The motto for today's "Love 'em or Leave 'em 5K" was "Bringing love to Seattle." Well, running-wise, my theme song would have to be this....
Okay, it wasn't actually as bad as I feared.* Time—28:33. Yes, that's the chip time. Almost a minute slower than January 1. Almost three minutes slower than this race last year. Three and a half minutes slower than my 5K PR! Oh, dear.
I do have a few rather legitimate excuses. I have had a cold all week. Last night I woke up again around 4 a.m. with a coughing spell, which only subsided after I took a swig of my emergency cough syrup. Bought for the sole purpose of combating middle-of-the-night coughing spasms. This morning was quite cold and foggy, and my mom suggested that might have increased to pollution, all of which, along with the cold, probably impaired my breathing. That doesn't really affect my legs but it is true that cardiovascular capability does impact ability to run harder. And in the leg department, my right calf and achilles tendon have been tender for a couple of weeks. I could just feel it today. After the race, however, I was practically crippled and limping noticeably.
On a cheering note, these types of runs are always packed with non-runners and walkers, so my stats are still respectable. Out of 2011 finishers, I was 706 overall. Of 1309 women, I was 326. And in my age group, I was 60 of 229.
This year the race organizers were all excited that the city allowed them to have the route in the streets surrounding Greenlake, rather than on the inner path around the lake. I guess that did allow for more space, but since I've done so much better on the other runs, I can't wholeheartedly embrace this change.
I did a three mile lap around the inner lake to warm up. Even then, I didn't really feel like I was clicking until about the beginning of mile three. My Garmin was mysteriously uncharged, so I don't have any idea of my splits. My mother took this picture somewhere around the three mile point, as we came back onto the lake path and headed for the finish line.
I have to admit I was at a pretty low point after the run ended. I was distressed about the time, and what's more, I couldn't find my mother in the crowd. I felt like a little kid, about to burst into tears because I couldn't find my mommy! But that changed a little bit when I ran into a woman I know from other races, who had finished after me. I know she can run fast, I've seen her do sub-25 minute 5K's. Maybe she was running with a friend this time, maybe she was having a slow day (more likely the former, though). But whatever the reason, she was unperturbed about her time. She had the same sunny smile that I always see on her. (I so admire that smile!) Apparently she was able to have a good time regardless of whether or not she finished with a good time.**
And I need to keep trying to be like her. Not every race is a PR. Maybe my PR days are over... hopefully not, but what if they are? I'm not going to give up running because of it. Because I love it, right?
One more thing. The long-sleeved race shirt is the color of chocolate. No need to wonder about crumbs and spills if I happen to indulge!
*It never is... that is, it can always get worse. I don't know if that's actually a cheering thought!
**That's a little play on words.