Sunday, June 30, 2013

Run to Exile... The 5K that wasn't

June 8th I ran my 7th 5K of the year. Except this one wasn't quite a 5K, but I will get to that. When I originally thought about signing up for this race I thought I might want to complete the 10K rather than the 5K, but I hadn't done any real training for it. I just knew that was one of my goals for the summer. However my boss and I had talked a lot about running and she wanted to give a race a try but not by herself. So we both ended up signing up for the 5K or the Betty race. At Exile Brewing company all of the beers are named after women and so the races were too. You could choose from a 5K, 10K or half marathon. This is the first afternoon race I had ever run, most races start fairly early in the morning to take advantage of the cooler temps, I think the goal the organizers were trying to accomplish was to have the race transition to a party at the brewing company and that would work better if it started in the afternoon.

The weather was pretty good, if a little bit cloudy, and the forecast was a little iffy about the possibility of rain. Tina and I arrived at Exile where they were going to bus us to the starting points of the races. This was another slightly odd thing, most 5K's are out and back loops, meaning you start and finish in roughly the same location, that way no one has to worry about being bused to a separate location. There were a lot of participants- I mean a lot, we got there plenty early and were in line halfway up the block just waiting to get on a bus. Some of the volunteers said they were a little overwhelmed by the number of people who had signed up. It was the inaugural race, but they had a pretty amazing social media campaign for it and had a deal on living social that made it really cheap to participate in. By the time we finally got on a bus the race was already supposed to have started.

Once we got the the starting area we had to wait for a few more buses to arrive and then we were off. The course was not great at the beginning we started in the street and had to climb a rocky hill up to the riverwalk bike/walking trails. Since Tina had never completed a race before we game planned that we would stick together. She had been running faster than me when she was training but wasn't able to go long distances without walking breaks. I am almost the opposite I can run longer distances but I'm not fast. We agreed to try to maintain a 10:30 mile pace and run the whole thing. This ending up being great, but halfway into the race I wasn't feeling it at all- not sure if it was the running in the afternoon after I eaten more than I typically would or the sun/heat difference of running in the afternoon, or if it was just a bad running day for me but I wasn't enjoying the run much. But I keep going because I knew someone else was depending on my to help pace them and that she really wanted to run the whole thing. Prior to the race a ran her through some quick race etiquette rules that lots of new runners don't always realize, like if you are going to walk get off to the side, try to pass people on the left etc. Once we hit the riverwalk trail things were pretty good. The pack was pretty thick but lots of people where starting to tapper off and walk. Tina and I did a lot of dodging others and passing (this Tina admitted was her favorite part- passing others that looked more fit but couldn't run well). Once we had a view of downtown Des Moines I seriously wished I had a camera. It was so perfect with the skyline. We ran by Principal Park (where the I-cubs play) it was between games so lots of people saw us. This is where our water station was as well. I had also warned Tina about these. I grab and run through them, but it is often better to run past the bottle neck, everyone stops for water at the beginning of the station but there are almost always volunteers at the end just waiting for someone. We both made it through without choking- score one for the girls! After that we were running parallel to MLK that goes by the science center. I know that area of Des Moines pretty well because I used to work downtown. At mile two we highfived each other, she was using her mymaprun app on her phone and it was saying we were doing a 10:12 mile pace, which is probably another reason I wasn't welling great- that is faster than my running pace most times. By the time I could see Exile I knew there was no way we were going to get a whole 3.1 miles in. We had barely just gone past 2 miles. It also just started to sprinkle so I don't think I was too upset about the possibility of not getting another .5 miles in but still. We crossed the finish line sprinting, in large part because we had been saving up to run another .5 miles. My watch said we had done 2.56, and Tina's phone said 2.64 (which I think was just a difference between when we pushed start on our devices as there wasn't a clear starting line) we clocked in around 25 minutes. I didn't keep my time because it was being timed by the race, but I have never been able to find the official results anywhere, which bums me out a bit, but since it wasn't a true 5K distance I don't care. Tina had a great time running and I think would definitely do another race. We finished in time to grab a beer before it really started to rain and were able to watch the 1st couple of 10K racers finish.
Me and Tina post race, that isn't all sweat some of it is rain!

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