For our first race this year, we came back to the Cherry Creek Sneak, the unofficial start to Denver's race season. We've done this race multiple times in the past; it was Brandon's first official 5K way back in 2008 and we've done the five miler the past few years. This year, though, it was back to the 5K.
When we started planning out our racing season, we had thought that this race might be a decent one to try and PR in. I myself was hopeful ... until I had the shitty, shitty April that I had. Thus, when it came to race day, I would run as hard as I could and see what happened.
That morning, we did our usual breakfast and drive down early so we could grab parking in the mall parking garage before the streets surrounding Cherry Creek North closed down. Mission accomplished. We stopped in the Safeway for a pre-race poop, registered, pooped some more (I hate my nervous colon), noticed the seemingly extra police presence (damn you Boston Marathon bombers), dropped our stuff off in the car and then finally got around to running once it was time.
The first mile is usually our slowest mile, due to the mass insanity of the start and the bunching of people and dodging the walkers and so on and so forth. This year, not so much. We were holding a pace that was pushing it, but I didn't think it was that bad. Hitting the first mile marker in an 8:30, though? That's pushing it more than my lungs can handle these days.
We definitely slowed down in the second mile. A lot of that is my fault. Damn lungs. It's also just a grind of a mile. Brandon mentioned in his race recap that the "caliber" (so to speak) of the runners around us was different, in that there was less chit-chatting and more breathing. We be serious, yo. Kinda.
Despite slowing down in the second mile, I knew that if there was any way I could pick it up, I still had an outside chance at a PR (26:27). My legs tried to make me go, but my lungs were having none of it. NONE OF IT. I kind of hate my lungs these days and my inability to breathe. Part of it's the sports asthma (I HATE INHALERS AND DON'T THINK THEY WORK THEREFORE I DON'T USE THEM) and part of it's the chill that's still in the air and part of it is just that, plain and simple, my cardiovascular strength isn't where I want it to be (but as long as it gets there by November 17, I'll deal with the crap). I saw 26:27 come and go and still tried to push it, as awful as it was.
I crossed the finish line feeling like I wanted to vomit, it took a while for my breath to come back and I was hacking for a good 20 minutes after, so it's a safe bet to say I left it all out on the race course, and 28:13 was the best I could do that day.
Overall Rank: 582/4023
Gender Rank: 195/2525
Division Rank: 35/288 (F25-29)
With IM training being what it is, I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to get/keep the 5K speed I need for a PR, but we'll see. There are approximately 13849710348 5Ks in Colorado in the summer, so it's not like I don't have enough options to try.