Saturday was more than likely my last competitive 5k for the year. It’s just too hard for me to fit racing into marathon training. But the Hustle for Health was my first 5k in 2010, so I have run it every year since. Last year, I ran the 10k and you can read about the hills here. This year there was not a 10k and there were two categories at registration – one for competitive runners and the other for recreational run/walkers. So I registered as a competitive runner.
Saturday morning was humid, and after a couple of warmup miles in my neighborhood I needed to change my top and rehydrate. I then ran to the race site.
I assumed it was the same course as previous years, so I was expecting the fast, flat course. Then I found out the flat course was for recreational runners, and the 1st half of last year’s 10k was the 5k course for the competitive runners. Well, shoot. There went my last ditch effort to PR. I’m not scared of hills. In fact, I run hills ALL THE TIME. I run uphill every time I head home. My legs are trained for hills. But this particular course followed my hills. The hills I run all the time., and Since my legs were already in marathon training, I tossed hope for a fast time. Oh well, one of my favorite part of local races is meeting up with others anyway. There were several from the local running group doing the same hilly route.
This 5k kicked my tail. I don’t run up my road at 5k pace. Ever. My mile pace stayed mostly in the 8:00 range. I was passed by three people in the second and third mile. One older male runner in long pants and long sleeves. What? Then another male runner. In the last tenth of a mile, a female passed me. With a glance, I knew she was nowhere near my
old age group, but I didn’t lose focus. I kept my effort level and ran strong. I survived.
When I went to look for my results, I checked my new age group but couldn’t find my name. I then looked at my previous age group. I couldn’t find my name anywhere. I checked the overall finisher page for my name. There it was with 1 TOP FIN under age group. I looked over at the overall winners, and there was my name listed as the female master’s winner. Yes, I’m old and I guess I had the home field advantage on the hills.
Even more exciting was finding out my friend, who set a PR at the Melon Dash two weeks earlier, ran another PR on this monstrous course and placed first in her age group. She rocks!
Now I’m working week two of marathon training, and getting ready for dark o’clock running once school starts Monday.