This weekend was incredibly busy. On Friday afternoon Jason and I left Iowa City for Cedar Falls, about an hour drive, to stay with his aunt and uncle. We had an amazing dinner there and then went out with a couple old friends. I had to get to bed early though, since Saturday morning was my second race ever, the Fool’s 5K in Waterloo.
I felt very different than I did on the morning of my first race, the Red Flannel Run in Des Moines. My stomach wasn’t doing backflips and I knew what to expect. I had breakfast with Jason’s aunt (scrambled eggs, strawberries, and toast), chatted for a little while, and then headed towards George Wyth State Park.
This race was a little larger than Red Flannel Run, but I picked up my packet the night before, which made the morning less hectic. Since it was April Fool’s Day themed there were several people dressed up in costumes… I was not. I was more concerned with staying warm! It was around 40 degrees, normal spring weather but quite a bit chillier than it’s been recently.
My pace for Red Flannel Run was 9:48, so when they had us line up by pace group I got in the 9:30-10:00 minute mile pace group. I hoped to run faster than that, but wanted to make sure I felt comfortable at the start. I blew past most of the people in my pace group–but I was okay with that. It was a great confidence booster at the start!
About one mile into the race we had to turn around in a cul-de-sac, which was fine, but then we had to turn around in another cul-de-sac around the 2 mile mark. I thought that was a little bit annoying and disorienting when I was running because I wasn’t really sure how much was left. It was nice to run in a state park since it was scenic, but I actually think I’m motivated more by running on city streets.
About a half a mile from the end I got an awful side stitch and seriously considered vomiting. I could feel all the food from breakfast jostling around in my stomach. I wasn’t surprised, I normally don’t eat that much before I go running, just a banana or something. It was hard to pass up Jason’s Aunt’s great food though! I also think I was really thirsty because at the end of the race I drank some water and felt fine.
After I crossed the finish line and did not throw up, I got some food, water, and my results. They put our numbers into a computer and gave each of us a receipt with our chip times on it. This was great because it gave me an idea of how I did before I left!
Overall Time: 29:43
Pace: 9:33–15 seconds off Red Flannel Run Pace!
Place in Athena: 12/79 Women
Place in Age Group (Hypothetical): 18/54
Place in Gender: 207/617
Place Overall: 469/981
I was very happy with these results! Cutting 15 seconds off of my pace in just a month is a great accomplishment and one I hope I can repeat. I was also very happy with how I placed in the Athena category. The Athena category is for women 150 pounds or over, regardless of age. After looking at the results I think I could become fairly competitive in this category as I continue running, but not very many races offer an Athena category in Iowa. I’m still happy with how I would have placed in my age group though, so I’m fine with competing in my age group in future races.
Overall it was a great race and event!