on race morning. But they're doing a second printing, which I think is great so I'll get my shirt next week. Then I'll do what I was planning on doing last year and do a picture of all my race shirts for the year!
I decided during the warmup with Leslie to keep my pants on for the race. There was just enough wind to seem to cut through layers and I wanted my legs to be warm so it seemed smart to keep them on. Until the starting line, anyway. Then I started realizing that I was rather warm just standing around with my race clothes on and the extra layer sure felt heavy so I decided at the last minute (about the time the starter said 30 seconds to start) to take off my pants and just do tights. A great decision! I would have been much too hot in both.
It was a pretty good race overall despite not feeling like I was in decent 5K shape. My mental game should be the same regardless of the pace I'm running so I tried to focus on being positive and staying even/not relaxing the pace. I ran almost exact even 7 minute splits so that must have worked! I figured I couldn't hope to be faster then in the 21:00s somewhere and I was on the upper end of that, so all was good. I had some people around to keep me going - I was 4th female for a while in the middle of the race and was able to keep my eye on gaining on #3 and catching her with a little under a mile to go. There were a couple of out and back spots on the course, too, which is always fun for seeing and cheering on everyone else and getting some extra encouragement!
I find myself often frustrated by staying the same distance behind someone in front of me - in this case the #2 woman. She started out faster than me and then we settled into our paces and she didn't gain any ground. I started gaining some on her the second mile and then she gained it back at the end of the 3rd mile so I wish I had just been with her and we would have been able to push each other. Not that I was really wanting a hard race but it's always annoying to see someone right up there the whole time and so you wonder if you should just kick it up for a minute to catch up since you're going the same pace. So - is this an indicator that I should start out harder? Sometimes I feel as though I start out too hard already - there's no point in jumping in front of everyone just to have them needing to get around you in the next 200 meters anyway. So maybe I just need to hold that starting pace for a little longer before settling in. Or maybe one of these races, I need to give a surge a try and see what it does to me. Clearly something I'll need to work on as I tackle my 5K goal this coming year.
So overall, I definitely recommend this race for next year! Lots of happy volunteers made this go off great. There was someone at the railroad crossing, sweeping off the snow and making sure to tell everyone that the rubber was slippery! Mile markers were great, especially with the turnarounds - it was nice to know right where you were. The finishing treats were especially yummy, too - lots of homemade bars and cookies as well as some cheese and oranges for more healthy snacking. Sadly, I wasn't able to stick around for awards, though - I had to get home and showered before work. Hopefully I'll be back for next year.