Sunday was the Harvest Hustle 5K. It was my first real 5K, since previously I'd never really planned to run (simply walk with few short runs intermixed).
Saturday, I stopped off to pick up my race packet, which really just consisted of my bib and t-shirt. Timing chips had to be picked up at the actual race. I should have looked over my bib in the store, but I was tired and ready to go home and rest, so I just got in the car. About five minutes later I discovered that it had me listed as male. I whined about it for a while and decided to see if they could change it the morning of. After all, they were still allowing day-of registrations, so I assumed they'd have a computer at the table that could do those things.
I woke up bright and early on Sunday morning. Nervousness kept me from doing much besides pacing around the apartment, but I did manage to take my Spark drink and eat a banana with almond butter. There was a granola bar in the plan, but I skipped it. I did stick one in my bag though, just in case I changed my mind. I dressed according to what the Running World guide said and wore shorts, a sports bra and a tank top. It was cold out that morning and still dark when I left the house. I had a coat with me that I could wear running (lightweight athletic jacket), so I figured I could always change my mind.
At the event, I checked in and begged to have my gender changed. They promised me it would happen and sent me to get my timing chip. I then spent about 10 minutes trying to attach it to my shoe with the zip tie. After becoming incredibly frustrated, my boyfriend took a go at it and declared that it wasn't me, it was the tie. I retrieved a new one and it worked perfectly.
Just before the race started, I got out my sunglasses (which got a big laugh from the boyfriend simply because it was still incredibly cloudy) and handed over my jacket. I froze for the next few minutes, but it was definitely the right choice. After the first 1K, I was warmed up and happy I'd worn minimal clothing.
After Thursday's bad run, I was very worried. My ankle has been giving me a lot of trouble and I didn't want it to give up halfway through. Instead, I focused on my music and just running. At the turnaround point, we were only about 5 blocks from my building. I may have seriously considered just going home. I was actually feeling pretty good though and managed to overtake the girl I'd been following behind right at the end.
I managed to finish in 28:22, with a 9:08/mile overall pace (82/276). My gender never got changed on my timing, so my print out listed me based on being male, but I would have been 17th out of 67 women in my age bracket. Definitely a good time for me. I purposefully didn't have my app running to keep track of my pace/time/distance because I wanted to just run it to the best of my ability, without focusing on any of those things. I sort of wish I had the info now just so that I could see how it broke down.
Now for the 1st time troubles. Not mine, the race. It was the first year for the Harvest Hustle and there were a few things that could have gone better. First, the water station wasn't at the turnaround point like the map indicated. Instead, it was a ways before and so far off the side of the road that I'm not sure anyone knew exactly what was going on. I didn't see a single person stop for water. It wasn't super hot out, but it was definitely humid. I would have loved a drink, but it looked like too much trouble. Also, I wasn't convinced that it wasn't just some weird guy giving out drinks in front of his apartment.
Second, the kilometer markers were off. A lot. I have no idea about the rest, but I passed the 3K sign on my way down the course and got super excited. That kilometer had flown by with me barely noticing. Then I remembered that the 3K mark couldn't possibly be before the halfway point. It had been put up on the wrong side of the road, facing the wrong direction.
If the race happens again next year, I would definitely run it again. It's a nice course that is fairly flat, so easy to run. No real turns or anything. Just straight out and back. It's a great time trial.
Note: I totally forgot to have anyone take a picture of me. Guess I'll have to run another one and make that happen.