Over the weekend I ran in my first normal 5K of the year…not my first race, but first regular 5K–no climbing over walls or battling through mud, not as long as a 10K or a half, but a simple 5K at the Kentucky Horse Park. I signed up for the Alltech Countryside Canter 5K, which was part of the Alltech National Horse Show. It’s the first year for the race, and the proceeds was going towards the All Glory Project, which helps wounded soldiers make a comeback with animal-assisted therapy. So it was perfect for me!
The morning was very brisk! When M and I headed to the Horse Park (he was my “cheerleader from a distance” while sitting in my truck with the heater one), it was 36 and the sun was just starting to rise. I’m still new to dressing for cold weather running, but I thought I chose the right outfit–Nike cold gear running capris, a short-sleeved tech shirt with my Brooks pull-over, and a fleece pullover with gloves and headband for the ears. I warmed as well as possible, then went into the indoor arena to stretch before the race started. It was a small race (not advertised very heavily), so they didn’t have chip timing, but that was OK because I had my phone with me to use my RunKeeper app.
The course was a simple out-and-back around the back of the Horse Park. If you’re a horse lover (and even if you’re not), you would love this scenery–horses and riders hacking in the early morning midst, the smell of expensive horse-flesh–I didn’t need my headphones to keep me going!
The route was hilly, with long, gradual inclines and declines–at first I thought I was pushing too hard going uphill, but then I worried that maybe I wasn’t pushing myself enough. But either way, when all was said and done, I went into my last gear as we neared the finish, determined to PR in the race. I came in 8th place for the women, and checked my phone–a 27.32 5K (8:50 pace)!! Not bad for a hilly course on a freezing morning!
I decided to stick around for the awards (I never have for any other race), because I figured with the small number, I at least placed in my age division. When they got to the females 20-29, they called my name as first! I was totally surprised, but so happy! I turn 30 in a week, so it was a nice to make my first age group placing in my last effort in my twenties a win!
Now to work on that 2013 race calendar….but more on that one later….
Do you remember your PR and your first age group placing?