Race: Heartbreaker 5K/10K/Half Marathon
Distance Ran: 5K
Splits: Mile 1; 8:49, Mile 2: 9:13 (water break), Mile 3: 8:25. Last .26: 2:00 (my Garmin said the course was 3.26)
Age/Gender Group Ranking: 5 out of 31 (not bad!)
I was very nervous for this 5K, as I haven’t been running very much since my knee injury in October. However, I was also hopeful that I’d be able to run faster than ever before, as I’ve been hitting the weights pretty hard since I started working with my trainer in early December.
I woke up around 6am, and was relieved to see that it wasn’t raining. I made myself an espresso (okay, two espressos) and put on my race gear. I had pinned my bib to my shirt the night before, as it always seems to take me forever to get the number straight.
Around 6:45, I pulled out of the driveway and headed into downtown Portland. As is usually the case before a race I didn’t feel like eating, but I downed a KIND bar so I would have something in my stomach. I was able to find parking just a few blocks from the starting line at the World Trade Center. With about 10-15 minutes to spare, I lined up in the porta-potty line with everyone else and jumped up and down to stay warm as the temperature was around 38 degrees. I watched the half-marathoners go out at 7:30 (thankful I wasn’t one of them) and then lined up for my race which started at 7:40. I was very close to the front, and felt chubby next to the 6-minute mile gazelles stretching out next to me, but at least this way I wouldn’t expend energy weaving around walkers.
Unbeknownst to me, a photographer captured me hanging with the fast runners at the starting line:
The gun went off and so did I. We took a left on Naito Parkway and then almost immediately did a tight turnaround to head South on Naito, which I realized at that point was entirely UPHILL. Not a steep uphill, but the slow and steady kind that can burn out the quads and lungs of an undertrained runner. The kind of hill that, only a few months ago, I probably would have had to stop and walk at least once.
I cleared the first mile in 8:49, which is GREAT for me. At the 1.5 mile mark, I stopped briefly to grab a bit of water because the cold was making my throat quite dry and I wasn’t carrying a bottle. I lost a bit of time, but I was parched! Thankfully, the course also turned around then which meant the rest of the run was downhill.