This past Sunday, Brandon and I ran the Cherry Creek Sneak for the third year in a row. However, this year was different in that we graduated from the 5K to the 5 mile.
We left with plenty of time to get down to Cherry Creek due to wanting to find parking before the streets were closed off ... because the 5K race started about an hour before the 5 miler. We found good street parking and wandered off to Starbucks for a pre-race snack of smoothies and oatmeal and used a nice indoor bathroom to poop (so nice).
I kind of forget the timeline here, but I think we went back to the car to get in our running stuff ... went back to the race start to port-o-potty it up and watch the 5K winners cross the line ... and then headed BACK to the car to drop off my long-sleeved pullover thingy because I was starting to get toasty. I think then we went back to the race start for good, use the port-o-potties one more time (the lines got a lot longer), stretch out a bit and start the race.
The first two, two and a half miles were familiar and on the same course as the 5K. The first mile was quicker than I thought it would be - 10:40. My calf was kind of ouchy, but it worked itself out. Mile two felt okay and we dropped our pace down five seconds per mile to a 10:35. Sometime in mile three, I accidentally stopped my watch when I ran into Brandon while trying to cheer someone's random crazy costume. So from that point on ... no idea on splits.
Mile three was fine ... and so was most of mile four. At one point, where the 5K runners would be turning right, us 5milers turned left and did a u-turn. After turning left (going west), we ran into a slight breeze while also going slightly uphill. I was pushing it quite a bit through this part (brandon even commented that i was booking it a little) to get out of the wind.
However, the turnaround, though it brought downhillish, also brought hot, stagnant sun. Which felt a lot worse than the breeze. It was at the water station in mile four where I really started to feel like crap, probably from going out too fast. Made it to the fourth mile marker and Brandon was feeling great ... while I didn't. Winding our way through Cherry Creek North for that last mile was brutal.
Still, I had just enough in me to sprint across the line ...
Photo courtesy FotoJack.com
I made it across the line in 51:24 ... good enough for a 10:16/mile pace ... which is officially my fastest mile pace for my starting race in ANY season. Woot. I know I bitch about running all the damn hills around here, but it really does pay off when I get to a flatter race course.
I just know I pushed it too hard because I had a mini asthma attack at the end. Le sigh.
Plus I got to use my time as a qualifier for the BolderBOULDER, so Brandon and I get to run in one of the cool waves that prove we can in theory run a 10K in under 68 minutes. Yep, we signed up for that today. Scary, but we're looking forward to the next challenge.