(Excuse the lack of photos. I took one on my iPhone, but am too lazy to upload it right now…)
Friday was my first 5k in what seems like forever. (I just checked my blog – thank God I have this to document every waking moment, right? – and my last 5k was in February 2009. The Frostbite 5k.) I signed up for two 5ks a few weeks ago, and I’m really excited about the shorter races. I’ve run several 10ks in the past couple of years (and half marathons and marathons.) So this was a nice break.
In years past, the Chamber Challenge has been HOT. In the 90s hot. It’s always the first Friday of June, at 4:30 p.m. – the whole even promotes wellness in the workplace, hence the start time during business hours. This year, however, the weather pattern changed about 3 times during the race. The forecast was 80% chance of rain (thunderstorms) and in the low 70s. It started raining an hour before the race, it was breezy and not raining at the start of the race, and the sun came out and it was hot at the end of the race. It was really the craziest thing.
This race can be run as a team event, and I was on a team of four co-workers. My husband was on a team with some of his co-workers. The race pulls runners and walkers, beginner runners, elite runners. It’s a wide range.
This was my third time running the race, and the first time that there’s been a wave start (of sorts.) They had people broken up by estimated finish time – and the walkers were at the end. The chips also had a starting running pad, so there was an actual chip time versus clock time. (There may have been a wave start last year, but I didn’t run it.)
The course was hilly, as are most races in Asheville, and there was a water station at miles one and two. They also had someone reading splits at the mile markers.
My co-worker (and friend!) started out together, and about half of a mile into the race, I kind of hung back. She’s way faster than me. About 3/4 mile in, I saw my friend Shawn. He and I kind of played leap frog throughout the race – until I finished about 30 seconds before him! I didn’t have my Garmin on (or a hat or sunglasses) so I felt a little odd, and just figured I’d go with how I felt. And hopefully I’d finish in under 33 minutes.
It’s a big race, and there was a good amount of congestion, despite the wave start. I was even passed by a
rock star woman pushing a double stroller!
At the first mile, the girl reading splits said 9:40 and I was a little surprised at myself. (My time was a few seconds faster than a 9:40 mile since she was going off the clock time.) I didn’t feel like I was overexerting myself, but I was also saving a little bit of my legs for the hills I was about to hit.
My second split was 20:00. Or, around a 10:20 mile for me….a little less because of the clock time. That was fine by me. The hardest hills were in that second mile.
The third mile takes you down Montford which feels like a constant slight incline. It’s brutal. The last tenth of a mile is down a hill, and at the last second, I didn’t let a guy pass me, which proved that I still had a little bit left in me and could have picked it up in the third mile. My clock time at the end was 31:34. I was pretty excited.
I felt good. I checked my chip time later, and I really finished in 31:12. My first 5k in over 3 years and I feel good about the end result. I may even consider running this race again next year!
I now have to come up with a new goal for my July 4 5k. It’ll be warm, humid and FLAT!