My husband and I got up early and drove across town to European Village and found some parking under the toll bridge. I paid and registered in advance for the 10 mile race, but woke up not feeling well this morning so I didn't eat. We got down to the start line and I still wasn't feeling 100%, so I went and transferred from running the 10 mile race, to the 5k. Ugh, I didn't plan to run a 5k I planned to run the 10 mile. I was going to use it as my last "medium" distance speed run before Miami next week. I thought since I was only running the 5k - I better seriously push myself. I have been shooting for a 24 minute 5k for almost 2 years now... maybe I can get close. My previous PR for a 5k was 24:19. That's the closest official time I have gotten.
The 10 mile race started 10 minutes before the 5k. It was an out and back course with about 4 miles on dirt paths, and mostly running along Waterfront Trail (by the inter coastal). Beautiful run! The 5k was also an out and back along the water. We started and I took off weaving around people on the narrow trail. The path was about 3 feet wide with a few wood boardwalks. The path weaved in and out of trees along the inter coastal. Total elevation change was 141 feet. Not much, but quite a bit for our area on such a short run! My husband ran the 5k as well, since it was an out and back I got to pass him and wish him luck (probably around the 1.75 mile marker for me).
From the start of the race, I was running along side of an older man. He was pacing himself well so I decided to try and stay with him. I studied him a little while running, and noticed he was very rhythmical while running. His breathing, his foot steps, his arm swing, all of it was in rhythm with each other. I took note of this. He pulled ahead of me around 2.75 miles and although I tried to keep up, I was also silently cheering for him. He finished about 20 seconds ahead of me, I came sprinting across the finish line at 23:44 (official time). To my surprise, I was the 1st FEMALE FINISHER of the race. What? How did that happen? I was certain there were woman ahead of me. I had people coming up to me afterward saying how fast I was, and how I was really "moving". I was kind've in shock. I've never been "fast". I have been training for distance. I know it was a smaller race (about 100 finishers), but having a PR for 5k was so amazing. Then finding out I was the overall fastest female finisher... I wish I would have realized that while running so I could have smiled for all the camera's that were at the finish line! LOL. My amazing super supportive husband also had a personal "official" PR of 30:25. He never ceases to impress me.
I talked to the man afterward (the older gentleman I was ran the whole 5k with) and he commented that he was trying to keep up with me, and pace himself with me! I laughed. We were both pacing each other, and both ended up having PR's for a 5k. Apparently his big goal was to beat his daughter who was running the same race - and he did! Sometimes I like to imagine why other people are running each race. Maybe it's their first or farthest distance, or are they just humoring a friend or family member, racing someone or possibly even using it as a training run? I enjoy talking to people afterwards and hearing the different reasons why they run. This older man will never know it, but I am so inspired by him. I believe he finished in the 60-70 age division. That's just incredible to me. Still running, even racing his daughter at his age, and he looked amazing. I want to be that some day. For now, I'll keep on running. Keep on improving. I want to be the best I can be.