Oh not a personal best for the summer at all.
I ran the 29th annual Red Mule Runners 5K today.
It was located around a "lake" in the Withlacoochee state forest right outside of Brooksville, Florida.
Yes. Withlacoochee. Sometimes I think the Native American names are a little too bizarre to be believed.
It was a gorgeous park and was indeed as promised, essentially flattish, with shade and more shade.
As it turns out this race is primarily attended it seems by high school cross country teams, I looked up last years results and saw 70-80 runners a piece in the age groups from 14-18. So I knew to expect that. THe kids were actually very well behaved. A lot of their teachers seemed to be running too and I thought the interaction between the kids and the teachers was really encouraging.
Anyway. We all got lined up. At this point I noted the people that I think spoil races for all of us. These are fast ladies, who wear coordinated clothing and tend to look down on everyone else. One of them stood near me and made repeated comments about her time goals and her competitiveness…
These ladies made a show out of sprinting up and down the beginning of the race course. Most of the Cross country runners were doing the same thing, but for some reason these women stood out, perhaps because they were wearing less clothing than the 16 yr olds.
The race started and I learned the price of shade…slippery pavement!!!!
It may not be true but I think this slowed me by a few seconds on my first mile. I really felt that if I was not careful I'd end up on my behind. It had rained the night before so the pavement was really wet.
Well, I eventually got used to the pavement. And with that I found that I was completely alone on the course. I realized that I had a chance, to be last as even the slower runners seemed to be going along merrily ahead of me. (Ha slower runners! I was slow!)
Towards the end of my second mile, I was not unexpectedly, lapped by the Cross country athletes. Many of the guys were running 18-20 min 5k's so I was not exactly upset about being lapped….unfortunately, I was not paying attention to things.
I followed the herd of X/C runners and suddenly I saw a sign for mile three and I knew that had to be wrong….
But I didn't know where to go except to follow them.
almost at the finish line, one of the X/C coaches tapped me and explained I had missed a turn off on the course and that I had to go all the way back around….
That was horribly depressing.
I got back on to the course and actually contemplated just not finishing at all. I knew my car was parked on the course. So suddenly I decided to hop in the car and just go home.
Well, I had already run by my car at that point.
So I had to keep going.
There was one lady in front of me who appeared to be my age (as it turns out she wasn't in my age group). She and I played "pass you, you pass me" for the rest of the race. In the end she passed me. I got to the section where I turned off incorrectly and was simply disgusted by my error!
So I finished.
The timer guy was AWESOME. He was paying very close attention to when I crossed the finish, which was not the time I had hoped for, but I do know whatever they record, it was my time. My Garmin was started at the right time, but the intense shade blocked some of the sattelite reception, so things were off.
With all that, I was a little bit surprised to find that I had won….Second place in my age group…
Even more surprising to me was that there was an actual woman who placed third….
I could have sworn i finished last…
I will admit I am still a little peeved about my time, but, I am relieved that I do not have to do any more 5K's this year unless I want to!!!!
Next up Miracle Miles 15K in September…. More my style, but I dont expect to be winning any medals there as the field will be deep deep deep.