Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dow 5K Race Report

Yesterday was a big day because it was David's first 5K. We ran the Dow 5K in Midland, MI. Since the race started at 8:15am and we live about two hours away from Midland, we drove up the night before and stayed at the lovely new Springhill Suites. I love staying in new hotels - less opportunity for other people to get gross things on every imaginable surface! Best thing about the hotel is that it's entirely non-smoking. Ahhhh, I love to be able to breathe!

We woke up around 6:30am on Saturday so we could get over to the Community Center early and pick up our race packets. Turns out neither of us slept very well on Friday night. I think we had a case of pre-race jitters.

After packet pick-up, of course we had to commemorate the occasion with a pre-race photo opportunity. One of these days I'll shower and do my hair before a shower so I can look pretty in a pre-race picture instead of greasy and unkempt. :)

Then we met up with Michelle, a friend I originally met on a papercraft forum. It was her first 5K, as well. Michelle was the reason I registered for the race. She lives in Midland and I told her I'd run the race too, to provide some moral support.

David later decided this would be a perfect race for his first one since he grew up in Midland and his parents both still live there. Ultimately Michelle decided she would prefer to run her own race rather than have me run alongside her, because her pace is a little slower than mine and she was worried about holding me back. David and I love to run together so we decided to stay side by side for this one and it was awesome!

The race started right on time. We were about halfway back in the crowd so it took us a couple of minutes to cross the starting line. But once we started, the nerves finally dissipated like they always do. We were both really excited and started out way too fast. We'd anticipated running a 10:45/mile pace but we were doing well below 10 for the first mile. We kept telling ourselves to slow down but that didn't work very well!

David's dad lives right on the 10K course and very near the 5K course, so he came out to cheer us on and snap a couple of action photos. We both got a great boost from seeing him and I'm just so pleased that he was there.

We pretty much kept pushing the pace the whole time even though we kept saying we should slow down. We were both feeling good, though, so why slow down, right? When we got down to the last quarter mile I said "Let's go, leave it all out on the course" and we pushed it even more and crossed the finish line together. Ultimately when the official times were posted David ended up finishing two seconds ahead of me. I think I crossed the start line just ahead of him.

The final result was the fastest pace I've ever run for any race (even faster than the Corktown 4-miler in March where I busted my butt) and we finished with a 9:59/mile pace. Yeah! For me, that is a super-freaking-fast pace. David and I both realized afterward that we could have run it even faster but we held back a little because we were afraid we'd be dying at the end.

David loved the whole race experience and I think he'll sign up for another one down the road. And we'll be sure to push hard the whole way and leave this race in the dust!


desertrunnergirl said...

What a great race report Cathy! I love that you both felt good from start to finish, and that you now know you could have maintained that faster pace (but I don't blame you for being conservative!).

So happy for both of you!

Cathy said...

Thanks Wendy! I think for inexperienced 5Kers we did pretty well. Next time we will know better how much we can handle. This was only my 2nd real 5K. The first one was way back in September so it was hard for me to remember how I would feel. (I did one other one but the course was over .3 mile short so it doesn't count!)