race for open space 5k.

In case you missed it… SURPRISE! I ran a 5k this past weekend. I know I only mentioned the 1/2 marathon for the month of April, but I’m kind of having fun saving my speed work for the weekends and running these shorter races.

Anyways, the weather wasn’t very ideal on Sunday morning. It was windy, 30 degrees and raining. Right before the race the rain turned to sleet which was a little more bearable in my opinion. Having little chunks of ice pelt at your eyes is much more tolerable than running soaking wet… ;) :)

The race took place at the Sand Creek Regional Greenway in east Denver. I haven’t done much running in east Denver, and this race (to my surprise!) was quite a treat. The course was mainly on a dirt path (yes!) and pretty scenic with lots of trees/greenery compared to the races I’ve been running lately.

From what I’m assuming was due to weather, about 360 people showed up between the 500+ that were registered for the half marathon, 10k and 5k. The half marathon started at 8 while the 10k and 5k started together at 8:30. I started my warm up around 8:15. Truthfully, I would have preferred a longer warm up but was having a pretty hard time peeling myself out of the warm car to get it done.

I was actually kind of nervous as to how this 5k was going to playout because I had the most miserable 11 mile slog around Bear Creek Lake Park the day before. It was miserable, but I had good company and I’m pretty sure that was the only thing that got me through it. I had absolutely no energy and my legs felt horribly heavy. I’m pretty confident they were still feeling the Platte River 1/2 Marathon combined with what was a very trying and stressful week. The rest of Saturday I did nothing but put my feet up, rest and eat. By Saturday night I was excited at the thought of putting all my energy and stress from the week into the 5k and was looking forward to zoning out and just running.

The race starts and immediately a guy and myself pull away from the pack of other runners and are running alone pretty close to one another. I think to myself, “Damn. This dude looks fit. How are we running close to the same pace?” I look down and glance at my Garmin after about the first .25 and realize that the dude is actually super fit and I’m trying to keep up with his pace which was under a 6 minute mile. HAHAHA. nope. I immediately try to reel it back in which (surprisingly) kind of took me a little while to get it under control. The first mile clicked by and I was more than pleased with my pace and how I was feeling. I was running 2nd overall and 1st female. I felt confident that I could definitely hold the effort I had, but wasn’t convinced I wouldn’t be outkicked in the end. I could see a guy not too far back out of the corner of my eye.

The first mile took us out, down and away from the Bluff Lake Nature Center, so naturally mile 2 brought us back and UP to the Bluff Lake Nature Center. On the way back the uphill killed my pace a little, but I managed to maintain the same effort. Once up the hill the 2nd mile ticks by and I’m able to get my pace back down to where I was during the 1st mile. As we run past the Bluff Lake Nature Center I start thinking the guy behind me might have run the hill a little harder than I was able to and start thinking, “ONE MO’ MILE!” The course then wraps around the lake next to the BLNC and in comparison to the center itself, I’m a little concerned that the course is going to be CRAZY long or I had taken a wrong turn and better be prepared to run a 10k. I told myself to stop thinking, keep running and that I’m sure I’d figure that out. No less than 5 seconds later I round a corner and can see the finish line.

Oh, okay.

Turns out the race doesn’t finish at the Bluff Lake Nature Center like I thought, but just outside of it. I’m convinced the guy that was behind me was breathing down my neck and I was going to get passed with just strides to go, so I turn it up a couple of notches.

I crossed the finish line 2nd overall and 1st female in 20:18!

raceforopenspace5kfin

When I saw my finishing time I was ELATED with how my run went and taking my first official win! Elated, but I knew there had to be some sort of error. According to my garmin (we all know how accurate THOSE can be!) the course was short by .1. If you have been following my blog, you know how I feel about claiming PR’s on courses that seem to come up a little short. Calculating it out to 3.1 gives me a time of 20:55 which I feel is definitely more accurate and I am MORE than happy to claim as my new PR by 59 seconds!

I still can’t believe how well the 5k went, how great my legs felt and what it felt like to run 1st female and finish the same way. WHAT?! A few months ago I had a dream that I won a race (thanks for believing, sub conscious self) but never imagined it would be a 5k.

raceforopenspace5k