I wanted to start off the New Year with a run to see if the runathon helped my running. The only run I could find in Tucson was the Egg Nog Jog 5K in Marana. So I got up early and drove the 45 minutes to the park in Marana. I was one of the first people there, so I registered and sat in the warmth of my Jeep. Soon, other Tri Girls arrived. Sandy, Krista, April with Tilly (who was in her first 5K), and Jill all showed up to run.
(I stole these pics from April :).
I decided to be festive and pinned a New Year's crown to my running hat. It turns out a lot of folks want to take your pic when you do that.
My goal for the race was to see how fast I could finish this 5K. The other races I had to compare to were the Turkey Trot back in November, which I ran in 30:19. But that one was a bit of an outlier as the course was wet and muddy from rain, hilly, and had haybales and water crossings. I don't think the Egg Nog jog would have any of those. The other was my personal record (PR) during the summer aquathlons of 26:53. I didn't think I would come close to that since I hadn't been doing any speed work during the runathon, and the aquathlons had been going on each week so that PR was set after doing several weeks of speed workouts.
I hopped in place to try to warm up before the race. There was a group of about 40 people or so, so I decided to line up towards the front with the others that looked like they were planning to run. The gun went off and everyone took off. I, of course, started out too fast. No matter how much I tell myself to not go out fast, it always happens. We took a turn and ran south on Silverbell and I was already tired and feeling it. The next turn onto Wade took us up a small uphill. It amazes me that no matter what pace you run, it's always about fighting the urge to walk. Even though this was just a 5K, I still wanted to stop and walk. But I didn't let myself and kept going. I got passed by a few other gals, but I was able to keep count and the best I could tell was that I was the 4th girl. I followed the others through a neighborhood. The weather was cool and perfect for running that morning, and we even had people out on the course cheering in spots. I got lots of cheers for my festive hat. I tried to not look at my Garmin for the pace, and instead only looked down twice at the distance. Once was with 1 mile left to go, and the other was 1/2 a mile left. I could see two guys ahead in front of me and tried to chase them down, but they sped up at the end, as did quite a few other people. Right at the end two guys came up behind me and passed me. One guy said "I was following your feather the whole way! It really helped to push me!" We made the last turn and I crossed the line.
I looked down at my Garmin. 26:19! That was way better than my aquathlon PR! I couldn't believe it. I guess the runathon really did help. ;) That turned out to be an 8:25 minute mile average. I was really happy with that. After crossing the line I walked around and immediately grabbed some water and waited for the other Tri Girls to finish. Everyone did great, and April even won a raffle prize at the end. They had lots of goodies at the finish as well.
This was a really low-key event, but run really well and a ton of fun. Of course, I was quite sore after this "jog" as they call it.