Tuesday, January 1, 2008

2008 is the Year of the Runner

Today was the Road Runner Sports Resolution Run 5K. We got a bit lost trying to figure out exactly *where* in Magnuson Park to go -- we ended up on the course by accident. (Luckily it was well ahead of the race start!)

Got in line, picked up our shirts, bibs, and chips, and got ourselves settled. I also insisted on getting the bright orange Road Runner hats... Wil is sure I'll never wear it, but who knows. Might be nice in the summer. Dropped off the shirts (which say "2008 Year of the Runner" on the back) and the hats and the milled around.

We both felt a bit stiff and a bit the worse for wear, so we placed ourselves with the 10:30 mile pack at the start. I fiddled with my iPod, but I had to reset it... and though it finally started recording our run a hundred feet or so in, it was dead to the world by the end. Pity. I've got 45 miles to run in January!

That said, we were running pretty easily, passing more people than passed us. Wil had a headache, I had an iffy stomach, but on we plodded. The sun peeked out and, while the day couldn't be described as warm, it was pleasant. As we neared the 1-mile point, a fast moving cyclist rode towards us saying "Keep right! Keep right! Runner coming through!" It was the front runner, a very very fast man. We all whooped and cheered for him, along with the next few runners. Did I mention that they were already at the 2-mile point at the time? Oh well.

Then out for a loop near the boat launch, where three bald eagles put on a show for us. Very cool. I told Wil that they were just waiting for the stragglers to pick them off.

We walked for 60 seconds while Wil took his fleece off and tied it around his waist, and then passed the 2-mile point ourselves. A guy at the marker was calling out split times, and I could tell that we were on track for a pretty good run. We say it all the time, but it's so cool to be at the point where we see that we have a mile left and think "Well, that's easy... I can run a mile." So on we went, running more and more smoothly. We fell in behind some people who we felt comfortable running with, and settled in.

A few minutes later, we were running down the last hill past the start line and through the chutes. The organizers had cleverly used an overhead banner, additional signs at the side of the lanes, and a man in the middle miming dry and wet to separate the dry runners from the trip and drippers. Perhaps a lesson for the Las Vegas Marathon organizers who didn't have much signage for the full and half marathon split...

We rounded the last corner, kicked up a little bit of speed, and we were done. Hooray! Sadly, I discovered my iPod had indeed died (though Wil resurrected it later in the day) so I didn't know what my time was. Wil stopped his, but only after we had been walking around for a bit. We got drinks, a banana, and picked up our bag from the drop and wandered around. There were a surprising number of drippers! The overall winner of the event even went in the water before finishing. That said, apparently he is a member of Team USA for ultramarathons... Sadly, neither of us wanted a beer, which made both of us a little sad. We wanted to want a beer, if that makes any sense. But in the end, we decided to gather ourselves up and leave.

Upon getting home from my mom's new place tonight, I looked up our results and was thrilled to see that we had run the race in 30:10 -- a PR for each of us! We came in 314 and 315 out of 558 5K runners. I was 142 out of 328 women (again, just in the 5K), and 39 out of 108 women in my age division. We had run at a 9:44 pace, which is zippy for us, and came in ahead of the average time of 31:02. Yay us!

Tomorrow is a rest day, which is good because it's my first day back in the office in a week.

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