Official time: 50:33.
Pace: 16:18 per mile.
How I felt about it: Miserable.
This was not my best performance mentally. I should have just picked up my bib and shirt and turned around and gone home. But I was there, I paid for it, I decided to just do it.
Driving to the race I had thoughts of "why am I doing this?" It seemed like a good idea at the time to sign up, but on my way there I realized that I didn't want to just walk a 5k. If I can't push myself and try to get a PR - or at least beat the time of my last race, or the last time I did this event - then what's the point. My mood went even further south when I was faced with a huge line of traffic just to get into the park, and another big line for packet pickup.
So I started the race in need of a serious attitude adjustment. I had just enough time to get into the corral with about five minutes to spare. The music was upbeat and the race director was on the mic giving out positive messages and encouragement, so my mood lifted a little. After all, it was a Saturday morning, sunny and warm, and I'm healthy enough to be able to walk 5k. So I decided to make the best of it.
Since I knew I was going to walk, I tried to be considerate and I lined up towards the back of the pack - but in front of any strollers that I spotted! - so runners wouldn't have to go around me. It turns out I should have started a little further forward.
You see, even though I considered myself a walker, I wasn't going for a stroll. I'm still trying to push myself and finish as quickly as possible. Turns out many others seemed to have a different idea.
I should have taken a few things into consideration before signing up for this race. First of all, it was Mother's Day weekend - which meant lots of moms and daughters doing the race together, which also meant that they were going to walk side by side so they could chat. (It's OK. I don't mind going through the tall grass and weeds on the side to pass you since you have no idea what "on your left" means.) Also lots of new moms pushing strollers - including the one who stopped right in the middle of the two-person wide path to adjust something. (For F's sake, move to the side!) And then there were the mini-Mermaids who started five minutes later than the actual 5k - and who caught up to me and passed me because while I was walking quickly, they were actually running. Demoralizing!
I did run a few short intervals - for nothing else than to get past groups of slow walkers. Or because there was a downhill and I just wanted this to be over.
And finally it was over! And I was so thankful and no less annoyed. So I did a little bit of stretching, then hopped in my car and got the hell out of dodge.