Monday, December 10, 2012

Walnut Creek 5K

A 4:00 am Saturday wake up for a race that started at 7:30.  I should have checked the start time before I signed up for this one!  But it was fine.  I had gone to sleep early enough on Friday night and was able to sleep well.  I was lucky that my friend Meredith agreed to pick up my race packet the day before, saving me two hours round trip to get it.

There was a half marathon taking place as well, so I got to the site extra early because I was concerned about finding parking.  I found Meredith and we sat in her car for about a half hour to stay warm.  We finally decided to brave the cold and head over to the start area.  We saw the half marathoners take off.  Wow, some of them were fast!

We hit the porta potties, checked our jackets, and were thinking about warming up when our friend Berenice found us.  So we lined up and a few minutes later we were off.  I lost Meredith in the crowd but Berenice and I stayed together for almost the entire first mile.  I started to think I was slowing her down so I told her to go ahead without me.  I was keeping a really good pace, but running the entire first mile was NOT my race plan so I switched to run/walk.  The first two miles were good (12:29 and 12:20) and I started to think I might be able to PR.

And then the weather of the previous week caught up to us.  Most of the last mile was on an unpaved fire road.  We had had record breaking rains the weekend before this and the trail was full of mud.

Not quite this bad, but you get the idea!
There was a clear lane down the middle, but that is where everyone decided to run.  I had to slow down because of other runners and so I didn't slip and wipe out.  I spent a lot of time and energy trying to get around other runners and trying not to fall, and it took its toll on me.  By time I got to the end of the mud, it was mostly uphill and my legs were not cooperating.  My pace had slowed considerably and I knew a PR was out of reach so I just went with the flow at that point.  The final approach to the finish was up then down a bridge, so I walked to the top in order to have something left for a sprint to the finish.

It was a good race - well organized and not too crowded - and I'm glad I did it even if I'm a little disappointed with my results.  Final time: 40:24.

I found Meredith and Berenice afterwards and we hung out and watched some of the half marathoners finish.  The winner was a 17 year old with a time of 1:14:38.  That is just mind boggling to me!

Next up for me is the Brazen New Years Eve 10k on 12/29.

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