Today was the Uberthons Run for the Roses 5K in Sherwood, my second race of the month (and probably the last one until the fall). I didn't sleep all that well the night before, which is usually the case before races (and law conferences); in this case, it was added by the fact that I had eaten for the first time last night at the vegan restaurant Native Foods. Quite tasty, but I probably ate too much, and apparently all that vegan food has a low glycemic index, so I felt full, really full, all night.
Race time was 8 am, and there had been no early bib pick-up, so I wanted to get there around 7:30 or so. Sherwood is about 25 minutes away, so figuring on some time for eating, I had set my alarm for 6:50 am. (Why am I getting up at 6:50 am on a Saturday?!?) No need for the alarm, as it turned out, and in fact, I still felt full, so I just hydrated and drove off.
The race course started on the Sherwood High School track, with the check-in station set on the football field inside. For some reason, I didn't show up on the preregistered list, but the woman recognized me as a frequent participant and had me fill out a "day of registration" form but didn't make me pay again. (It might have helped that I was wearing an Uberthons tech shirt!) I had bib number 1524.
I wandered around and saw my race friends Eileen and Brent (and Eileen's son) and chatted with them while we waited for the race to get started. Apparently, there was a problem in that a big gate behind the stadium was supposed to have been unlocked, but the city worker hadn't showed up yet. Eventually, the organizers gave up on waiting and told us we'd have to cooperate to go single file through a more narrow opening, and hope/expect that it would be opened by the time we headed back.
Here's the course, and Uberthons' description of the route:
All events start and finish at the high school track. Every distance will follow the 5k course, take 3/4 lap on the track and then exit behind the stadium. Then we get onto the Woodhaven trail until just after mile 1. We will then find our way over to Sunset Blvd, head East. At Main St, head North going into old town Sherwood. Then on to the finish of the 5k at the track.
I started off in the third wave of runners and kept telling myself, "Don't start too fast, don't start too fast!" I keep running the dreaded positive splits in these races.
I ran the opening segment on the track at what felt like a steady, easy pace. By the time I hit the trail portion, the line of runners was spreading out. I hit the 1 mile marker at 6:51.
Well, so much for starting slow!
The map shows a straight stretch along Sunset Blvd for a little more than 1 kilometer. More than half of this was downhill, but for some reason, this was the hardest part of the race for me. I didn't race the downhill parts but instead used them to recover a bit while keeping more or less to my overall pace.
The second mile took 7:08, so 17 seconds slower than mile 1 (although the mile markers haven't always been perfectly accurate, as far as I can tell).
I felt okay for the third mile, but I didn't have much of a kick left. From my watch, I had a sense of how much distance was left, and I was thinking to myself that I could manage a sprint for the last 1/4 mile or so, which would be around the 6:30 time mark for the third mile. (That 1/4 mile including the extra 0.12 miles in the 5K after 3 miles.) But I couldn't quite pull that off, although I think I did have a decent sprint for the portion on the track.
My watch read 21:28, but the initial chip time was 22:50, which I knew was way off. Eventually, however, the time got updated (after I'd left to go home) to 21:27. Yea! That's a PR and it's not even close -- over half a minute better than my previous best. I finished 13th overall out of 122, and first in my age group.