With a title like that you would think I drank WAY too much on New Years Eve, but I swear to you this was not the case. The Resolution Run 5K was held yesterday downtown in Patterson Park and the dry heaves were due to OMG THE HILLS and not to champagne. I did have champagne on Tuesday night, but only a little.
I have run 2 races in this park before. Both 10Ks, but there was also a 5K that was only one loop of the same route. That course is USATF certified as is the one from yesterday. So I must be familiar with it right? How many certified courses could one inner city park have?
The answer is “more than one”. When I arrived I knew it would be a different race because I could see the finish line and it was not where I had finished before.
Start time was at 2pm which is about 5 hours later than my previous latest start (and at that time I thought 9am was late!). I’m assuming it was done this way so that more people would sign up…I can’t imagine the turnout would be nearly as good if everyone was still drunk from the night before. One nice thing about the late start was that I was able to fit in a hot yoga class earlier in the day, which I really needed because I slept on my neck wrong. It was also kind of nice to not have to go through all the motions of stretching and warming up before the race like everyone else. I don’t think I could have been more limbered up if I tried.
In all there were about 600 of us and we started moving toward the starting line at about 5 minutes to 2. It was a free for all so I found a spot near the front, queued up a 5K playlist, made sure my yurbuds were firmly in my ears, and caught a signal with my Garmin. Right at 2pm they signaled for us to GO! over a bullhorn and we were off…600 of us down a road that is really not too much wider than a bike path. Luckily I was close to the front and I didn’t have to do too much dodging before the pack started to fan out.
I would have liked to have a PR to start off the year, but I knew right when I got to mile 2 that it wasn’t going to happen. Mile 1 went fine (6:48), but then mile 2 consisted of an enormous hill. I knew this hill. It is at the beginning of the other course I had run on before, but it definitely felt much different at the halfway point in the race. Mile 2 would be my slow mile due to the hill (7:34), but I’m pretty proud of that time! In all the 5 times I’ve run up it in my life this is my best pace.
Shortly after I passed the marker signaling the start the last mile, I got a nice surprise! My husband and daughter were there to cheer me on! They have attended one other race with me, but I didn’t actually get to see them until after I was done. Seeing their faces gave me a little bit of an extra boost that I really needed after that craptastic hill and as tired as I was, mile 3 ended up being at least a little faster and my best time in the last mile of a 5k to date (7:19).
The last quarter mile of mile 3 was a steady uphill climb and as I passed the marker the finish line came into view AT THE TOP OF A DAMN HILL. Seriously, guys? It became a mad dash to the finish between me and another girl. My husband snapped a picture of me chasing her down (I’m in the green socks). We ended up finishing right on top of each other and got a little tangled up in the corral, but we high-fived it out. She was really nice.
According to my Garmin, it was a little over a 5K distance at 3.13 miles. I forgot to stop my watch for a bit, but later at the awards ceremony I would find out that my official time was
Not quite a race PR, but the exact same pace that I ran in Charlie’s Run last month.
Anyway just after the finish I was very busy trying to not barf and/or keel over. My husband and daughter came over to me and her face just lit up and suddenly I felt 110% better. She had been having a lot of fun cheering on the runners so we went over to watch more of them finish. She was making so many people smile! I can’t wait to take her with me to more races as she gets older.
The temperature was about 40 degrees, but with the wind it felt much chillier – I still don’t understand how those guys in the background of that photo were in any way comfortable with shorts on. I was freezing. So we headed over to a church on the edge of the park for their post-race party and were greeted with the most amazing smell…they had a homemade lunch of chili and cornbread for everyone, plus bananas, water, and a huge selection of cookies that my daughter was particularly interested in. The celebration had such a friendly, family vibe, and it was very warm in there so I was a happy camper. My husband told me that he hadn’t seen many women finish in front of me so I was anxious to see if I had won anything!
And I did! Third place in my age group and 7th female finisher overall! What a great way to kick off my 14 in 2014 challenge!
Overall this race was really well organized with a adequately marked – albeit difficult – course, friendly, well-prepared volunteers, and great post-race food. The cause is an important one too…Resolution Run benefits Earl’s Place which is a transitional housing program in Baltimore City. Some of the residents were volunteering at the race and they were all so nice. Homelessness is a huge problem in Baltimore and it was just awesome to meet some of these guys who were really turning their lives around.
The biggest – and really only – complaint I have about it is the start time. I know why they did it, but I have to say that I would greatly prefer a race that starts at 7am to 2pm any day of the week. I feel like I lost a lot of my motivation as the day went on, plus pre-race jitters for half the day wasn’t the most fun. (I can’t help it…I get nervous before races!) And while it was nice for my neck to get that yoga class in earlier in the day, I definitely felt all those Warrior II’s in my legs during the race. That’s no one’s fault but my own though. 🙂
I hope that everyone had a happy, fun, and safe New Years!
Did you run or race yesterday? Do you get nervous before a race? Tell me about it!