What a difference a year makes.
The kind of difference that comes out to about 4 minutes and change.
I ran the Oshkosh 5K on Sunday. This was the third time I've run the race (and I was actually registered the fourth time, but skipped it due to nasty weather and no immune system) and it was the site of my absolute worst 5K ever last year. But I've made so much progress since then and have been feeling good with my training this spring that I was looking forward to the race.
It was great running weather Sunday, even though it was a bit chilly at the start. I met up with my friend Jess, we walked over and got our timing chips. The half marathoners started first and then the gun went off for the 5K.
I actually started out pretty near the front - an unusual move for me - but I didn't really want to get hung up behind a lot of folks and have to do a lot of weaving. Garmin Gus was getting his first race experience, but I didn't really pay much attention to him. I was kind of zoning out during the run, listening to my tunes, running and plotting out the next runner I was going to pick off.
Yes. I was passing runners. Unheard of a year ago.
Gus reminded me he was still along for the run after the first mile: 9:55. Probably a little fast for the first mile, but not surprising. Besides, I felt good. I kept running, kept passing a runner here and there. Second mile comes in a 10:10. Still feeling good. I think I've got this PR in the bag, I thought to myself. Gus chimes again telling me I covered the third mile in 10:26. A little slower, but I'll take it.
Wait a minute. If this is a 5K, I've got a tenth of a mile to go. I'm still a block and a half away from the amphitheater park and the finish line's inside the park. Yeah, this course is long. But I'll still be able to set a new PR if I just kick it up a notch or two.
So I upped the pace, passed some more runners and entered the park. Had a really nice finishing sprint to the line. Crossed it and hit stop on Gus.
3.25 miles in 32 minutes, 42 seconds.
That's a huge improvement over the post-Monster PR of 34:11 I posted at the Freaky 5K in October and 46 seconds off my pre-Monster PR of 31:56 I set back at the Sunset 5K in 2007. And let's not even talk about the 37 minutes I turned in at the Oshkosh 5K last year. Needless to say I'm very happy with my result. And just think, it's only April! Just think what could happen this year! Did someone say sub-30? Maybe. Maybe.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's look at some numbers.
386/893 for all finishers
33/85 in age group (females 30-34)
So a good running day for me. And it got even better once I crossed the finish line. How? I had a bloggy meet up!
Running Diva Mom had sent me a message a few weeks ago, her hubby was planning on running the half marathon. So we planned on trying to meet up on race day. I called her in the morning before the start and told her I wasn't going to have my phone with me but I'd try to find her at the finish line area.
Once I was done running I was heading towards the food when I got distracted.
Must have bagel bites and chocolate milk. Wait. Is that? But there's no Bondi band. Hmm, imagine a Bondi band. I think it is.
I approach the woman.
"Are you Jamie?"
Success! I got to chat with her for a bit and meet her kids (adorable!) and hubby (send some healing vibes his way - he wasn't able to run the half due to a bum foot). It was a great way to end a race and I hope to be able to meet up with her again in June at a triathlon her hubby and I are both signed up for.
I totally swiped the photo from her blog. And since we're talking about Running Diva Mom, head over to her blog for a great hand-held water bottle giveaway!