That's all I can say.
Finally I had a decent 5K experience.
This morning I ran the Rahr Oktoberfest 5K. It's an interesting race to be sure. It's put on by a craft brewery that's become a fixture in Fort Worth, and there's a whole sub-culture that has developed around it. It's an interesting crowd that shows up on race mornings--beer culture meets running culture meets local Fort Worth culture. It's a lot of culture packed into one pretty small place.
|The start line from half pack.|
In a word, the weather was sticky.
But what I was truly worried about was the sun coming out and really steaming things up. And I forgot my sunglasses at home. So I was hoping it would stay overcast, and it did.
|My own little starting pothole.|
After the gun, (and about 1:30 getting up to the line,) the course left out of the brewery, headed south down the block, and turned west onto old Magnolia Blvd. It was fun to run along the wide, divided boulevard under the old growth pecan trees. The Fort Worth PD was out en force, with officers and cars at every single intersection--big and small--making sure we were safe. We ran several city blocks along Magnolia entering into the hospital district.
|Pretty cool bib.|
We turned the corner and headed back north on 8th Avenue, and it was time to pay the piper. The uphill was mercifully shorter, but diabolically steeper. And that's when I began to catch up to and pass the jackrabbits. I concentrated on not tripping over the walkers, keeping my cadence up, and also on attacking the hill. With such a large crowd, and a well protected course, I pumped up the volume on Pandora and let the music drive me up, up and away. The trip up 8th took us past Cook Children's Medical Center where my wife has been a PICU nurse for more than 11 years.
As we turned back south to head to the entrance to the brewery I hopped up on the sidewalk to miss a sudden walker, and nearly ran into the traffic light pole, hidden just around the corner. At the same moment I realized that the entrance to the brewery was much closer than I had anticipated, and I belatedly picked up the pace for my final push to the line--much later than I could have. Dang.
One final turn into the back alley of the brewery, and up the short, uneven, pothole-y chute to the finish line.
Into one hand the volunteers thrust a bottle of water, into the other my commemorative pint glass--which I promptly dropped while juggling my phone, my headphones, and a slippery bottle of water. Miracle of all miracles it didn't break even though it was dropped from waist level onto asphalt. Weird.
|Storm Cloud IPA.|
As far as the race goes, my official chip time was 31:33, for what they're calling a 10:07 pace. RunKeeper said I ran 3.17 miles in 31:43 for a 10:00 pace on the nose! If only I'd realized how little of the race was left and started my final kick just a fraction sooner, would I have broken into the 9s?!? That would have been so epic for me. But a 10:00 pace in humidity and unknown hills? I'll take it!!
According to RunKeeper, my splits broke down like this:
Mile 1: 10:12
Mile 2: 10:01
Mile 3: 9:52
Mile 4: 9:22
I'm pretty proud of the fact that my splits got progressively faster, despite the humidity and terrain. Obviously work yet to be done, but it's certainly gratifying for the moment.
Now that I have a solid race under my belt I feel a little more prepared to start pushing the distances and paces in the future.
After the race I skipped out on the belly-busting German/Czech food and headed home to shower for soccer games and birthday parties. The race was a great way to start a busy day though!