So I have been signed up for the Heart Mini 15K for AGES. I got my registration in early because they were handing out $10 gift cards to Fleet Feet if you were in the first so many registration. Karen and I both registered at that time so we could make sure to get those gift certificates. We did, and I used mine to buy J some honey stingers for his stocking.
I have never run the 15K before. 2 years ago I ran the 5K. Last year, I ran the half (followed by the 5K) to get my mileage in during Pig training. So a 15K is new to me. As you have seen, I have run the more unusual distance of a 14K twice. But this 15 K was new to me.
I went downtown yesterday and got the race packet for both Karen and I since she lives about an hour from downtown. I had J's parking garage tag, so getting downtown was relatively straightforward for me and I enjoy this particular race expo. It is a real expo (versus a packet pickup) and has a lot of the local running stores there as vendors, plus other races, and of course, the Flying Pig has a large area with lots of merchandise.
This morning, Karen arrived at my house at 6:45. She came in briefly and then we hit the road. I drove us downtown, since I have a lot more downtown experience. She does not and all of the one way streets and stuff can be intimidating if you are not used to it, and you are not used to the layout of downtown and where things are. Between that and having J's parking pass, it just made sense for me to drive us.
I made sure I was prepared for St. Patrick's Day (the actual day this time, unlike my simple Shamrock themed race last weekend) by wearing my ProCompression socks again.
It was chilly. It seems to be on and off for the weather for this race. The first time I ran it, it was very cold and rainy. Last year, I wore cropped pants and short sleeves. I could have been ok with a tank, but I was nervous since it was March. This year it was cold again, and I wore crops with my compression socks (because I wanted to show them off) but I also wore three layers of tops. A short sleeved tech tee, a long sleeved tech tee, and then my fleece lined sugoi hoodie (my favorite purple winter running top). I wore gloves. I wore a Brooks baseball cap with the hood over it. The hat was in case it started to snow or rain, because I hate getting all of that in my eyes!
The race was scheduled to start at 7:45 am. Karen and I lined up and found some pace groups that we thought were fitting. They had pace groups for the half, but they also had 15K finish times on them. I set myself up with the 1:55 half group, knowing it was an ambitious pace for this 20 week pregnant gal (halfway tomorrow!) but felt ok with it. Karen was going for mega-speedy. She wanted to PR the race. When the cannon went off (maybe it just sounded like a cannon because we were in the middle of buildings? But it really sounded like that), we started. And I immediately felt like I might need to use the bathroom despite the fact that we had used the port-o-lets shortly before lining up. I ended up stopping twice in 9.3 miles to go to the bathroom. I decided after my first bathroom stop, I decided that my goal for this race was under 10 minute miles even WITH any stopping that I needed to do. Here are the splits:
Mile 1 - 12:15 <--- bathroom break
Mile 2 - 9:36
Mile 3 - 9:10
Mile 4 - 9:09
Mile 5 - 10:59 <--- Bathroom break
Mile 6 - 8:45
Mile 7 - 8:41
Mile 8 - 8:39
Mile 9 - 8:37
Mile 0.33 - 2:48
Total time: 1:28:38 for a 9:32 average pace.
So I managed to get my sub 10 pace on the race depsite the two bathroom breaks. My garmin says that my time would have been 1:23:36 if I hadn't had those bathroom breaks. Here is the medal for the race.
Karen was there to see my finish and we walked over to a hotel to hang out and stay warm until the 5K. We had decided that we were going to run that as well because you do not need to pay again to run another race, so we might as well run them to shake out our legs, and get some extra mileage.
Here our our 5K splits:
Mile 1 - 10:31
Mile 2 - 9:55
Mile 3 - 9:37
Mile 0.85 - 7:18
Yeah... 3.85 instead of 3.1. It definitely was not my garmin, because as you can see from above, the 15 K was 9.33 miles, and therefore quite accurate. There is no way that my watch could have been off by 3/4s of a mile, nor that I was running that slowly if it was 3.1 miles. And a lot of other people had the same complaints. Now, I am used to training for marathons or half marathons, so and extra 3/4s of a mile is not a big deal to me. But what if it was me 2 years ago, when a 5K maxed me out. Or all of the other people that this is their first 5K? It is tough stuff, I remember! That extra distance is too much.
Overall, it was a good experience. I am proud of myself for getting through the race as well as I did, although the stopping to pee stuff is tough, and it has a tough mental component to it.
Have you ever run a race that seemed to be VERY improperly measured?