Sunday, December 19, 2010

Beach Party

Every December there are some crazy people who come to the Beach Blast 5K and run it in their swim suits. I have not attained that level of insanity yet, but I had a blast at the race today and had one of my fastest times ever!

It's surprising that today went so well, because I almost decided not to go. I wasn't feeling the greatest (as in: would rather be curled on the couch in the fetal position with a heating pad on my lower abdomen), but I knew that there aren't many opportunities for races in the winter, and I wanted to show my support for this small, local race, and I figured that I'd go and give it what I could. It turned out to be my best 5K time of the year by far, and I brought home some delicious homemade jam as a prize for being 2nd in my age group!

The race was at a local state park, where I've been running various races for years, but today's course was new. It was a triple loop through the parking lot and campground. I've heard some scuttlebutt that it was a little short of the full 3.1 miles. I plugged the route into Gmaps Pedometer, and according to that, it was either 3.07 or 3.08 miles, so I can't really boast a new PR. If I factor in my pace for that distance, however, I was still over a minute faster than any other 5K I've run so far this year, so I am very pleased with the result.

The three-loops gave us a lot of opportunity to pass spectators in the parking lot, and the crowd support was encouraging, but I have to say, it almost broke my spirit to have to do the loop 3 times. My favorite courses are there-and-back routes. For some reason I just find them psychologically easier to run. I guess that I was lucky this time, though, because I had forgotten my watch at home, and passing by the clock twice during the race let me know how I was doing with my pace.

There wasn't much excitement to report as far as trying to pass people or racing someone to the finish. I was shocked though when I came down the final stretch and saw that the clock read 24:5x. I tried to put a little more into my kick to try and come in under 25:00, but it wasn't enough. I ended with a time of about 25:05 or 25:06, I think. Times will be posted by the end of the week, so I'll have to find out for sure then.

Unfortunately, my weekend has been a whirlwind of activity, and the race seems to have been the final blow to my immune system. My nose was a little runny during and after the race, as it usually is after running in the cold, but by the time I started heading home, the floodgates unleashed and I've been glued to a tissue box ever since. I can't say that I regret doing all that I did this weekend, which included a holiday party hosted by one of my college friends on Friday night and then going into New York with her yesterday to see the King Tut exhibit. If anyone has the opportunity to see the exhibit before it closes (or when it moves to a new location), it was absolutely amazing, and I highly recommend it. I learned so much and was awed by the beauty of the artifacts and the fact that they were so well preserved after thousands of years.

Well, right now it's time to curl up on the couch with some tissues and that heating pad. I hope that after some rest I'll feel better and that later this week I can get back to running.

Oh, and here's a video for the song that I was rocking out to before the race to get pumped up and then after to celebrate. It was a beach theme, so I couldn't help it! ;-)

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