Yesterday morning was the Power House 5k here in my little town. Last year, I was a little disappointed when I FINALLY heard about this race because I knew I wouldn't be ready to run it yet. So, this year, I was determined.
All proceeds from Power House go to the Whitehouse Parents' Club at Whitehouse Primary (my old elementary school) and I don't think there's a better organization in our community for it. WPC is SUCH an important piece of the puzzle for our elementary students. WPC paid for the new playground equipment a couple years ago, field trips, summer reading programs, printers, ink, and supplies for every classroom. Also, they run Secret Santa, author visits (we had Rick Sowash and Frank ... when I was there, among others), book fairs, track and field day, and so much more. Our community and education system really couldn't be as awesome as it is (our district is constantly rated one of the top in the state) without these parents' associations. That being said, I was glad to find a way to give back to my community while doing something for myself.
I had been tracking yesterday's weather for the last week, grumbling every time the weathermen disagreed over when the snow showers were going to set in. By Thursday, they were saying it would hold off until at least the end of our race,t hank goodness. It was still a damp chilly morning, but the rain holding off made choosing my outfit a WHOLE bunch easier. lol
If we're friends on dailymile and you stalk your friends' goals like I do, you know I've been working towards a sub-30-minute 5k before my 26th birthday in July. Honestly, I didn't know if I'd be capable of it before then.
So, I planned on just focusing on a 5k PR and holding myself around a 10 minute/mile pace since that is a range I KNOW I have push myself into without dying after a mile. Really, I just wanted to enjoy the race and the morning and spend some time with friends/ cohorts from UT who were running too. When the starting gun went off, it took about a quarter mile for everyone to get sorted out (about as long as it took us to get through downtown and onto the Wabash-Cannonball trail). Instead of incessantly checking my Garmin for my pace, I found a woman and her son who were running at a pace just fast enough that I felt like I was being pushed but not fast enough that I was going to keel over in the next half mile.
I really didn't know what the course was going to be (and trust me, I scoured websites and past race reports), so I was pleasantly surprised when I realized it was going to be a fast, flat out and back on my favorite little piece of the W-C Trail between downtown and our high school/ jr high/ middle school campus.
As soon as I was on the trail, I felt myself slip into a calm I don't remember ever feeling during a race before. My music was just right, I was focusing on the "white rabbits" in front of me, my breathing was steady, and my legs felt strong. Keeping with the woman and her son, I was able to pass a number of people who went out too quick and slowed down, including a girl I went to school with (I have pictures of Jamie and I in Brownie Girl Scouts together at that same elementary school). I knew she and I were in the same age group, but I didn't know how many others or who they were.
I finally looked down at my Garmin after I passed Jamie and I almost tripped I was so shocked. I was running sub-10 minute miles! And I still felt good! Holy crap! Even with seeing my mile times for the first 2 miles, it didn't click in my head until we were back off the trail and I could SEE the finish up the road that I could finish in UNDER 30 MINUTES! As soon as I saw the 0:29:xx on the clock, I started sprinting, passing the woman with her son and 2 other women (neither of whom looked happy I was passing them that close to the finish).
My Garmin time was 29:19, but I think the official time will be a couple seconds different (it was another non-chip timed race). While the volunteers were sorting out the 5k race times, we got to watch the 1k kid's run (which was HILARIOUS). In the end, my group of friends and cohorts did pretty darn good. Kyle won the 5k and his age group. Kirk placed 2nd in the 5k and won his age group. Colleen got 2nd in her age group. Janet won her age group. And ... I WON MY AGE GROUP!
To be fair to all of us, I'm well aware there weren't a bunch of super speedy people running yesterday. Glass City Marathon was just last weekend and there were at least 3 other 5ks at the same time, 2 also sponsored/ run by Dave's. I COULD let that "lack of competition" dampen my happiness, but I'm not. Yes, I'm over-the-moon happy about winning my age group (and beating Jamie), but I'm estatic over my personal accomplishments. I BEAT MY 5K PR AND I SMASHED MY GOAL! I will now HAPPILY sit down and decide on that next goal I'm going to bust my butt working towards. I have a couple more 5ks I'm tentatively planning on running before my birthday, but maybe completing a half marathon after that? :D