Race Recap: 5/3 River Bank Run 5k

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- I am an idiot.  I said after Boston I would not race for a few months and let my legs fully recover, blah blah blah... well then my boss asked me to do the Tulip Time 5k so of course I had to do it.

I didn't do half bad!  It was the last race for in in the 25-29 age division and I finished in 20:46, much better than I originally thought I would do!  Especially considering Boston was 2 weeks earlier and in the two weeks leading up to the 5k I ran like 3 times.

After that race Jimmy mentioned a few guys from work were doing the 5/3 River Bank Run 5k and he thought he would do it.  Well crap... that meant I had to do it, because I couldn't let him go race when he NEVER wants to run and then not run!

So I registered a couple days before and figured why not. Well it was a rainy, crappy morning so I went in with a negative, awful attitude.  The very thing I tell the kids I coach NOT to do.  I warmed up in the misty, humid rain and begrudingly did strides all the while telling myself how awful I was going to run.

That attitude is not at all conducive to running well, I can tell you that right now.  I lined up right on the front of the start line because the 5k here isn't especially fast and I didn't want to spend all my first mile passing, and dodging people.  A girl turned to me when I lined up there and said something that really pissed me off.

"Oh, this is like a really fast start... see that sign it says for people who run 6:30 pace..."  She pointed to a pace marker sign and I stared at her and just responded with a nod.  Why would this 'B' say that to me?  Do I look super slow or something?  I mean yeah like all women I struggle with the idea that I am "too big" but I don't think I look like slow runner.

The race is about to start and she lines up next to me, I am figuring this girl must be super fast because she made that comment like she is some all star running with Meb in her spare time.  The horn blows and that signals the start of the race.

We take off and she just flys off the start, I started what I THOUGHT was a little more conservative with a high school girl I used to coach (who is awesome!) We cross through the first mile and I see that conservative was NOT how you would describe the first mile I ran...

6:02. Damn that was stupid, that girl from before was ahead of me and I could see her stupid braid bouncing back n forth.  We make it about a quarter mile into mile 2 and I catch her and pass her, she is really dying. 

I didn't see her again until the finish line but I'll get to that in a bit.  So mile 2 comes and I have slowed down A LOT.  I come through in a 6:31 which isn't surprising I mean I took off at a pace I hadn't done since college. 

There isn't very many hills in the River Bank 5k, but mile 3 does have a few small gradual climbers nothing crazy, but when you go out like an idiot you will feel them, as I did.  I tried to not let myself slow down but there was really nothing I could do.  To be honest all I could think about was stupid braid girl and not letting her pass me back.

I passed a few more people who went out too fast, and then cruised through the finish line in about 20:40.  4 seconds faster than Tulip Time, so although I raced like an idiot I wasn't really disappointed.  I waited for the girl I used to coach to cross the finish line, and while I was waiting, there came braid girl, in 21 something or other.

The story really doesn't go past that I just was a little too happy to see how much I beat her by.  Anyway Jim did pretty good for not having raced or ran for that matter in a really long time, He finished in a 22:59. 

Lastly, this was my first race in the 30-34 age bracket and that means I can cross off goal number one from my list of things to do when I am 30... because I won my age group!

Just to wrap this up, I think I may do some more speed work because I should be running back in the 19's easily....and if you ever take advice from me its this, go into a race or really anything you do, with a positive attitude because you will do better.  I probably would have been 20 seconds faster had I mentally been in the game.  


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