My first race was this morning....what a great experience running with so many other people! And, I now have a personal record to speak of. Granted, there is nothing to compare it against...but at least I have something!
The Canes Classic 5K started at 8am this morning. I got up right before 6am, as I thought it would be best to finish eating at least two hours prior to the race. So, 6am, I had my shakeology shake with some PB2 and bananas. We roused the kids and had them finish breakfast and get dressed, and we were out the door prior to 7am. We arrived at the site and parked, picked up my registration info/shirt/pamphlets and were ready to go! Since we had the kids with us, we hung out at the playground. I walked a bit and ran a bit before hand, so I was loose.
I already knew that my time wouldn't be stellar...this is, after all, a morning race. I ALWAYS run slower in the morning....how does one change that? But, thats ok.
I ran up in the middle of the pack, and it was a shotgun start. Everyone ran out and I had a nice pace for the first mile. The second mile was a tad slower, but I was happy to get the chance to pour some water over my chest/shoulders at the 1.5 mile mark, and then again at the 2 mile mark. Now, from that point on, it was tough. We were running in the bright sun, and it was hot! I had to walk a bit at the 2 mile mark, and then again at the 2.5 mile mark....so a full 1.2 minutes of walking the course. The last 1/3 mile was under cover (like most of the first half) so I finished that part without pause, but I know it wasn't very strong.
Looking back, I know the morning affected me the most...energy was just lacking, regardless of what I tried to do. The heat didn't play as much of a part of the energy issue as I would have presumed, simply because I know I have run in this heat before! I even had some sport beans right before the race, but that obviously didn't help.
My cadence was especially slow...81spm average (max of 85spm). I typically run 83-85spm, so definitely slower than average. I wonder why though....sure, I had to run around people, but did that really account for such a slower pace...or was it because of this and the morning run?
I didnt' have nearly as many nerve issues as I presumed that I would. So, I definitely think the morning hour made it for me. End result? Unofficial 33:45 time.
Ok, for a first race, I'm pleased I suppose, even though I know I can do better than this. What should I do next time? If its a morning race, which most are, I suppose I just need to run more in the morning to acclimate properly. Nothing else I can do, right? Since I think that was my #1 issue, I simply have to become a morning-acclimated runner.
Next race is a 4-miler through a country club....2 weeks until that. I'll try to do at least 2 runs a week in the morning from now until then and see if that plays into my energy level. Will update beforehand with my predictions!