I signed up for this race a few months ago, when a friend of mine that I hadn't seen in awhile mentioned that he was doing the Couch to 5k program with this race being the resulting 5k. Thinking it would be great to see him and his family, I registered and told him I was in. "Sweet!" was his response.
Chris K and I also had a 5k #FIERCE challenge going on twitter, he brought the mansuit and I brought hopes of chicking him (really just trying to be near his time) in it. No such luck, Chris K , this week (because I know you're gonna do more 5k's now), you are the winner. You can keep your mansuit, even if we all know it's really a toga.
I quickly tried to get a few teammates to come out as well, and managed to get two yes's, which wound up being one show and one back-out. To Katie, who showed, I am forever sorry for that race.
I had seen the course map, that says you cut onto a trail, which didn't seem too bad and then a description of the course saying that the only hill of note is about .50 mile from the finish. I decided, with the trail, I'd not wear my T7's, but stick with the better cushioned Kinvara's. It was a good call.
It was 66* by my car's thermometer when I got to the race and it was super humid and muggy. I did my warmup around the Safeway shopping center waiting for Katie and like an omen of what was to come, as I ran by a dumpster, I startled the vulture (yes, like a BUZZARD, I'm not kidding) that was munching on something delicious, and it flew out and almost flew in to me. It then perched itself on the roof of the building right next to another humongous vulture.
I kept running around the building, until my warmup was done. By the 3rd go around, the vultures were gone. From the sounds going on in the dumpster, they were both dining...
I switched into my Kinvaras, found Katie and we did some drills and pointed out who we thought would be the frontrunners of the race. Katie said on her warmup she had seen the trail hill and that it was completely muddy and looked very slippery and kind of steep, but not a terrible hill, just the condition of the hill that made it terrible.
The gun went off and my garmin had me at a 7:50 pace and my primal scream was already working overtime. I was taking it easy and started to feel good, when we cut into the trail, which began with a steep descent on the muddied trail. This, for me, was way too dangerous. I have dislocated my knee 12+ times in my life, typically walking down stairs or a steep hill, I was not taking any chances and slowed my pace drastically. I apologize to the people behind me, as I could feel a few people not being concerned and going around me. I felt like I did the right thing when the girl in front of me completely wiped out. We then ran out on the streets again for awhile, only to cut back on the trail and go back up that muddy hill. It was easier going back up, but I still took it carefully.
This race also had 15 road turns with 2 switchbacks. At the end of the race, everyone agreed, it was hilly.
My official time was 22:19: The guy who wrote the race report for the local running paper had this to say about the hills, "The rest of the way the race tilted up and down a tad but barely past flat with the steepest down hill section the final tenth of a mile."
I was waiting till I uploaded my garmin before posting this, as we agreed at the end (and heard many others declare), it was a challenging course and I had some secret harsh words for that writer when I read his report.
But now that I have my elevation map from my Garmin, I am slightly annoyed. Those hills don't look as bad as they seemed (to everyone!) Maybe the heat made it seem harder than it was?
Bottom line, I don't know what happened, but I'm not going to dwell on it. The race WAS hilly, I don't effin care what that writer or my garmin says! Take that! Plus, Katie and I were only a few seconds apart again, but this time she had more gas in the tank (not to mention way faster legs than me!). So we both lost almost a minute on that course.
To top it off, when I looked in the race swag bag this morning, I found another prize:
The 5k Frenzy is over and we're embarking on the Titanic 10k's!! This Sunday, Ashburn Village 10k. I lived in Ashburn Village for 12+ years, it's going to be fun to run this race now. I know for positively sure, this is a flat course, I just have to hope for good weather (and be #fiercewarrior)!
Congrats to everyone who raced this weekend! I have just begun reading your race reports!
Oh yeah, and my friend who was running the couch to 5k, never showed...