Saturday, June 25, 2016

Union Beach 5K (Union Beach, NJ)

This is the fastest I am recapping a race for sure, but I know I won't have much time in the next few days to do so, so I'm doing it now!

Today was a prime example of not knowing what version of you or the course will show up on race day.

I was keeping an eye on the forecast all week, and was happy when I saw temps in the low 70's for this morning with sun. However, this morning also brought about 80% humidity. Great...

I planned my outfit accordingly throughout the week, and hoped that this particular shirt would come in before today. Sure enough, it was waiting for me when I got home from work yesterday. Yay!

The shirt is from the Run with Perseverance Etsy shop. Check it out! Kathy has some awesome pieces on there! I may be buying more in the future! ;-)

I also took a shower last night and actually slept through the night. Hey, the shower helped with something. Haha. ;-)

I woke up at 6:30 this morning, and after a few minutes in bed, I woke up and was ready to rock and roll! I went through my usual pre-race routine, and was out my door and on the road by 7:45. Win!

It took me only about 15 minutes to get to the race area (parking was pretty much all off-site), and after parking my car, I went down to the finish area and stayed loose until it was go time.

I knew my Instagram follower Regina was racing this one too, and after seeing her flat runner last night, I spotted her right away. She spotted me almost immediately too, and it was like we knew each other forever, when it was really only about a month or so. =)

Eventually, it was time to line up at the start, and it was a bit crazy, as one of the running teams was finishing their warm-up (five minutes before the start--yes, really). Of course, there was no timing mat at the start (FAIL!), so everyone had the same start time, no matter where in the pack you were. Can we say "Ugh?"

I made an attempt to get a pre-race selfie, but the sun was not doing me any favors. So this is what you get.

There was very little fan fare involved at the start. Just some instructions, and at exactly 9:00, the horn sounded and we were off!

I made the mistake of getting caught in the middle, and found myself in the middle of crowds for the better part of the first mile. I just stuck to the intervals I trained with for the time, and hit the first mile in 10:38, despite slowing down to get a picture of the UB Hope Tree. I knew I wanted a picture of it, and it was worth it. I was on pace for the PR!

Then the humidity kicked my ass.

I had to slow down my intervals considerably, and ended up with an 11:21 second mile. Still on pace for a PR, and I was pushing, but the humidity was winning. 

It was at that point I wish I ran with my Nathan handheld water bottle, as there were two water stops, but they were further than anticipated (1.5 and 2.5ish miles). I trained with it, so I should have ran with it, right? Oh well. Live and learn.

I kept trucking along, but still had to slow down, and wound up with an 11:46 third mile. Yes, I know I need to work progression runs into my training. However, I don't think any amount of training could have prepped me for the increasing humidity. Whatever.

I saw the finish line and made a sprint for it, in hopes that I could salvage a PR of a few seconds. I just sprinted, threw my arms up, and crossed the finish. However, the PR wasn't meant to be. The clock had me at 34:46, which was actually 10 seconds slower than when I last ran the race in 2014. 

Moments after I crossed the finish, I stopped my Garmin. The Garmin actually had me at 34:39 for 3.12 miles. Still, I knew it wasn't my day, but I was proud of myself for finishing a tough and inconsistent race! I remember running last year in similar conditions and having a time of 4:30 slower! So, I guess all my training was good for something! ;-)

I found Regina after I finished, and she ROCKED it! 24:00, and second in her age group! Yay! =D

The timing company was posting results as fast as people were coming in, and soon enough I saw mine. 34:46, pace of 11:12. Missed the PR by 14 seconds. In a way, I was kicking myself for not REALLY pushing it, being as I was so close. At the same time, I knew that the humidity was a huge factor today, and had to be proud of myself for not wanting to quit!

Since I didn't get a full body pic before the race, I got one after. I love how the outfit came together! It was a huge hit with so many other people too! =D 

As I said earlier, you never know what version of yourself or the course will show up on race day, and this year proved to be tough. I was not anticipating humidity to be as high as it was, and it kicked me in the butt. Still, I kept going, and finished strong! Not every race is a PR, and now that I think of it, not every race needs to be. Just getting out there and doing it is enough. The PR's are just a bonus. Five years ago, this was something I never would have even tried. Now, I'm out there and being the best version of ME every time! That is worth WAY more than any PR ever will be!

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