The day of the race was perfect. Perfect for a run any way. Gray and rainy a light, misty, cold rain. One that keeps you wet but doesn't completely soak you. Wifey and I arrived and picked up our numbers. We found out the course had changed since last year because of flood damage on one of the roads. I didn't know if the new course would be easier or harder. We got to the start and lined up with the rest of the runners. The course would be an out and back.
They gave us the airhorn and we were off. Wifey managed to start much faster than me. I got caught up in the starting jumble. As the jumble sorted out I settled into my pace. I spotted wifey ahead of me and slowly caught up to her. I was trying very hard to hold my own pace and not get caught trying to race my wife. She has always been much faster than me.
Around the time wifey left me behind I caught up with our yoga instructor. I guess I should say one of our yoga instructors but he was the only one running this 5k. He stuck with me for a little while before falling in a few step s behind.
Considering the name of the race the course is not that bad. There is a noticeable hill around the one mile mark and the turnaround is at the top of another hill. I kept wifey in sight all the way to the turnaround. On the downhill after the turnaround a young girl just flew past me. She was barely more than half my height and I'm pretty sure she was taking longer strides on the way down the hill. I saw her catch up with wifey before disappearing from sight.
Sometimes I am amazed that the same stretch of road looks completely different in opposite directions. When I got to the 2 mile mark I had no idea what landmarks I should be looking for on the way to the finish. I only passed one person on the second half of the race. It was a younger guy. I figured he had gone out too fast. I still had wifey in sight ahead of me and my yoga teacher a little ways back. A few minutes after the 2 mile mark I came to the top of a hill where I could see the road stretched out in front of me. I could see about half a mile ahead at that spot. The finish was nowhere in sight. If I could have seen it from there I might have tried to pick up my pace. I don't know how that would have worked out but not seeing it was a little discouraging. It made me think I was misjudging the distance I had covered since the 2 mile mark.
So I just thought about my form. Let your knees pump, I thought, and keep your breathing easy. I felt pretty good. I just didn't know how much longer I could hold my pace. I ran through the whole stretch of road I had seen from that hill and just at the end of this long open bit there a was a little sign that said 3 miles. It's a good thing that little sign was there because the finish was hiding around the corner and I still couldn't see it.
I came around the corner running all out. Wifey was still just ahead of me. Sweat and the misty rain was in my eyes; I couldn't read the clock. Was it saying 28 something? That would be a disappointment. Slowly it came into focus. It wasn't reading 28 it was reading 23.
I caught up with wifey just a little ways past the finish line. I just ran a new 5k PR by nearly 3 minutes. I was delighted.
We stayed for the awards. Wifey got a Run for the Hills mug for winning her age group. Then we went for second breakfast.