Updated: Whooohooo! I finished 14th out of 68 in my age group and 45/391 out of all the women racers. Not too shabby for a newbie!
A race is partially made memorable for me by the post-race foodstuffs. I have a ton of race shirts collected and I never wear them because most of them are big boxy boy style shirts which do not accentuate my figure at all. The only exception to this for me so far has been the Atlanta Women’s 5K which gave out lovely turquoise Nike technical tees. So yeah – good post-race food is a much better treat for me.
Based on snacks alone, this is my second favorite race ever. The first being the first race I ever ran. After that race, I grabbed a little sample cup of what I thought was frozen yogurt but turned out to be key lime pie. I had never tasted key lime pie before and based on its similarity (in looks at least) to cheesecake (hate,hate,hate cheesecake) it was something I never would have tasted. Boy had I been missing out! I absolutely adore key lime pie now and regret years of missing this occasional treat.
This race had a ton of good stuff. There were little banana-strawberry smoothies (must stop by Robeks for one of these one day!), chocolate chip cookies from Sweet Tomatoes, bagels from Goldberg’s, bananas and oranges. There were also biscuits from The Flying Biscuit Cafe. I’ve heard tons of good stuff about this local chain but I’ve never managed to try it. Well, I am adding it to the hot list after grabbing a biscuit topped with apple butter. I am not even a biscuit person but it was sooo good. I’ve never had apple butter before either but I will be cracking open the jar that has been sitting in my pantry forever tomorrow morning.
The actual running of the race? Awesome! I was supposed to hold back and use this as a training run with a pace of 8:45 min/mile but who was I kidding? It was a cool sunny fall day and my music was pumping. I was really feeling like a real runner today so I decided to go for it. The course was typical “rolling” Atlanta course – nice and flat for a while with a few ohmanwheredidthathillcomefrom? moments.
After a slow and crowded start, I hit my stride and didn’t look back. The finish line clock said something like 42:38. I didn’t cross the starting line at 0:00 because of the crowd so that is a bit off and this was a small race so there was no shoe timing chip. My finish time according to my Polar was 41:55 and that might be a bit over as well because it took me a while to turn it off after crossing the finish line. My mile splits were 8:32, 8:03, 8:03, 8:15 and 7:43 (!). Whooo hooo!
My first race ever as 3-month old runner was on 6/23/07. It was a 4 mile race that I finished in 38 minutes and change. What a difference a year and 3 months makes! I went from a 9:39 pace to a 8:07 pace in a longer race. Who’d have thought?
In middle school (only because we *had* to take the Presidential Fitness test), I ran a 16 minute mile. In my first long run ever (6 miles with Babs), I happily ran about 10.5 minutes per mile. I remember her asking me if I wanted to go faster and saying “Nope!” because I was comfortable (and scared that I wouldn’t finish LOL). With time and diligent training *anyone* can get better. If I can do it, anyone can!