Sunday, February 20, 2011

Break-A-Leg 5K

Today was the Livestrong Austin Marathon. I had planned to spectate to some extent, but it wasn't until Thursday I decided, "What the heck?" I would also run in the 5K race, benefiting the Paramount Theater. I haven't really considered doing 5Ks since the Relay Marathon because I had been using my weekends for longer runs to train for the half marathon I did 3 weeks ago. I figured this time that if 5K wasn't enough for the day, I could go for a run later. The race wound up going pretty well, ending up with a time of 24:38, good for 79th overall (of 1121) and 8th in my age group (of 56).

Like most of the past week, I didn't get nearly as much sleep as I wanted. I only slept from 11-2:30, then did stuff around the house until 5:30. I managed to get a parking spot really close to the Capitol, and then had an hour and a half to wander around before the 7:30 start. With almost 20,000 people registered to run the marathon, half marathon, and 5K (plus friends and family), there were hordes of people in the downtown area. I waited in line over 20 minutes to relieve excess hydration before the start of the race, and was still in line when the half and full marathons started at 7. I didn't get to see the elites leave, but it took more than 20 minutes for everybody to cross the start line, so I saw lots of other people leaving. I managed to get up near the front for the start of the 5K, which I was particularly glad for when I realized later how many people were running in it.

The course was partially out-and-back, using the latter portion of the full course, so after the turnaround point I saw the solid stream of people behind me. Being toward the front, I didn't have to fight through the traffic of slower people, and in fact, beyond the immediate start, most people were passing me. The weather was pretty good, I thought- overcast, mid-60s, but windy. The first half the wind was at my back, but most of the way to the finish was into a headwind.

I started out going too fast. For the first two minutes, I was running a sub-7 minute pace. I pulled myself back to a more sustainable pace, and ended the first mile at 7:14. The second mile was more steady at 7:52. With a half mile to go, my stomach was not feeling well. I considered stopping, but figured I could tough it out for just a half mile. I managed, but I looked at my watch a lot for the distance remaining. The time for my third mile was 8:19, which all together made for a 5K time just a little better than one I had done in my neighborhood a while back.

I stuck around for quite a while after the race, long enough to watch a friend finish the full marathon with an impressive 3:11. I also got from a trailer what is possibly my new favorite recovery food- chicken and waffles. I took an hour long nap, and now I need to finish packing to go to Taos tomorrow morning to ski. I don't think I'll need (or really have time for) another run today.

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